Chestnut, blackcurrant and dark chocolate mousse cake

by Chiara

Seasonal baking can be so simple, even during fall.
Chestnuts are a familiar flavor in the colder months and in Switzerland you can get your hands on freshly roasted chestnuts at almost every corner.
I love their complex, sweet, nutty flavor with the rich, buttery texture. I mean, they’re one of my fave things about this time.
Last year I paired chestnuts with chocolate and blackcurrant and this match was winning me over. So, I decided to recreate this wonderful combo but experimenting a little with new techniques. And this cake is what came up!
The outside looks simple and clean, but the new special feature is inside. I created a pinwheel insert by combining layers of chestnut choux pastry sponge with layers of raspberry and blackcurrant compote and layers of silky and creamy Waina 35% white chocolate and chestnut whipped ganache.
Each single layer is not quite perfect – I have some progress to make – but the cake just tastes amazing and that’s what matters most!

The pinwheel insert is not very complicated to make, it requires only a little practice. It is a vertical stripe cake consisting of layers of soft and fluffy chestnut choux pastry sponge covered with a fresh and slightly tangy blackcurrant and raspberry compote and a creamy and light chestnut whipped ganache. The covered chestnut choux pastry is then cut into narrow strips and rolled up end to end into a spiral formation, which is then turned on its side and set inside the dark chocolate, wildflower honey and chestnut whipped ganache.
The choux pastry sponge is a French type sponge cake featured by choux pastry dough (pâte à choux) lightened with whipped egg whites. This biscuit sponge has a pliable and soft texture which is very easy to roll up.

The mousse cake is composed from:

  • Raspberry Inspiration crunchy layer.
    Valrhona has created some new “chocolate” couvertures called Inspiration, which have a veritable fruit flavor and an authentic and bright color ’cause they are composed by fruit or nut puree + cocoa butter + sugar.
    The crunchy layer is very easy to make and plus, it gives a delicious crunchiness. You just have to mix together the melted Raspberry Inspiration couverture with raw almonds cream and both caramelized maple syrup chocolate puff rice and buckwheat
  • Chestnut choux pastry sponge.
    It’s a French type sponge cake with a soft and flexible texture which is perfect to be rolled-up without cracking. Plus, it’s easy to make: you just have to make a choux pastry dough (pâte à choux) and then fold in the whipped egg whites
  • Blackcurrant and raspberry compote.
    It gives a fresh and slightly sour note which perfectly contrasts the sweetness of the chestnut whipped ganache
  • Chestnut whipped ganache.
    This whipped ganache has a very fluffy and creamy texture in addition to the nutty taste of chestnut with a mild hint of sweet vanilla given by the Waina 35% white chocolate.
    Make sure not to overwhip the ganache otherwise it will start to separate, become grainy and lose its light and shiny texture
  • Dark chocolate, wildflower honey and chestnut whipped ganache.
    I suggest you use a honey which is very rich in taste just like the chestnut honey or the wildflower honey. The honey elevates the fruity flavor of the Caraïbe 66% dark chocolate. The whipped ganache covers the pinwheel insert
  • Natural purple-colored mirror glaze

If you make this recipe, be sure to leave a comment or tag me on Instagram. I’d be more than happy to hear from you and to share your creations on my stories! And, of course, if you have any questions or doubts, I’m absolutely willing to respond you as quickly as possible. ♡



Chestnut, blackcurrant and dark chocolate mousse cake

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Serves: 6-8
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat

Ingredients

Chestnut choux pastry sponge
53 g unsweetened almond milk (A)
57 g butter, cubed
1,25 g (¼ tsp) Murray salt
84 g type 2 whole wheat flour (150-180W)
60 g chestnut paste
63 g eggs, to room temperature
98 g egg yolks, to room temperature
55 g unsweetened almond milk (B)
141 g egg whites, to room temperature
45 g caster sugar
15 g Dulcita raw cane sugar

Raspberry Inspiration crunchy layer
40 g Raspberry Inspiration couverture
40 g raw almonds cream
20 g gluten-free chocolate puff rice
20 g maple syrup grade C
20 g buckwheat
20 g maple syrup grade C
1,25 g (¼ tsp) Murray salt
5 g (1 tsp) Red Beet (natural food coloring)
2,5 g (½ tsp) Garnet Elderberry powder (natural food coloring)

