Do you have a favorite mixing spoon or a jinxed baking pan?
I admit I have both. No matter what I bake, I have to mix with my favorite wooden spoon. The jinxed baking pan is a completely different story. It is that cute and tiny Bundt cake pan that is begging to be put in the oven. Once out of the oven, it starts misbehaving and creating chaos! This is what happened with this chocolate chestnut pound cake – I had a flopped cake and crumbs all over the kitchen counter and kitchen floor. Arghhhhh! After a cool down period, I resorted to my not so cute and tiny but trusted spring pan. Maybe, I am finally due for a new Bundt pan!
In the first cookbook written by an American in 1796, Amelia Simmons uses one-pound amounts of sugar, flour, butter, and eggs for her pound cake. Although this recipe deviates from the traditional pound cake recipe, it still makes a rich and decadent cake. The sweet and nutty chestnut flour flavor is complemented by the earthy hazelnuts and pure chocolate.
This is a delicious and happy melt-in-your mouth cake! Of course, we ate the flopped cake too!
Wondering where to buy chestnut flour? Try Italian specialty food stores, health-food stores, or online retailers. I ended up buying dried roasted chestnuts that I milled to powder in a high-speed blender.
Chocolate Chestnut Pound Cake
Adapted from Pure Dessert by Alice Medrich
1 cup (130 g) all-purpose flour
1 cup (130 g) whole wheat flour
1 cup (130 g) chestnut flour
1 tablespoon (15 mL) unsweetened cocoa powder
½ (2 mL) teaspoon baking powder
½ (2 mL) teaspoon baking soda
½ (2 mL) teaspoon salt
2 sticks (225 g) butter, at room temperature
2 cups (400 g) sugar
1 teaspoon (5 mL) pure vanilla
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2/3 cup (160 mL) buttermilk
1/3 cup (80 mL) dark rum or cognac
4 oz (120 g) unsweetened chocolate, melted
7 oz (200 g) coarsely chopped roasted hazelnuts
- Preheat the oven to 325F and position the rack in the middle. Generously butter and flour a 12 cup Bundt pan.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flours, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Sift the dry ingredients.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat sugar and butter on medium speed until creamy. Mix in eggs one at a time, until well combined. Add vanilla.
- Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients and beat on low speed until well combined. Add ½ of the buttermilk and ½ of the rum and mix until the liquid is absorbed. Repeat with the remaining 1/3 of the dry ingredients and all the remaining buttermilk and rum and mix until the liquid is absorbed. Add the remaining 1/3 of the dry ingredients and mix until combined.
- Finally, add the melted chocolate and roughly chopped roasted hazelnuts.
- Spoon batter into the prepared Bundt pan and smooth with a spatula.
- Bake until a tester inserted into center of the cake comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool for 15 minutes. Unmold cake from pan and cool completely before slicing.
Note: To roast the hazelnuts, preheat the oven to 350F and position the rack in the middle. Roast the hazelnuts on a baking sheet until fragrant, around 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and wrap the hazelnuts in a towel for 5 minutes. With the palm of your hand, rub the towel back and forth to skin the hazelnuts. Let cool and chop roughly.
To melt the chocolate, chop it roughly and put it in a heatproof bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, making sure that the water does not touch the bowl. Stir the chocolate from time to time, until it is completely melted. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.