Chocolate Sponge Cake Rolled with Chestnut Cream – a Guest Post

by Sala @ Veggie Belly on June 1, 2011

Today’s recipe for this chocolate sponge cake rolled with chestnut cream comes in the form a guest post by my friend, the amazingly talented Xia0lu of  6 Bittersweets blog. I tasted this cake when she made it, and I was blown away. I had no idea chocolate and chestnut could be so delicious! I’ve also tasted Xiaolu’s incredibly creative black sesame and mochi macrons - another testament to her baking skills! Infact, im so in love with anything she bakes, I ordered Xiaolu’s chocolate and red velvet cupcakes for my husband’s surprise birthday party. Needless to say, they were a huge hit. You can order her baked goodies here.

I was thrilled when Sala invited me to guest post on her blog. Not only because I was excited at the opportunity to contribute to her diverse collection of mouth-watering recipes and stunning photos. But also because she has become a dear friend to me in a short period of time. Starting with an early exchange in which she readily shared photography tips with me, Sala has been nothing but fun, warm, and generous through all of our interactions. I’m really glad that we live near each other, so we’ve been able to become friends in person and not just online. Thank you, Sala, for being a great friend, and thank you all as well having me here today!

I’ve always held a fascination for chestnuts. On one hand because they seem so sophisticated and European to me, especially in French desserts like Mont Blanc. On the other hand because they remind me of my early childhood in China. I recall smelling the fragrance of freshly roasted chestnuts as a little girl and growing excited anticipating the delicious stew of vegetables, meat, and chestnuts to come.

For today’s treat, I have chosen the more sophisticated route with a cake roll that is simple yet elegant. Though I’m more accustomed to using natural cocoa in my baked goods, the milder flavor of Dutch-process cocoa is preferable here, as it leaves the spotlight to the real star of the show: the chestnut cream. I particularly enjoy that this cake is light on the tongue, leaving you satisfied but not weighed down. If you’re looking for less conventional way to enjoy your chocolate cake, I hope you’ll give this a go =).

Chocolate Sponge Cake Rolled with Chestnut Cream Recipe

[Printable Recipe]

Adapted from Gourmet Traveller

Serves 6 to 8

XIAOLU’S NOTES: The homemade chestnut puree recipe makes more than you will need for this recipe. Extra puree can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks and frozen for up to 1 year.

4 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup white sugar (preferably extra-fine/caster)
1/2 cup MINUS 1 Tbsp (65 g) cornstarch
5 Tbsp (35 g) Dutch-process cocoa, plus extra for dusting
1 Tbsp all purpose flour
1 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp baking soda
3 1/2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 cup PLUS 2 Tbsp heavy cream
1 1/2 Tbsp powdered sugar, sifted
1 cup sweetened chestnut puree (Recipe below OR storebought is fine)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease the base and sides a 12 x 16 3/4-inch jelly roll pan and line with parchment paper, cutting into the corners to fit and allowing the parchment to hang at least 3/4 inch past the tray’s edges.

Whisk eggs and sugar using an electric mixer until thick and pale (about 5 to 6 minutes). Sift cornstarch, cocoa, flour, cream of tartar, and baking soda together into a separate bowl. Then gently fold dry ingredients into the egg mixture with a spatula. Fold in butter.

Spoon batter carefully into lined pan, smoothing the top with a spatula. Bake in the middle rack of the oven until the cake springs back when lightly pressed (10 to 12 minutes). Remove from oven and carefully turn cake out onto a tea towel lined with fresh parchment paper. Peel off the other parchment paper from the cake. With the short side facing you, roll the cake within the tea towel to form a log. Let stand until just cool (8 to 10 minutes).

Whip heavy cream and powdered sugar until soft peaks form (refrigerate if not using immediately). Unroll cake and spread it with an even layer of chestnut purée, then spread only the 1/2 of the cake closest to you with cream, leaving a 3/4 to 1-inch border around the other edges as well. Reroll, dust with cocoa powder, and serve immediately.

Homemade Sweetened Chestnut Puree

Adapted from Kopiaste (click over for great step-by-step photos)
Makes about 2 to 2 1/4 cups

400 g boiled and peeled chestnuts [I bought precooked vacuum-packed ones]
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup sugar, or to taste
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Fill a medium to large saucepan with 2 inches of water and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Place all ingredients EXCEPT vanilla into a large Pyrex glass or other heatproof bowl that has a rim wider than the saucepan and which will not touch the simmering water when placed over the saucepan. Cover with a heatproof lid and let mixture boil for about 1 hour, checking occasionally to stir and make sure milk does not boil over.

Drain and reserve milk and let chestnuts cool slightly. Puree the chestnuts using a potato masher or in a food processor. Mix vanilla into the reserved milk, then add milk back into the puree a tablespoon at a time until desired consistency and sweetness is reached. Allow to cool completely, then refrigerate or freeze until needed.