Blackcurrant and raspberry compote
100 g blackcurrant puree
100 g raspberry puree
50 g acacia honey
62 g Dulcita raw cane sugar (A)
5 g pectin NH
25 g Dulcita raw cane sugar (B)
30 g lemon juice

Chestnut whipped ganache
96 g heavy cream 35% fat content (A)
12 g chestnut honey
66 g chestnut cream
84 g chestnut puree
102 g Waina 35% white chocolate
186 g heavy cream 35% fat content, cold (B)

Dark chocolate, wildflower honey and chestnut whipped ganache
4,1 g gelatin sheets gold strength (200 Bloom)
21 g cold water to soak the gelatin sheets
180 g heavy cream 35% fat content (A)
62 g wildflower honey
2 vanilla beans
75 g Caraïbe 66% dark chocolate
22,5 g cocoa butter
370 g heavy cream 35% m.g., cold (B)
275 g chestnut paste

Natural purple-colored mirror glaze
115 g water
100 g caster sugar
115 g trehalose sugar or caster sugar
215 g glucose syrup DE 40
12,5 g gelatin sheets gold strength (200 Bloom)
63 g cold water to soak the gelatin sheets
260 g Ivoire 35% white chocolate
100 g Absolu Cristal (neutral gelatin)
10 g (2 tsp) Red Beet (natural food coloring)
2,5 g (½ tsp) Blue Butterfly Pea (natural food coloring)
2,5 g (½ tsp) Purple Sweet Potato (natural food coloring)
5 g (1 tsp) Garnet Elderberry powder (natural food coloring)

Assembly and decoration 
tempered and purple colored Ivoire 35% white chocolate flexible band
tempered and purple colored Ivoire 35% white chocolate small squares 
tempered and purple colored Ivoire 35% white chocolate thin "crescents"
fresh raspberries
edible flowers

Instructions

Chestnut choux pastry sponge

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C, static mode. Grease a 32,5 x 32,5 cm silicone swiss roll mat (Silikomart tapis roulade) and place it on a baking tray.
  2. In a saucepan combine together almond milk (A), butter and salt and bring to simmer. When the butter has melted and the mixture is simmering, remove the saucepan from the heat and sieve the flour over the hot mixture. Stir well and vigorously with a exoglass spoon or a wooden spoon to combine everything.
  3. When there are no lumps remaining and the mixture is fully combined, return the saucepan to the heat. Cook on medium-low heat until the dough comes together into a smooth ball and a thin film forms on bottom of the pan (approximately 1 minute).
  4. Remove the saucepan from the heat and transfer the dough to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on a medium-low speed for a few minutes to cool the choux pastry down (50-60°C).
  5. Add the chestnut paste and beat for 1 minute or until it is fully combined.
  6. Place the eggs and yolks into a jug and break up by using a fork, then add into the batter and beat on medium speed until they are fully combined.
  7. Add slowly and little by little the almond milk (B) and beat on medium speed until it is fully combined. The batter is ready when it looks smooth and fluid. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula to ensure that everything is well combined.
  8. Whip the egg whites until they become foamy and frothy. When a light, soft foam is formed, add in the caster sugar mixed with Dulcita sugar in 3 times. Once all the sugar is added, whip until obtain a shiny and thick meringue.
  9. Gently incorporate the meringue into the batter with a scooping-and-folding motion. This method will prevent the air in the meringue from deflating and so, the sponge biscuit will rise in the oven and will be light and fluffy.
  10. Pour the mixture into the greased silicone mat and spread it out evenly with a palette knife, so that it is level with the top of the mat (I mean, 1 cm high, as the height of the silicone mat). Bake for approximatively 15-17 minutes. Keep a watchful eye on it towards the end of the baking time. Take it out too soon, and it will be damp and squidgy. Leave it too long, and it will be dry and liable to crack when rolled. It should be set, golden in color and still springy to the touch.
  11. Remove from the oven and cover immediately with clingfilm to keep the sponge biscuit from drying out and to preserve the moisture. Let it cool down then chill overnight.
    Once the sponge biscuit is completely chilled, place a sheet of parchment paper on top of the sponge, then flip it over. Carefully remove the tapis roulade. Store the sponge biscuit covered with clingfilm in the fridge until needed.

