… Chestnut cake – lighter homemade version …

Dad loves chestnuts. I remember when I was a little girl, he always bought a full bag of roasted chestnuts (hand fried!) from the street hawkers in Kwun Tong on winter days, and the two of us always finished the bag in no time.
This year I made him a chestnut cake on his birthday. The cake is lighter than the store bought ones because I’ve used vegan whipping cream and non sweetened chestnut puree. Instead of  chiffon cake, this time I had a sponge cake as the base. Sponge cakes have a relatively more robust texture and a stronger egg aroma.
I have mentioned about Pour N Whip Topping (愛護牌甜忌廉) in the Disney Frozen Cake post. There are a few characteristics of this kind of vegan whipping cream:

1) it’s cheaper in price (around $30 HKD for a box of 907g)

2) it has a much longer shelf life as they are often sold frozen; you can divide the frozen cream block into a few pieces and put them in several zip lock bags for storage then you can then thaw the portion that you need each time

3) it’s easier to whip compared to dairy cream

4) it’s often slightly sweetened so you might not need to add any sugar to it

5) it’s a good option for vegetarians and those with lactose intolerance
It sounds pretty ideal, but after all it’s not made of milk so it won’t taste as rich and creamy as dairy cream. I personally would only use it for whipping and would still go back to dairy cream when it comes to desserts like creme brulee and cheesecake.
A lot of people like using the chestnut puree that comes in a toothpaste like container. I almost went with that, but mum found out about this canned chestnut puree which is unsweetened and cheaper. If you taste the puree straight out of the can it will be rather tasteless and stiff, so I made the filling by mixing the puree with the whipped vegan cream.
Chestnut cake 
Makes a 7″ round cake
sponge cake
… 6 eggs
… 120g cake flour
… 120g sugar
… 60g melted butter
… vanilla essence
topping and filling
… 300g vegan cream (thawed)
… 1/2 can of chestnut puree
… 1 pack of instant chestnut snack
1. Preheat oven to 180*C
2. Using an electric mixer, beat eggs and sugar until the colour is pale, the texture is thick and the volume has tripled (around 5-6 minutes)
3. Sieve the cake flour into the mixture and pour in the melted butter and vanilla essence. Gently mix with a spatula until just combined.
4. Grease the cake pan and pour in the batter.
5. Bake for around 25 minutes. Insert a long toothpick into the middle of the cake to check if it’s ready.
6. Take out the cake from the oven and remove it from the cake pan. Leave to cool.
7. Use the electric mixer to whip up the vegan cream
8. Scoop out half of the whipped cream and set aside. Mix the chestnut puree with the rest of the cream.
9. Cut the cake half into 2 thinner pieces. Spread some chestnut cream in between the two layers.
10. Apply the white cream on the surface of the cake
11. To decorate, use a piping bag to pipe the remaining chestnut cream on the cake. Lastly, place the chestnuts on top.

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