Chestnut Cream Bundt Cake with Chocolate Chips

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A simple and delicious bundt cake using sweetened chestnut cream.

chestnut cream bundt cake chocolate chips

It has been a few months since I had the wonderful opportunity to meet and cook with Mimi Thorisson in her home in south-western France. I find myself frequently reminiscing about the recipes we cooked, what we chatted about while we were sitting at her vast dining table, and the recipe notes which I exchanged with the other ladies in the workshop. I think often of her impossibly beautiful children with their impeccable politeness, not to mention their envious appetite for everything their mother would put before them.

chestnut cream bundt cake chocolate chips

As I look back on my time at the Manger Workshop, it becomes apparent that it has had more of an impact on me than I had first thought, but in a way which I hadn’t expected. Mimi had a calmness to her which was very appealing, particularly in light of the fact that her children would frequently flit about her with their small demands (like most children do), yet Mimi still found a way to put her children at ease whilst, at the same time, conduct a workshop for a bunch of strangers loitering in her family kitchen.

These days, when my children attempt to rupture my zen whilst I am trying to get myself sorted in the kitchen, I find myself briefly pausing and asking myself, “What would Mimi do?” First, maybe Mimi’s children wouldn’t be flat out on the kitchen floor, taking up valuable real estate in our tiny kitchen, and hysterical because they want pasta and I am cooking rice. But it is nevertheless reassuring to have a role model to look up to; the day my children beg me for foie gras on toast (which I witnessed Mimi’s children doing), I will know that I have achieved something!

chestnut cream bundt cake chocolate chips

I think something Mimi and I have in common is our love for sweetened chestnut cream. During her workshop, she showed us how to make a very rich, but very simple, chocolate chestnut cake which contained a tin of this favourite ingredient of ours. The cake was dark and moist, almost like a pudding, and several in our group recreated this cake for Christmas dinner recently.

I was all set to make this cake one evening when I came across Mimi’s latest blog post which had a recipe for a Vanilla Chestnut Cake. I was instantly reminded of a cake which my aunt used to make often whenever I visited her in Basel, a city in the north-west of Switzerland which borders with both France and Germany. I have some memories of eating a chestnut cream loaf cake with bars of (Lindt) chocolate served alongside. It wasn’t a fancy cake, by any means, but it evoked happy memories.

And Mimi’s Vanilla Chestnut Cake is utterly delicious and addictive. I took the liberty to add dark chocolate chips to the cake, and my family and I finished the cake in almost one sitting. I think they will, too, have happy memories of this cake. There is just one slice left, and I am claiming that for my breakfast tomorrow.

chestnut cream bundt cake chocolate chips

Chestnut Cream Bundt Cake with Chocolate Chips

chestnut cream bundt cake

A simple and delicious bundt cake using sweetened chestnut cream. Recipe adapted from Mimi Thorisson

  • Author:
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 50 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4-6

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 500 g (18 oz) sweetened chestnut cream
  • 80 g (1/3 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 55 g (1/2 cup) plain flour, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of fine sea salt
  • 50 g (1/3 cup) dark chocolate chips
  • icing sugar, for dusting

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
  2. Whisk the eggwhites until stiff peaks form.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat together the egg yolks, sweetened chestnut cream, and butter.
  4. Gently mix through the flour, baking powder and salt.
  5. Gently fold through the eggwhites, a few large spoonfuls at a time, through the cake batter. Take care not to lose too much air.
  6. Once all of the eggwhites have been added to the cake batter, gently fold through the chocolate chips.
  7. Grease a small Bundt tin with butter or a non-stick baking spray, and dust with flour. Tip the Bundt cake over the sink and shake out any excess flour. (Note: I used a Bundt tin with 750 ml / 3 cup capacity).
  8. Pour the batter into the cake tin and bake for 40-50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  9. Leave the the cake to cool on a wire rack for about 15 minutes before gently removing the cake from the tin.
  10. Leave the cake to cool completely on a wire rack. Dust with icing sugar before serving.

Kitchen Notes

For most plain cakes, I like to use a fancy cake tin to make them more special. Here, I used a small Bundt tin with 750 ml (3 cup) capacity. If you don’t have a Bundt tin, you could, of course, bake the cake in a 21 cm (9 inch) round cake tin. The cake might take less time to cook in a normal round cake tin as it is not as deep as a Bundt tin, so start checking with a skewer after 35 minutes or so.

