apple, pear & chestnut cake
I can’t begin to describe this cake. I can’t even tell you how long I’ve been dreaming of making this. The idea of something that’s light, fluffy and topped with a decadent buttercream is something I’ve been planning to create for quite some time now. As it’s my 19th birthday tomorrow, I decided that this was the right time to put my idea into action. And, after days of experimentation and planning, voila! My Apple, Pear and Chestnut Cake was born.
Chestnuts are a complete unsung hero, and right now I am completely in awe of them. To create this cake’s light and fluffy texture, I used chestnut flour – which is unbelievable, and an unsweetened chestnut puree. I then combined it with mild flavours of pear and apple, and rich cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg spices, which complement each other perfectly. For sweetness, I used maple syrup and coconut sugar – as it is my birthday after all!
This cake is pure, sugary heaven. To finish off the extravagance, I created a coconut sugar butter icing. For the icing sugar effect, I blended the coconut sugar into a powder using my NutriBullet (if you don’t have one you could use a strong blender or a nut grinder). Then, I combined it with a dairy free spread and coconut cooking butter (as it has no coconut taste). It’s so delicious! This cake was just as fun making it as it was eating it, and I can already see myself making it time and time again.
To decorate the cake, I sandwiched and topped it with the butter icing, before sprinkling with cinnamon. Then, I placed it onto my new beautiful wooden slab from Notonthehighstreet, which arrived in perfect timing for my birthday! The colours went so well with the cake, and finished off the style of the dessert perfectly! If you like it, you can also buy it here!
I hope you enjoy the cake!
apple, pear & chestnut cake
serves about 15
for the cake:
1 tbsp flax seeds + 2 tbsp water
1 cup (160g) brown rice flour
1 cup (135g) millet flour
1/2 cup (65g) chestnut flour
1 cup (145g) coconut palm sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp baking powder
2 Braeburn apples (225g)
1 pear (135g)
1/3 cup (80ml) maple syrup
3/4 cup (185ml) sunflower oil
1/2 cup (125g) unsweetened chestnut purée
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
for the butter icing:
2 cups (285g) coconut palm sugar
1/2 cup (100g) tiana’s cooking coconut butter
1/2 cup (100g) refrigerated dairy free spread – I used vitalite
PREHEAT YOUR OVEN TO 180C / 356 F
1. Firstly, prepare your flax egg by combining the flax seeds and water into a bowl. Stir together and then set aside whilst you prepare the next steps. Then, add the rice flour, millet flour, coconut sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and baking powder into a large mixing bowl. Stir together until well mixed, then set aside.
2. Core and roughly chop your apples and pear. Then, add them into a blender with the sunflower oil, maple syrup, chestnut purèe and apple cider vinegar. Blend until smooth. Next, pour the liquid mixture into your large mixing bowl, followed by your flax ‘egg’. Using a spatula, stir all of the ingredients together until a smooth, gooey cake batter has formed. Then, divide the mixture into two and pour into two round 7.5″ (19cm) cake tins.
3. Transfer the cake halves into the oven and bake for about 35 minutes, until the tops are firm to touch and you can put a skewer through them which comes out clean. When the cakes have finished baking, remove from the oven and set aside to cool completely. (I like to speed this up by placing them in the freezer).
4. When the cakes have cooled, make your butter icing. Firstly, add the sugar into a high powered blender/NutriBullet/nut grinder and blitz until fine. This only took about 30 seconds – 1 minute using my Nutribullet, but the length of time will depend on the equipment used. Then, remove the dairy free spread from the fridge and add it into a food processor with the coconut butter and process quickly to mix together. Then, add in half of the coconut sugar and blend until smooth, followed by the remaining half of coconut sugar and blend again until smooth. When this is done, transfer the icing into a bowl and into the fridge to cool.
5. When the cakes have completely cooled, remove them from their tins. Remove the the icing from the fridge, and using a spatula, sandwich between the two cake halves and spread on top of the cake. Lastly, sprinkle with cinnamon before slicing and serving!
* It’s very important that you allow the cake to cool, as the butter icing is fairly soft and will melt. Don’t worry if this happens though as the coconut sugar in the middle melts and goes all caramelly which still tastes delicious! This happened when it came to the day I photographed the cake – I was too impatient! I’ve included a photo that shows this, so don’t worry! I also used the photo so that you could see the texture of the sponge.