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Chestnut Chiffon Cake with Warm Apples and Candied Walnuts | Hands On Gourmet

Serves 8-10 people

Ingredients

For the Cake

12 egg whites
1 ½ cups sugar

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ cups sugar

12 egg yolks
1 cup chestnut puree
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ cup water
¾ cup browned melted butter
Pinch salt

For the Candied Walnuts

Nonstick spray
½ pound of walnuts
3 tablespoon light corn syrup, honey, or maple
2 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt

For the Apples

¼ (half a stick) cup butter
4 large apples, preferably of the tart and crisp varieties like Granny Smith, Pink Lady, Braeburn, Honeycrisp, etc.), peeled, cored and sliced ¼ inch thick or medium diced

For the Toffee Sauce

2 cups cream
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
3 tablespoon Bourbon or Brandy

For the Whipped Cream

2 cups cream
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
3 tablespoon Bourbon or Brandy

Instructions

For the Cake

Preheat the oven to 325.  Line two 9” cake pans with parchment and spray with pan spray.

In a bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and ½ cup sugar.  In a separate bowl, whisk the water and chestnut puree first, breaking up the clumpy puree, it is okay if there are still small chunks of it. Add egg yolks, vanilla, oil, and salt to combine thoroughly.

Whip the egg whites in a stand mixer.  Once the whites reach soft peaks, slowly add 1 cup of sugar and continue to whip to stiff peaks.

Whisk the egg yolk mix into the dry flour mix until smooth.  Fold one third of the whipped whites into the yolk mixture.  Then fold in the rest. Pour into baking pans and bake for about 25-30 minutes, rotating halfway through cooking.  Bake until set and golden.  Cool to room temperature.

For the Walnuts

Preheat oven to 325°F. Spray baking sheet with nonstick spray. Combine walnuts and all remaining ingredients in medium bowl; toss to coat. Spread nut mixture on Silpat or prepared baking sheet (some nuts may clump together). Bake until nuts are deep golden and sugar mixture is bubbling, stirring occasionally to break up clumps, about 15-20 minutes. Cool completely on baking sheet.

For the Apples

Heat large saute pan to medium-high heat and melt butter. Add apples and cook for about 5 mins, stirring until they are tender, but still keeping its shape and lightly browned. Remove from heat, put in bowl and set aside. On the same pan, you can make your toffee sauce!

For the  Toffee Sauce

Put all ingredients in sauce pan and cook until boiling, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 8 minutes or until slightly thick and caramel color. Add apples back into the sauce, toss together and it’s ready to serve.

For the  Whipped Cream

Whisk the cream in a stand mixer.  When it starts to thicken, add the sugar, vanilla, and rum.  Continue to whip until it forms stiff peaks.  Chill and serve cold.

To Serve

Serve the cake sliced, spoon warms apples and toffee sauce all over (oh yeah!), top with whipped cream and garnish with candied walnuts. Life is good.

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