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Jane Devonshire's Christmas Recipes

Chocolate and Chestnut Sponge with Grand Marnier Icing
Dessert

Serves 6 - 8

For the sponge cake:

120gm unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing

75gm chestnut flour, plus extra for sprinkling

125gm chocolate 70% coco

4 large eggs

100gm castor sugar

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon cream of tartar

100gm vacuum packed chestnuts roughly chopped

Icing

250gm Mascarpone

200gm Sieved icing sugar

Zest of 1 orange

50ml Grand Marnier

200ml double cream

Method

  1. Preheat oven gas mark 5 / 190C (374F) and grease a 20cm (8in)  spring form cake tin and sprinkle with a little chestnut flour.                                       

  2. You will need x3 bowls which we combine at the end to make the mixture.                                                                                       

  3. Bowl 1. Melt the chocolate and butter together in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Be careful don’t overheat as it becomes grainy.                                                 

  4. Leave to one side and allow to cool whilst you prep the rest of the cake.                                 

  5. Bowl 2. Whisk egg yolks and half the sugar together until thick and creamy.                                                                                       

  6. Bowl 3. Whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar until stiff and meringue like.  Slowly add the remaining sugar into the egg white mixture until all combined and a meringue like mixture achieved.                                      

  7. Combine bowl 1 and 2. Stir in the chocolate into the egg yolk mixture and leave to one side.                                                                         

  8. Add the chopped chestnuts and sieve the chestnut flour into the chocolate and egg yolk mixture and stir in.                                                            

  9. A spoon at a time gently fold in bowl 3, the egg white mixture, into the chocolate trying to keep as much air in the cake as possible.                          

  10. Once combined place in cake tin and bake in the oven for approximately 30 minutes until firm.                                                        

  11. To make the icing, combine the mascarpone, sieved icing sugar, orange zest and Grand Marnier in a bowl.                                                        

  12. Whisk the double cream into peaks and then gently fold into the mascarpone mixture. Serve with the warm cake or wait until cake completely cooled and then ice as normal with some shaved chocolate. over the icing.

Jane says... This is a wonderful dessert for Christmas and your guests will never guess it’s gluten free!  Be warned though... As it's Christmas the icing is a bit heavy on the alcohol, so feel free to adjust to your taste. It keeps well (if un-iced) for 3 days in an airtight tin.

To make this cake extra special for the Christmas I made two of them and double tiered them and then added Grand Marnier cream in the middle.  However, at home I often serve a single tier of the cake with the cream spooned over.

 

The recipe below is for one tier: 

Photos: © Peter Cassidy