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Chocolate and Chestnut Torte

250g Valrhona Caraibe , roughly chopped
150g Lewis Road unsalted butter
250g Bio chestnut purée
1 tsp Heilala vanilla extract
1 tsp finely grated orange zest
3 Tbsp Pedro Ximénez sherry
4 large free-range eggs, separated
⅔ cup caster sugar

Chestnut Cream
185g (remainder of the tin) Bio chestnut purée
¼ cup icing sugar
2-3 Tbsp Pedro Ximénez sherry
100g Zany Zeus mascarpone
icing sugar for dusting

Preheat the oven to 180˚C. Grease and fully line a 24 cm springform cake tin with baking paper.

Melt the chocolate and butter in a large bowl set over a pot of simmering water.

Put the chestnut puree in a bowl and break up with a fork. Cover and heat in the microwave for 1 minute then beat until smooth. Add the vanilla extract, orange zest and sherry and combine.

Beat the egg yolks into the chocolate then whisk in the chestnut mixture until smooth.

Beat the egg whites to soft peaks, add the sugar in 3 lots and beat until thick and glossy. Using a large metal spoon, gently but thoroughly fold the meringue into the chocolate mixture.

Pour into the cake tin, smooth the top and bake for 30 minutes or until the torte is just set in the centre. Remove from the oven and place a damp piece of muslin over the top of the cake and leave to cool completely in the tin. Remove the cake from the tin and place on a serving plate. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours or overnight if possible.

To serve: Beat the chestnut puree, icing sugar and sherry together until smooth then fold in the mascarpone. Dust the torte with icing sugar and serve the chestnut cream separately.

Cake will keep up to 4 days, covered, in the refrigerator.


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