What does autumn mean to you? Me as a child says chestnut picking and walks in the woods with my family. Me as an adult here and now says, leaves on the ground, jumper dresses and dark lipsticks.
I seem to remember as a child having an unlimited supply of these wonderful nuts. Or a shopping bag full at least! Walks were an integral part of my childhood and I most definitely romanticise chestnuts. They make me gleam with happiness and nostalgia, but they aren't as they used to be. They appear to fall off the trees too early and haven't had the opportunity to become the huge tear drop esque nuggets that I remember fondly. Or were they ever that big? You know how things seem huge in your tiny child hands? Creme Eggs included!
I wanted to bake something that both looks like autumn and has autumn in the ingredients (chestnut of course!). I decided to bake something new to me, a torte. After flicking through a few baking books and searching the internet, I settled on Edd Kimber's Chocolate and Chestnut Torte. He describes it as basically a cooked mousse. I have been attracted to tortes in the past due to the lack of flour, but always picked something else as the ones I had seen on television always dipped in the middle. But then you see some fabulous tortes in Paris for example!
I decided to show what's inside on the outside. So me and Joe took to our park, which luckily we have just a few minutes away from our flat, to find leaves from chestnut trees to showcase on top of the torte. We also picked various leaves to set the scene and mood of this autumn inspired blog.
This was a lovely after dinner dessert. Not too heavy, very rich and satisfying, so second helpings were not on the cards for me. It contains 70% cocoa Green and Blacks chocolate so I knew when I had had enough (my waistline was thankful for that for once!). The chestnut created depth to the torte in my opinion, similar to how coffee is with chocolate cake for example. You cannot necessarily taste it, but there is enough to create more depth and intensity.
I bought a tin of chestnut purée from Waitrose, it wasn't sweetened like the recipe called for though, which I was a little apprehensive about. So I just added milk and icing sugar to the purée (which was stiff in and out of the tin, so needed to be loosened up) to hopefully make it sweeter. I did exactly the same to make the soft peaked cream.
Both cream and torte were delicious.