If you can’t find sweetened chestnut cream near you, you could try to make some yourself, provided that you can find pre-cooked chestnuts (whether frozen, tinned or in vacuum-sealed packs). My recipe for Mont Blanc Pavlova contains instructions on how to make your own sweetened chestnut cream.

Share your photos!

If you have tried this recipe, I would love to hear how it turned out! Please leave a comment below and share your photos by tagging @eatlittlebird on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, and using #eatlittlebird

 

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53 Comments

  1. Sarah 30 January 2017

    I am completely intrigued by that chestnut cream! Can’t wait to try this recipe!

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 30 January 2017

      Chestnut cream is a very French product, but if you can find it near you (most likely online), it can be addictive!

      Reply
  2. Sarah @ Champagne Tastes 30 January 2017

    I was just trying to figure out what to do with some chestnut cream! This is fabulous!

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 30 January 2017

      I hope you will get a chance to try this recipe! It’s a really delicious cake 🙂

      Reply
  3. Debra C. 30 January 2017

    Such wonderful foodie memories! I just smiled thinking of your kids “helping” in your kitchen – so fun! The recipe looks absolutely divine too, beautiful photos!!

    Reply
  4. Julie 30 January 2017

    What a delicious looking recipe. I haven’t tried chestnuts in bakery. Photos are lovely.

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 30 January 2017

      Thanks, Julie! As chestnuts are readily available where I live, I use it quite a lot in cooking and baking 🙂

      Reply
  5. Boastful Food 30 January 2017

    Wow. Just wow. I need this in my life right now.

    Reply
  6. valmg @ From Val's Kitchen 30 January 2017

    What a lovely looking cake, I think I want to look for a pan like that. I’ve never had chestnut cream, I bet it’s an interesting flavor.

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 30 January 2017

      This Bundt cake pan is very common in western Europe, or at least in France, Germany, Switzerland and Austria. I hope you will get a chance to try chestnut cream one day – it’s absolutely delicious and addictive.

      Reply
  7. Vanessa Price 30 January 2017

    How unique! I’ve never heard of chestnut spread before, but I’m sure I would love it. And I love your pictures.

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 30 January 2017

      Thanks, Vanessa! Chestnut spread (or chestnut cream) is typically found in France. If you can find it near you (most likely online), I would definitely recommend trying it!

      Reply
  8. linda spiker 30 January 2017

    Beautiful little cake and that cream! I can’t wait to try it!

    Reply
  9. Stephanie@ApplesforCJ 30 January 2017

    This is such a beautiful looking cake. I’ve never used chestnut cream so will have to check it out. Loving the addition of dark chocolate chips!

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 30 January 2017

      Chestnut cream is one of my favourite ingredients. We sometimes eat it just as it is with some whipped cream. Yum!

      Reply
  10. Beeta @ Mon Petit Four 31 January 2017

    I love this cake! It looks beautiful and I can imagine so very delicious. One thing I always notice is the prominence of chestnut cream in Europe vs here in the States. It’s a shame we don’t use it here in the U.S. more as its divine! Also Mimi is all of our role models when it comes to parenting #mommygoals! 🙂

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 31 January 2017

      Thank you, Beeta! I was first introduced to chestnut cream when I visited my family in Switzerland as a child. It’s really popular in cakes and desserts here in winter. Whenever I returned to Australia, I always had cravings for chestnut cream! Thankfully, these days, I can find it easily in Zurich 🙂

      Reply
  11. Manila Spoon 31 January 2017

    Wow! What a gorgeous cake! I am totally intrigued with the chestnut cream and spread and hope to find it in the UK and bring it back to the US when I visit. I can see myself having 3 helpings of that cake!

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 31 January 2017

      You might be able to find this chestnut cream at some specialty stores in the UK, particularly in London. Otherwise, hopefully you will be able to buy it online in the US. It’s a wonderful ingredient to become acquainted with 🙂

      Reply
  12. What a gorgeous looking cake! I love hearing about your kids and what would Mimi do!

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 31 January 2017

      LOL!! My kids can drive me crazy on some days or be complete angels at other times. It was fun watching them play together with Mimi’s younger children 🙂

      Reply
  13. Kathryn @ FoodieGirlChicago 31 January 2017

    I’m definitely intrigued by chestnut cream – need to check that out. Such a beautiful cake – wonderful photos too!

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 31 January 2017

      Thanks, Kathryn! Hopefully you will be able to find it near you. P.S. We lived near Chicago for a few years and I have such fond memories!