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Comments

comments

{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets June 1, 2011 at 11:52 am

Thanks so much for having me guest post on your lovely blog, Sala! It was so fun, especially being able to share it with you in person =D.

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2 Rosa June 1, 2011 at 12:16 pm

That cake looks so tempting! I really love the filling.

Cheers,

Rosa

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3 Kala June 1, 2011 at 12:29 pm

Oh. My. God! My eyes just popped out of my head and I stared at those pictures for probably too long. Thanks to Veggie Belly, I’m now addicted 6 Bittersweets as well so I know this will be nothing less than awesome goodness when I get around to trying this, hopefully soon! You guys are awesome and seriously a true inspiration!

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4 Joyti June 1, 2011 at 12:39 pm

I’ve only recently tried chestnuts – last Christmas actually. They’re delicious!
And that chocolate-chestnut sponge roll looks delicious!

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5 Nishi June 1, 2011 at 1:50 pm

Lovely recipe and a I loved the chestnut filling. And as usual, lovely photography :)

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6 Jeannie June 1, 2011 at 5:02 pm

Looks really yummy! You have a lovely blog Sala:D

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7 Yuri June 2, 2011 at 5:31 am

Such a lovely cake! You are so lucky to have tasted Xiaolu’s macarons. I love her recipes and photos, glad I found your blog thru her :)
I love chesnuts and chocolate, wish I had a slice of this now!

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8 Junia @ Mis Pensamientos June 2, 2011 at 5:31 am

wow i had no idea it was a chestnut cream! brilliant ingredient!!

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9 Lubna Karim June 2, 2011 at 5:32 am

Wow….looks delectable…..never tried chest nuts….but cake looks extremely yum…..thank u for the detailed post Xiaolu….and Sala for making a guest post….stunning pics….

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10 Magpies Recipes June 2, 2011 at 5:32 am

Wow! this looks sooo incredible! How did Xialou manage to make the roll without a single crack? amazing! Now I am so craving this, will have to find an excuse to try it or atleast the chestnut cream soon!

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11 Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen June 2, 2011 at 5:32 am

I already told Xialou that I’m jealous you get to taste all her work, lol. I need to move closer to the two of you!

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12 Valerie June 2, 2011 at 5:32 am

Thanks to Xiaolu i now your website! It’s really nice, you have such good recipes! I’m going to follow you by now!! And that cake is just a wonder!!

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13 Indu June 2, 2011 at 5:32 am

Looks so delicious. This is so tempting. There is something diving about that brown and white combination.

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14 Aldy June 2, 2011 at 5:33 am

Hi Sala, I have come across your blog via Xiaolu’s blog– You have a beautiful blog :) I love chocolate and chestnuts and this cake is definitely mouth-watering. I could imagine the whole flavors mixed together…Yummy.

Have a lovely day,

Aldy.

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15 naomi June 3, 2011 at 1:29 pm

Great recipe as always from Xiaolu. And I’m so glad she sent me over here from here blog! What a great blog you have and beautiful photography!

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16 Sharlene June 3, 2011 at 2:23 pm

I can’t say I’ve ever used chestnuts in baking before but I love their flavor and will have to try this out. Looks so delicious!

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17 Gourmantine June 3, 2011 at 3:22 pm

Just found your blog via Xiaolu’s site, so lovely! This recipe sounds so delicious! :)

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18 Janet Rudolph June 4, 2011 at 7:13 am

I’ve never tried chestnuts in anything. This sounds fabulous!

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19 marla June 7, 2011 at 8:48 am

I love seeing Xialou over here. This cake looks wonderful – great idea to use that chestnut cream!

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20 Wendy Wong June 11, 2011 at 5:12 am

I do not follow your method in cooking the chestnuts. Would you mind posting some pix to show how you can place a large Pyrex glass or other heatproof bowl that has a rim wider than the saucepan and which will not touch the simmering water when placed over the saucepan. If the glass or bowl is wider than the saucepan, then how can you cover the saucepan with a lid? Thanks.

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21 Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets June 15, 2011 at 12:50 am

Thanks for your questions, Wendy. Here is a photo of the method using a glass bowl over the saucepan: http://www.eclecticmamma.com/images/thumb/ModelChocolateS3ath.jpg Also I realize the directions don’t specify, but I meant that you should cover the bowl and not the saucepan with a lid. Hope that helps! Feel free to email me at xiaolu6+info@gmail.com if you have any other questions.

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22 Q November 23, 2011 at 12:10 pm

How many cups is 400 grams of chestnuts?

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23 REnu Jain April 6, 2012 at 10:05 am

Hi love the recipie where in Chennai can i find chestnuts?

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Sala @ Veggie Belly Reply:

Sorry, I’m not sure! Maybe you can try one of the import shops.

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