Raspberry Inspiration crunchy layer

  1. Preheat the oven to 155°C, ventilation mode. Line a perforated baking tray with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.
  2. In a bowl combine together chocolate puff rice with 20 g of maple syrup (the first amount), stirring well with a spatula to coat the puff rice with the maple syrup. Spread the mix onto the prepared baking tray and bake for about 15 minutes, until the puff rice are slightly golden and the maple syrup is caramelized and slightly reduced. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely at room temperature.
    Repeat the same step with the buckwheat and the second amount of maple syrup (20 g).
  3. Melt the Raspberry Inspiration in the microwave to 45°C. Add the raw almonds cream and combine well with a spatula to obtain a smooth batter. Add the natural food colorings and salt and stir. Add both caramelized puff rice and buckwheat and stir well with the spatula to obtain a grainy, evenly mixture.
  4. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and place on top a 16 cm stainless steel cake ring. Spread the croustillant into the ring, ensuring to make an evenly layer of about 5 mm thick. Lift up the ring and freeze until needed.

Blackcurrant and raspberry compote  

  1. In a saucepan combine together fruits puree with honey and Dulcita sugar (A) and heat to 40°C. In the meantime, in a small bowl mix together Dulcita sugar (B) with the pectin NH.
  2. When the fruits puree reach 40°C, add the mix of sugar-pectin NH and bring to boil, then cook for 1 minute at medium heat, stirring continuously with a rubber spatula.
  3. Remove the saucepan from the heat, add lemon juice and stir.
  4. Pour the compote into a baking dish, cover with clingfilm pressed on top and chill in the fridge overnight.
  5. The next day, transfer the chilled and thickened compote into a mixing glass and blend briefly with a hand blender to soften the puree.
  6. Fill a disposable piping bag with the soft and creamy puree and pipe strips of the same thickness and slightly spaced over the chestnut sponge biscuit. Level out the strips with a palette knife to entirely cover the sponge biscuit into an even layer of 1-2 mm thick. Place in the freezer and allow to thicken completely before spreading over the chestnut whipped ganache.

Chestnut whipped ganache

  1. Melt the white chocolate in the microwave to 45°C.
  2. Heat together the heavy cream (A) with honey and chestnut cream in the microwave without boiling, just to let the chestnut cream to dissolve into the cream.
  3. Add the hot cream to the melted chocolate in three times, stirring vigorously with a rubber spatula in a circular pattern to obtain a smooth, evenly ganache.
  4. Pour the ganache into a mixing glass and emulsify with a hand blender without adding air bubbles.
  5. Add slowly and to wire the cold heavy cream (B), blending contemporarily with the hand blender without adding air bubbles. Add finally the chestnut puree and emulsify until it is fully dissolved.
  6. Pour the ganache into a baking dish, cover with clingfilm pressed on top and chill overnight (12 h).
  7. Transfer the cold ganache in the bowl of a freestanding mixer fitted with whisk attachment. Whip the ganache on medium-high speed until medium peaks forms. The whipped ganache holds its shape well but is still soft and creamy. When you lift out the whisk, peak will form but the tip will fold back on itself. If you over-whip the ganache it will start to separate, to become grainy and to lose its shiny and silken texture.
  8. Fill a disposable piping bag fitted with round nozzle (Wilton 2A, 1 cm diameter) with the whipped ganache and pipe strips of the same thickness and slightly spaced over the frozen compote. Level out the strips with a palette knife to entirely cover the compote into an even layer of 1 cm thick. Freeze for at least 2h or until the whipped ganache is fully set.
  9. Once the whipped ganache is completely frozen, leave the sponge biscuit-compote-whipped ganache square at room temperature for about 5 minutes. If the square is completely frozen, it is impossibile to cut into strips and roll them up into a pinwheel.
  10. Use a heated knife to trim the edges of the square, then cut into 4 cm strips. Only cut one strip at a time, cleaning the blade between each cut. This ensures a neater and easier cut.
  11. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and trace the shape of a 16 cm cake ring.  It will serve as a guideline for creating the pinwheel.
    Take one strip of room-tempered biscuit sponge and, starting with the short end, roll it up. Place this spiral onto the centre of the circle drawn and position the exposed end of the spiral at the beginning of the next strip and keep rolling. Repeat the same step with the others strips until obtain a pinwheel of 16 cm wide. Freeze for at least 2h. Store the pinwheel in the freezer until the assemblage of the cake.

