It is my wife’s birthday today so yesterday we made a cake for her. She adores the chestnut filling often served inside chiffon cakes at Asian bakeries. I also really needed to finally get a chiffon cake that rose and baked properly. My first attempt was in a dark nonstick which did some nasty things to the bottom of the cake. It was at that point I vowed to only use light colored aluminum for baking. I think I tried a second time and it was fine but didn’t rise properly, but somehow I forget the details.
Needless to say, I had to succeed. Now usually chestnut filling is served in a chocolate chiffon cake, but it is very lightly flavored. I was having none of that. An interesting internet search turned up people that seem to do nothing but bake chocolate chiffon cake. The Spago recipe seemed to be the favorite. However, a comment I found led me off to Heavenly Cakes. Of course, there is no chocolate chiffon cake in that cookbook. Instead it turns out that Beranbaum’s German Chocolate Cake is based on a chiffon cake recipe that she adapted to not need a tube pan. Looking over the ingredients I come to realized that it is exactly the Spago recipe with one crucial difference: rather than beating and folding egg whites in, she dumps in unbeaten egg whites as the final step and beats the entire batter. No more worrying about beating peaks that are too soft or too hard or that stressful folding of whites into batter.
Amazingly it worked and we produced a nicely textured cake with a strong chocolate flavor and a nice rise. However, I don’t think chiffon cake is every going to be my favorite despite capturing the hearts of Asia.
Chestnut Filling and Cream
1 14 oz can of coconut cream (I love the Trader Joe’s can),
60 g powdered sugar,
1 Tbsp of rum,
80 g of ground chestnut
Chill or freeze coconut cream first to thicken it. Coconut cream doesn’t hold a whip as well as heavy cream so be quick and make sure to let the frosted cake set in the fridge for a few hours before serving. Combine all ingredients and whisk with electric mixer.
For filling: This really depends on how much filling you would like. For each 100g of ground roasted chestnut (use your food processor) melt a Tbsp of butter and 20g of sugar in a saucepan. Add chestnut and mix thoroughly. For each 100g of chestnut add a 1/4 c of your cream and mix.