I have decided to have two more cakes for Christmas dinner - one with almonds and dried fruit and the other one a chestnut and chocolate cake.
The chestnut cake had the classic Mont Blanc dessert as an inspiration; Mont Blanc consists of meringue, whipped cream and chestnut puree and sometimes chocolate, it is also naturally gluten-free. The taste of chestnut is something I wanted to include in our Christmas desserts, but I did not want to make Mont Blanc, although it is very tasty. Thus the idea for a chestnut cake was perfect. The taste is somewhat sophisticated, I would say, and very rich, a small piece of this cake goes a long way in satisfying the need for something sweet with chocolate.
My other cake is a simple one with dried fruit and some almond flour; I can not think of Christmas without a fruitcake. This cake is not overly sweet since I did not use all that much sugar in it and the texture is very dense because I did not whip the eggs together. My choice for the fruits was some golden raisins, some dates and lastly some dried apricots, which work well together, but any kind of dried fruits would do.
Now I have my desserts planned out for Christmas, we are going to have three cakes, these two and the Galician almond cake, gingerbread ice cream and cardamom ice cream, then some cheese poached in cream with cloudberries and maybe some cloudberry quark - quite simple, but sweet, easy and tasty.
A Chocolate and Chestnut Cake
This is a naturally gluten-free and egg-free cake; you could use a dairy-free margarine instead of the butter to make this dairy-free.
I did not use any sugar in this, but you could add some sugar for some sweetness. The chocolate was 70%, for a rich chocolate flavour, but anything above 50% will work. My chestnut puree is sweetened and flavoured with vanilla, if you have something without vanilla, add 1-2 teaspoons of vanilla extract to the cake. The rum can be left out, or you can use some other kind of alcohol to flavour this with.
A Chestnut Cake Recipe
serves 10 and takes 10 minutes to make, but has to be cooled in the fridge for at least 5 hours
-250 grams or 9 ounces chocolate
-2 cups or 5dl chestnut puree
-200 grams or 7 ounces butter, which should be rooms temperature before you start
-2 tbls dark rum (optional)
Grease a cake pan with butter.
Place the chopped chocolate into a bain marie, which means that you should take a bowl and place it on top of a saucepan which has water in it - make sure that the bowl does not touch the water - and place the saucepan on medium heat.
When the chocolate has melted, take the bowl away from the saucepan, add the butter into it and let the butter melt, you don’t have to do anything; it will melt by itself into the chocolate.
Add the chestnut puree and the rum, mix them together. Taste the mixture to see if you would like to add some vanilla or maybe sugar.
Pour the mixture into the greased cake pan.
Let it cool in the fridge for at least 5 hours, or overnight.
Serve with some vanilla flavoured whipped cream and crushed meringues or with some ice cream.
A Gluten-Free Fruitcake
You can make this dairy-free by using a dairy-free margarine, or leaving the butter out altogether.
Serves 10 and takes 20 minutes to make and one hour to bake
-1 cup or 2,5 dl fruit jam, I used French apricot jam which is really thick and has a lot of flavour, you can also use sweet fruit juice, but use a bit less of that
-3 cups or 7,5 dl chopped dried fruit, I used half dates, 1/4 golden raisins and 1/4 dried apricots
-4 tbls water
-1 cup or 2,5 dl unrefined sugar, brown sugar or honey, white sugar is to plain in this
-2 flat tbls ground cardamom
-2 flat tsp cinnamon
-5 heaping tbls melted butter (optional)
-2 cups or 5 dl almond flour (ground almonds)
Preheat an oven to 150 C or 300 F.
Grease a cake pan with butter.
Place the dried fruit, water and the jam into a saucepan on medium heat and let them melt together.
When the fruit has gone soft add the eggs, sugar, melted butter and the spices. Mix together.
You will end up with a rather gooey mess.
Mix in the almond flour and pour the batter into the cake pan.
Bake for approximately 1 hour. You can take a toothpick and test the cake to see if it is done. I used the same apricot jam to glace this with. If you want to, you could also make small holes in to the cake and then add some brandy to it.
Serve with some coffee - I love this cake with some coffee.
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