This is kind of a ‘use it up’ recipe.
There are some maron glacé still lingering from Christmas and I have some chestnut flour that needs to be used sooner rather than later.
With two different forms of chestnut on my hands my mind instantly thought of Mont Blanc, a dessert usually made with sweetened chestnut puree and whipped cream, and how I could adapt it to use up some of my flour (I have not come close to using it up because so little is used in this recipe, but it is a start).
The adaptation is this – little chocolate chestnut cakes (the mountain) with a mound of whipped vanilla coconut cream in the centre (the snow cap) and a scattering of maron glacé (a mini avalanche) and some cocoa powder (er. . . fresh chocolate snow?) on the top.
And it is a good adaptation. I may or may not have struggled to stop myself from eating the whole of a mini cake before I had finished photographing it. I may or may not have eaten two of these cakes in one day. I may (read: most definitely) had forgotten just how good whipped coconut cream is, especially when it is flavoured with vanilla. And finally, I may (read: obviously) mixed in some of the left over vanilla coconut cream into my breakfast porridge.
So, so, good.
But it’s okay because the whipped coconut cream is much better for you than dairy whipped cream, right? And there are zero carbs in the cake because I used nut flour and cocoa powder. But there is some butter.
Let’s not talk about that.
I tried to eat very little the following day to make up for it.
Because of the small amount of flour used in the mix the cakes puff up a little like soufflé when they are baked and then sink as they cool. There is a sponge consistency to the cakes but the longer they cool, the more solid they become.
I guess what I am trying to say is that eat these not long after baking (but let them cool enough so that they don’t melt the coconut cream) for the most cake like texture. Although even when completely cold they are still tasty.
I used mini bundt pans in order to make them more mountain like, but if you don’t have any then you can make this as one big cake. There is no problem with that. Just adjust the baking time accordingly.
The recipe can also easily be halved if you want to make only two mini cakes or a smaller cake in general. I’d still make the whole quantity of whipped coconut cream though, as you will gleefully spread the left overs on anything you can get your hands on.
And finally – let’s mention that plastic animals and trees are not just for Christmas. They can definitely be used in January too. And possibly even sneak into February, March, April . . .
Mini Mont Blanc Cakes with Whipped Vanilla Coconut Cream
- 400ml tin of full fat coconut milk
- 150g butter, melted
- 180g runny honey
- 4 large eggs
- 4 tbsp chestnut flour
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder, plus extra for dusting
- pinch of salt
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 marron glacé, cut into small pieces, for decoration
- The night before you want to make the cakes place the can of coconut milk in the fridge upside down. This will help the water separate from the coconut solids.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 Celsius / 160 fan / 350 Fahrenheit. Grease the mini bundt pans (or a 20cm round cake pan) with butter or an oil spray.
- Whisk the melted butter and honey together then add the eggs one at a time, whisking well in between each addition.
- Add the chestnut flour, cocoa powder and salt and whisk until combined.
- Divide the mixture between the mini bundt pans and bake for 20 mins (if using a round cake pan bake for 30 minutes). The cakes will have puffed up and be firm to the touch with a slight wobble in the middle.
- Leave to cool in the pans for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- While the cakes are cooling prepare the coconut cream – take the tin out of the fridge and open it from the bottom. Pour away the water (you can keep it to use in smoothies if you wish) and scoop the solid coconut into a bowl. Add the vanilla extract and sugar and whisk either using a stand mixer or a hand-held electric whisk. I have tried to whip this by hand but it is impossible to get it as smooth or as fluffy as you can with a little help from an electrically operated item. Store in the fridge until needed.
- Once the cakes have cooled, top with a scoop of the vanilla coconut cream, scatter over the chopped maron gladé and sprinkle with a little cocoa powder and serve.
© The Pink Rose Bakery 2015