Tuesday, 29 November 2011

That Old Chestnut


No, I don't think it's too early to be getting in the festive mood. No, I don't get sick of christmas songs in a loop. Yes, I did have my first mince pie in September and no, it didn't feel wrong.


So of course I was excited for November's Clandestine Cake Club, which had a "Winter Wonderland" theme.

I decided to make a chestnut cake, from an old cake recipe book that i have. The way the cake was decorated in the book, however, left a lot to be desired. It was all very 80's, with swirly bits of cream everywhere. So I decided to go with a snowy wintry scene that i had seen in another cake decorating book, which was actually supposed to be a wedding cake.

Making the cake mixture was almost the same technique as making sachertorte, but with chestnut puree instead of chocolate. I had to separate 9 eggs and whisk up the whites, then fold the eggs whites carefully into the mixture. Then came the exciting bit...

The cake was filled with a (very delicious) chestnut and rum cream. This tasted... potent, and rather pleasant if i may say so myself (yes, I admit that i did eat quite a bit off a spoon once the cake was finished). I am starting to worry that the CCC may end up organising an AA intervention at some point for me, as i seem to be building a reputation for bringing alcoholic cakes!

The cake is loaded with rum cream :)
Then it was time for decorating. I used royal icing, and placed pine cones, bay leaves, and rosemary on top to make a bit of a wintry woodland floor type scene. Then added a few tea lights to bring a nice warm wintry glow to the cake when lit. Then a sprinkling of sugar lumps to look like little lumps of snow, and some generous handfuls of icing sugar and caster sugar to make it look super snowy, and ta-da! a wintry, snowy chestnut cake:

I had a minor panic just before the CCC. I had to go there straight from work so the cake had to sit in the fridge at work for the day, which is a danger in itself with the gannets that i work with. Then I realised that most of the "snow" icing sugar had melted, so i had to detour for some extra icing sugar on the way to the meeting. Once the candles were lit though, it did look pretty impressive, and it caught the eye of a photographer and journalist who were there for appetite magazine, so I ended up having to have another post-work, messy hair and rubbish make-up photo-shoot :-S

The inside of the cake was strange, kind of pinky and pate-ish in colour. The cake itself didn't taste of a huge amount, but the chestnut and rum cream was lovely.

More on cake club soon!

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