Dark chocolate, wildflower honey and chestnut whipped ganache

  1. Soak the gelatin sheets in cold water. Combine together dark chocolate and cocoa butter into a mixing glass.
  2. Heat the heavy cream (A) with honey and vanilla seeds in the microwave without boiling. Add the soaked gelatin sheets and stir to dissolve.
  3. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and emulsify with a hand blender to melt both chocolate and cocoa butter and to obtain a smooth cream. Make sure not to add so much air.
  4. Add slowly and to wire the cold heavy cream (B), blending contemporarily with the hand blender without adding air bubbles. Add finally the chestnut paste and emulsify once more to dissolve it into the cream.
  5. Pour the ganache into a baking dish, cover with clingfilm pressed on top and chill overnight (12h).
  6. Transfer the cold ganache in the bowl of a freestanding mixer fitted with whisk attachment. Whip the ganache on medium-high speed until medium peaks forms. The whipped ganache holds its shape well but is still soft and creamy. When you lift out the whisk, peak will form but the tip will fold back on itself. If you over-whip the ganache it will start to separate, to become grainy and to lose its shiny and silken texture.
  7. Place a 18 x 5 cm round silicone cake mould over a baking tray and wrap the side of the mould with an acetate strip of 7 cm high. This strip serves to increase the height of the mould because the original 5 cm aren't enough to include all the prepared ingredients.
  8. Pour a little of whipped ganache into the mould. Use a teaspoon to spread the whipped ganache up the sides of the acetate strip to eliminate any air bubbles and to avoid whitespace. Set inside the pinwheel insert and press it gently and slightly down so that it is almost submerged in the whipped ganache. Cover the insert with other whipped ganache, ensuring to leave a gap for the crunchy layer. Place the crunchy layer (with the smooth side upwards) on top of the whipped ganache and press it gently down until it is level with the top of the acetate strip. Remove any excess whipped ganache with a small palette knife and freeze for about 3-4h in a domestic freezer or about 1-2h in a blast freezer.

Natural purple-colored mirror glaze 

  1. Soak the gelatin sheets in cold water (63 g) for at least 10 minutes.
  2. Melt the white chocolate in the microwave to 45°C and pour into a mixing glass.
  3. Heat water (115 g), caster sugar, trehalose sugar and glucose syrup in a saucepan to 104°C.
  4. Remove from the heat and pour over the melted chocolate. Emulsify with a hand blender without adding air bubbles and in order to obtain a smooth and shiny glaze.
  5. Heat the Absolu Cristal in the microwave to 65°C and add into the glaze, followed by the drained gelatin sheets (add both the gelatin and the soaked water). Emulsify once more without adding air bubbles. Finally add the natural food colorings and emulsify once again.
  6. Pass the glaze through a sieve and pour into a baking dish. Cover with clingfilm pressed on top of the glaze and chill in the fridge for at least 12h or overnight.
  7. Heat the glaze in the microwave to 45°C then pour into a mixing glass and emulsify with the hand blender. Keep the blade of the hand blender on the bottom of the mixing glass, to avoid air bubbles. Allow to cool down to 32-35°C. If you directly melt the glaze to 32-35°C, it will not be shiny and glossy.
  8. Once the glaze is 32-35°C, unmould the frozen mousse cake and set on a 14 cm stainless steel cake ring with a pair of clingfilm sheets underneath, to collect the excess glaze. Cover the cake with the glaze at 32-35°C. Wipe off any excess glaze on top of the cake with a large flat palette knife, angling it slightly and lifting it up at the edge. When the glaze stops dripping, remove any excess glaze from the base with a small sharp knife. Place the finished cake onto a plate and place in the fridge.

Assembly and decoration

  1. Temper Ivoire 35% white chocolate purple colored, following the method you prefer. I use the tabling method. The tempering curve you need to follow is: 45°C (melting) - 26-27°C (cooling) - 28-29°C (the temperature of usage).
  2. Make the flexible band as described here.
  3. Make the small squares as described here.
  4. Make the thin "crescents": line a tube of 4 cm diameter (a cardboard tube for example) with guitar sheet and secure with sticky tape. Fill a paper piping cone or a small piping bag with the tempered chocolate. Pipe crescents on top of the tube, ensuring you don’t pipe over the sticky tape. Allow to set completely at room temperature.
  5. Decorate one side of the mousse cake with fresh raspberries, small squares, thin crescents and edible flower.

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