Finding chestnut puree was difficult but we accidentally stumbled on it in a specialty store in Seattle while visiting my son. We ended up mailing it home as TSA has restrictions on what can go into carry-on luggage! We found whole chestnuts here in Rochester at our well-stocked Wegmans.
I started baking this the day before I was to serve it, spending lots of time shaving chocolate (which is somehow very satisfying--much easier than chopping onions!)
I made a lovely caramel which was lightly flavored with cinnamon by adding a cinnamon stick while cooking. Then the caramel is poured over a mixture of milk and bittersweet chocolate, stirred, and chilled overnight.
The cake is baked in a 9" square pan and includes the chestnut puree. Once cooled, the cake is sliced horizontally into three layers using a long serrated knife (or a not-quite-long-enough serrated knife in my case!).
|Slicing into layers|
|A layer ready for the syrup|
|Ganache on the middle layer|
|Then chopped chestnuts on the middle layer|
|Ganache over all|
|The bittersweet chocolate glaze|
|The decorative chestnuts add the final touch!|
|A view of the cake eaten halfway.|