Ingredients for the chestnut layer:
1 small egg white (save the egg yolk for the chocolate mousse)
A pinch of cream of tartar
1 table spoon powder sugar
1 large egg
40 grams (1,4 oz) Muscovado sugar
40 grams (1,4 oz) butter, at room temperature
80 grams (2,8 oz) chestnut meal (boiled and peeled chestnuts – learn how to boil them)
25 grams (0,9 oz) rice flour
A pinch of salt
40 grams (1,4 oz) sugar
50 grams (1,8 oz) raw nuts (pistachios, pecan, almond, hazelnut or mix of all)
Preheat your oven to 180C, fan-forced (350F, fan-forced). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (I used 20×20 cm. rectangular baking sheet). I wanted to make the layer as thin as possible, so I used bigger baking dish, but in case you want to have the layer thicker, just use a smaller baking dish.
Beat the egg white with the cream of tartar ( don’t add too much cream of tartar or your egg white will have a sour taste) in a medium bowl until soft peaks form. Add the powder sugar and continue to beat until meringue turns glossy and light and stiff peaks form. Set aside.
In another bowl beat the eggs with muscovado sugar until the mixture becomes fluffy and thickens a bit. Beat in the butter until all is combined.
Gently fold in the chestnut meal, rice flour and a pinch of salt. Stir until all ingredients combine.
Gently fold in the egg white.
Pour the batter onto the baking sheet and even the top with a spatula.
Bake about 7-10 minutes or until the layer turns golden brown.
Remove from oven and before you continue with making the mousse you will need to cut the chestnut layer while it is still hot.
You will need cooking rings for these mini cakes. Grease 3 rings with coconut butter or other unflavored oil/butter.
Using the rings, cut out of the almond layer 3 circles, which will turn into base for your mini cakes.
Place all rings on a large serving plate with parchment paper. Fit in one cake circle in every ring, press to reach the bottom and stick to the paper. Set aside.
In a small bowl combine the chocolate and 60 ml. of heavy whipping cream. Heat t in the microwave oven until cream is so hot that the chocolate starts melting. Stir with a small spoon until the chocolate melts and the mixture is glossy and smooth. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan whisk the egg yolk and sugar until pale. Add vanilla extract and start cooking on medium / medium-low heat (depending on how strong your stove is). Whisk almost constantly until sugar dissolves and the egg yolk mixture is hot to the touch. Cook egg yolks on medium low heat until you temper them, then you can turn the heat up a bit and continue cooking until the mixture thickens. Make sure to whisk often to avoid curdling the eggs.
Once the sugar dissolves and the mixture is thickened, remove from the heat and add the chocolate-cream mixture. Stir until all combines and the mixture is smooth. Set aside.
Place 5 grams (1/2 sachet) of gelatine in a small heatproof bowl with 10 ml. water and let it sit for a few minutes. Place the bowl with the gelatine over a small saucepan with simmering water. Let the gelatine heats until liquid smooth, crystal clear like water, only little yellowish. Set aside to cool off for a bit. Add it to the chocolate-egg mixture and stir to combine completely. Fold in the heavy whipping cream and gently stir with a rubber spatula.
Make the caramelized nuts:
Add sugar to a small saucepan. Don’t stir, set it over medium heat. Cook until it melts completely and turns golden brown. Pour in the nuts and stir to coat all nuts. Remove from heat and immediately transfer the mixture to a large plate lined with parchment paper. let the nuts cool off completely then crush with a glass/rolling pan or in the food processor.
Once cakes are firm enough and the chocolate ganache is set, gently remove each cake from the rings, place on a dessert plate and sprinkle some of the nuts over.
1) If you can’t find cooked or raw chestnuts, just use any other kind of nuts that you prefer. Use the same quantity.
2) In case you don’t have cooking rings, you can prepare one cake, using a cake springform. Double the recipe for a 6inch cake springform.