The annual consumption of chestnut in Hungary is about 2000-3000 tons, most of this quantity (despite that chestnut is a versatile food that can be used in both salty and sweet dishes) is eaten as a purée with whipped cream (the latter is among the 10 best-loved desserts in our country). Chestnut is, however, used in cakes and pastries as well.
Hungarian store-bought chestnut purée is quick-frozen and 250 grams in weight. This purée is usually combined with butter and whipped cream, and flavoured with rum and vanilla. Chestnut is often paired with sour cherries, which can compensate its sweetness.
For the cake:
- 6 eggs
- 5 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 4 tbsp flour
- 100 g (~3 1/2 oz) ground walnuts
- 7 g (~2 tsp) baking powder
- pinch of salt
For the filling:
- 500 g (~1 lb) chestnut purée
- 120 g (~1 cup) powdered sugar
- 100 g (~1/2 cup) butter
- 2-3 tsp rum extract
- 300 ml (~1 1/4 cups) whipping cream
- 200 g (~1/2 lb) pitted sour cherries
- 4-5 tbsp sour cherry jam
For the decoration:
- 100 ml (~1/2 cup) whipping cream
- 1/2 tbsp sugar
- 15-25 sour cherries
- 30-40 g (~1-1 1/2 oz) ground walnut
Line a 25 cm/ 10 inch springform round cake tin with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
In a small bowl combine flour, baking powder and cocoa. Separate the eggs. Whip the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff peaks form. In another mixing bowl beat egg yolks with sugar until pale. Gradually mix in the flour-cocoa mixture, then the ground walnuts. Finally gently fold in the whipped egg whites. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for about 35-40 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool the cake on wire rack.
For the filling cream butter and powdered sugar. Add chestnut purée and rum extract, and mix until well combined. Whip the cold cream until very stiff and fold into the chestnut cream. Put the filling into the fridge for 30 minutes.
With a sharp, serrated knife cut the cake horizontally into half. Spread both layers with jam. Place one layer on a plate and spread 1/3 of the chestnut filling on the top. Arrange pitted sour cherries on the filling and cover with another 1/3 of the cream. Put the other cake layer, jam side down, on the top of the filling. Spread the top and sides of the cake with the remaining cream, and coat the sides with ground walnuts. Chill the cake for at least 3-4 hours. Before serving decorate it with sweetened whipped cream and sour cherries.