Oh, if only I was one of those super organised, "have their sh*t together", talented and accomplished people who can just throw something together effortlessly and it comes out perfect every time. Unfortunately that's not the case and probably never will be. I regularly misread recipes, directions and timings. What I then do is what I'd call improvising and being creative, Monsieur calls it something else entirely...
So, bearing my chaotic side in mind, here's what I created on Sunday. Whilst tidying up I found a large tin of just-about-in-date chestnut spread/purée. Naturally, I thought I should do something with it. So, vaguely remembering a recipe for a cake, I set to work. How hard can it be, right? Erm, well, that depends on where your thoughts wander off to whilst reading the amounts chestnut spread in the tin I guess. See, the original recipe called for 500g of it. I, however, put the entire 992g tin in which I suddenly realised just as I was about to put the cake into the oven. So, what to do? Well, I decided to wing it, adjust the oven temperature and the baking time and hope for the best. This was obviously never going to result in a light cake. To be honest, I thought it was going to be a complete disaster, but I hate the idea of throwing away food especially in such quantities. So, keeping my fingers crossed, I carried on, checked it occasionally and took it out of the oven after over an hour of baking.
And the result? Well, it was not what I had initially set out to create (a cake), but it actually turned out really good! A total accident, but a very happy one. Imagine a big, gooey chestnut brownie with a slightly crispy crust on the outside, possibly more suitable as a dessert than a cake, but that's absolutely fine. Yes, that's exactly how it came out and it was glorious! Perfect with a cup of tea on a cold autumn afternoon. So, if you want to give my accidental dessert a go, read on as here's my, erm, recipe:
You will need:
- 992g sweetened chestnut purée
- 3 large eggs, separated
- 80g golden caster sugar
- 50g plain flour, sifted
- 60g soft, unsalted butter
- 2tsp vanilla extract
- extra butter to grease your baking tin
- a pinch of salt
And here's how it's done:
- Preheat your oven to 220C and grease a 24cm spring form.
- Beat the egg yolks, sugar and vanilla extract until light in colour and thickened.
- Add the chestnut purée and the butter and mix until all combined and smooth.
- In a separate bowl whisk the egg whites with the pinch of salt until it forms stiff peaks.
- Add the sifted flour to the chestnut mixture and mix together.
- Now add the egg whites to the mix and gently fold in until combined.
- Pour the mix into your baking tin and put into the oven.
- Leave at 220C for 15 minutes and then turn the temperature down to 175C.
- Bake for a further 55 minutes.
- Now take it out of the oven, release the sides from the form and leave to cool for a little while.
- Serve whilst still warm (though it's also very good cold) with warm vanilla custard.