A Morbid Cake

While recently perusing Pinterest for recipes involving chestnuts, I ran across a few recipes for Torta Morbida al Cioccolato e Castagne. Too perfect! I thought. Halloween is right around the corner! I can make this dark, morbid cake AND use a bunch of the chestnuts in my freezer! Imagine my surprise & disappointment when I found out that a Torta Morbida is a “soft cake”.

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Alas, it was a still a delicious cake. Nearly flourless, very rich, and SO SOFT! Molto morbida indeed!

Torta Morbida al Cioccolato e Castagne

(soft cake of chocolate and chestnuts)

makes a 9 inch round cake

Ingredients:

  • 1 C roasted, shelled and skinned chestnuts
  • 1 1/2 C granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of Kosher salt
  • 11 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 12 oz semisweet chocolate
  • 5 large eggs, separated
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour (GF flour of your choice could be easily used here, if desired.)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-1/2-inch deep fluted tart pan with a removable bottom or a springform pan. **Hint: I highly recommend the use of a springform pan here if at all possible. This is a very soft cake that will not withstand being turned out from a non-springform pan very well.
  2. Place chestnuts, 3/4 C of the sugar, vanilla, and salt in a large saucepan and cover with about 2 inches of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer covered for about 45 mins. Remove from heat and let chestnuts cool in syrup, then drain. **HINT: Do not stir chestnuts while they are in the hot syrup, as they will break. Still delicious, but much less attractive in your cake.
  3. Melt the chocolate in a metal bowl set on top of a pot of simmering water. For ease, I recommend that you use chips or morsels if possible.
  4. Add remaining 3/4 cup sugar and butter, stirring until smooth. Remove bowl from heat and whisk mixture until cooled to lukewarm. This will take about 5-8mins. Whisk in egg yolks and flour.
  5. Beat egg whites until stiff. Gently fold whites into batter half at a time. **Hint: My preferred method for beating egg whites most effectively is my hand blender fitted with a whip attachment.  

    devo_cover

    “Whip it! Whip it good!”

  6. Pour batter into greased pan. Gently lay chestnuts on top of batter and poke them in gently.
  7. Bake for about 40 mins or until the edges of the cake have formed a crust. Cool cake in pan on rack for 5 mins, then release from pan and let it cool completely.

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