      Reply
  14. Just Jo 31 January 2017

    I saw this cake over on Instagram Thanh and it had me running back home to see if I had some chestnut purée left in the cupboard! I adore that stuff and I love the look of this cake 😀

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 31 January 2017

      Thanks, Jodie! The recipe uses quite a bit of chesnut purée but you won’t regret it 🙂

      Reply
  15. Byron Thomas 31 January 2017

    How have I never heard of chestnut spread!? I really need to find me some of that! I’m such a bundt cake fanatic, so as soon as I saw the first photo, I was hooked. Looks so delicious!

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 31 January 2017

      Thanks, Byron! I like to bake a lot of plain-looking cakes in Bundt tins – it makes them suddenly look not so plain anymore. Hope you will get a chance to try chestnut spread one day!

      Reply
  16. linda spiker 31 January 2017

    This recipe is so pretty I came back for a second look! That cake looks so delicate and your styling is on point!

    Reply
  17. Kylee from Kylee Cooks 31 January 2017

    Wow – how I have not seen or heard of chestnut spread?! I feel like I’m missing something REALLY GOOD!

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 31 January 2017

      I hope you will get a chance to try it someday! It truly is really delicious 🙂

      Reply
  18. Ashley - Forking Up 31 January 2017

    I’ve never made a bundt cake, but I’ve always wanted to. The pan you use here is gorgeous!

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 31 January 2017

      Bundt tins have a way of making any plain cake look special. My tip is to use lots of non-stick baking spray to make sure the cake comes out easily. Hope you will try to make a Bundt cake one of these days!

      Reply
  19. Anne Murphy 31 January 2017

    Never had chestnut in a cake – now I’m intrigued! They have such a sweet, rich flavor to begin with… And I agree about using a Bundt pan for a simple cake!

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 1 February 2017

      You’re right – the sweetness of the chestnuts makes them lovely to use in cakes. Hope you will get to try it one day!

      Reply
  20. Tara @ Simple Food 365 31 January 2017

    That cake looks beautiful! I love the decorative bundt pans. I’ve never used chestnut cream before, but it sounds fantastic.

    Reply
  21. Oana@AdoreFoods 1 February 2017

    Such a fabulous looking bundt cake! I am obsessed with bundt cakes and yours is just perfection! So surprised to see chestnut spread used for this recipe. Had no clue it exists and that can be used for cakes. I really have to make this!

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 1 February 2017

      Thank you! Hope you will get a chance to try chestnut spread one day!

      Reply
  22. Kally 1 February 2017

    Love the picture of the cake and must be delicious. One question though the picture of the product is chestnut speed. Is it the chestnut cream that called for the recipe? Thanks for your help. Kally

    Reply
  23. Kally 1 February 2017

    Typo mistake, I meant chestnut spread shown on the picture. Is it the same as chestnut cream?

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 1 February 2017

      Hi Kally,
      Yes, the chestnut spread in the photo is what I used in this cake. I call it chestnut cream because that is how it is called in French (crème de marrons). Sorry if this is confusing!

      Reply
      • Kally 3 February 2017

        Thank you. It’s clear now. I will get the ingredients and hope it turn out.

        Reply
  24. Sarah | Away From the Box 1 February 2017

    It sounds like your (and Mimi’s) kitchen is a wonderful place to be. This cake seems just delicious, and MY GOODNESS your photos are gorgeous! I am definitely saving this recipe.

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 1 February 2017

      Hi Sarah,
      Thanks for your lovely words! Hope you will get a chance to try this recipe one day 🙂

      Reply
  25. Sandhya Ramakrishnan 2 February 2017

    I have never tasted chestnut cream and I am tempted to taste some. The bundt cake looks marvelous and love your clicks! I am going to try to see if I can spot chestnut spread or cream somewhere here in the US.

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 2 February 2017

      Thanks, Sandhya! If you can’t find it at a specialty store, you should be able to find it online, for example at Amazon. I hope you will get a chance to try it!

      Reply
  26. I’ve never heard of chestnut cream before – I need to try some. I also love your bundt pan. I’m doing a series of bundt cakes this month so I’m always scoping out new bundt shapes!

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 2 February 2017

      This Bundt tin is perhaps the most popular in Switzerland – it’s available everywhere, even in the supermarkets. But I have such a soft spot for Bundt tins and am always collecting new shapes, much to the dismay of my husband!

      Reply
  27. […] the last cake I baked contained chocolate chips, I opted to keep this Swiss Apple Cake fairly simple with just raisins. […]

    Reply

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