This wonderful torte is so rich, it’s almost too good to be legal. Like all truly great recipes, it’s also easy to make. Consisting of only 5 ingredients (OK, 6 if you use the rum – and you should), this torte is almost completely foolproof.
You can make this elegant torte even simpler by buying prepared chestnut puree (sometimes called “chestnut cream”), but unless we’re pressed for time, we prefer to make our own. Homemade chestnut cream adds a few steps, but the extra care is worth it. You really can taste the difference.
Whether you make it or buy it, once you have your chestnut cream, it’s just a matter of melting the chocolate and carefully mixing everything together – no baking involved! The result is a stunning dessert that is so elegant and so melt-in-your-mouth delicious that your guests will think you spent hours making it. It’ll just be our little secret.
- 16 ounces sweetened chestnut puree (recipe follows)
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 11 ounces fine quality bittersweet chocolate, minimum 65 percent cocoa solids
- 3 tablespoons dark rum (optional)
Optional, for presentation:
- Crème fraîche
- crystallized ginger cut into strips
- fresh berries
- mint sprigs
Put the chestnut puree into the bowl of a stand mixer, or use a hand mixer and beat until smooth. Add the butter, beating again until the mixture is thoroughly blended.
Gently heat the chocolate in a double boiler or microwave until just melted. Do not overheat the chocolate or it will “break”. Let the chocolate cool slightly, then fold it gently, but thoroughly into the chestnut/butter mixture.
Add the rum, if using, and fold in thoroughly.
Spoon the mixture into a greased 10-inch springform pan, carefully smoothing the top with a spatula. Cover the torte with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to chill for at least four hours.
The torte can be made a day in advance. Don’t remove it from the refrigerator until it’s completely firm and ready to serve.
Remove the springform. Cut carefully with a sharp knife, wiping the blade with a damp cloth between slices, and serve with a little crème fraîche, some slivers of crystallized ginger, a fresh berry and a sprig of mint on each piece.
This recipe is extremely flexible and is easily adapted to all kinds of presentations. Try piping the chestnut-chocolate mixture into tart shells or phyllo cups with a pastry bag for individual portions. You can also roll the mixture into 1-inch diameter balls, turning them in chopped nuts, powdered sugar or cocoa for a bite-sized chocolate-chestnut truffle.
Sweet Chestnut Puree
This recipe for sweet chestnut puree can be used in many desserts.
Peel the chestnuts using your favorite method, or try ours.
In a medium saucepan, bring the peeled chestnuts, sugar and water to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 25-35 minutes or until the chestnuts are very tender. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
Strain the chestnuts, reserving the liquid. Allow to cool slightly, then place the chestnuts into a food processor and process until smooth. Slowly add as much syrup as necessary to achieve the desired consistency through the food chute while the processor is running. Let cool completely before refrigerating or using in your recipe.
Many of the ingredients used in this recipe, and other recipes on the Earthy Delights Blog, can be purchased online at our retail website, Earthy.com. We welcome you to visit the Earthy.com website to view our extensive selection of hard-to-find ingredients and our complete Recipe Collection of over 500 tested recipes.
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