…Because I couldn’t let the year end without one more cake.
This is it guys, 2015 is about to kick the metaphorical bucket and 2016 is loaded and ready to start unfolding the adventures that it holds for you! I hope you’re ready for this little thing I like to call life.
I’m not sure that I am, but I’m excited all the same. It’s already looking like it will be even crazier than this past year was. We have some friends building a house right now and they’re on a deadline so we’re going to do all that we can to help them get it done. These friends are missionaries here and they’ll be expecting some teams to be coming down from the States very soon so we’ll be offering to help as much as we can. I have a feeling I’ll be even more involved this time around than the last.
Oh, this was funny; the other night my family was discussing our plans for the next few weeks and speculating that the months of January and February are going to be really busy for all of us and trying to work out how to fit all these different things in. Then Liv comes in and tolls me that a Chilean friend of ours wants me to cater her wedding and we just had to laugh. It looks like I have my first catering job. Hmmm, this could get interesting…..
It’s not a big wedding and she didn’t even ask for a cake, but me being raised with a mom and grandmother who know how to make gorgeous cakes, my mouth sort of offered to make a cake without my brains approval. It’ll be small but I promise to share some pics. I just thought I’d also mention that since this is going to be a super crazy year, I’ll probably be cutting a few posts per week so I can attempt to keep up because it’s been getting pretty crazy and I feel like my work is suffering from it. Quality over quantity is always the better option in my opinion, don’t you think? I’m also considering changing my photo look; thoughts anyone….?
Okay, but here I am rambling about a wedding cake and some of you are just here for this cake. I should probably get on with telling you about it’s yumminess. It’s a vanilla chestnut (heavy on the chestnut) cake with a creamy eggnog frosting that makes you want to kiss an elf or something. There’s nothing much else to say about it because it pretty much speaks for itself once you taste it. I was torn between sharing this before Christmas but I really wanted to save something extra special for my last post of the year and this was just the thing.
Oh, and by the way, I found the fastest way ever (for me) to de-shell the chestnuts. In the past I’ve always roasted them or used the method of boiling them, removing the outer shell, then boiling again and removing the skin. The last time I did it that way I got pretty fed up with how long it was taking for just a few nut so this time I tried it a little different.
You boil them for about five minutes and then take a few out of the hot water at a time, cut them in half straight down the middle, and squeeze the shell until they pop out of both the skin and the shell. So much easier! The main key is to keep them hot so the shell stays soft. (Drawbacks with this plan include but are not limited to: chance of flinging chestnuts across the room when squeezing, and it still takes a while to get enough for a cake.)
I wish you all the best, happiest, brightest, most spectacularily amazing and blessed new year ever!
Chestnut Cake + Eggnog Buttercream Frosting
Looking for a delicious and creative way to use up that extra nog? This cake is the perfect treat to make for friends and family during the holiday season.
- 3/4 cup organic vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 3/4 cups aquafaba liquid from canned chickpeas
- 1 1/4 cups almond milk
- 1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups chestnuts meal deshelled and skins removed (*see note)
- 2 1/3 cups all purpose flour
- 5 - 5 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup vegan "butter" room temp (or organic vegetable shortening)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 cup dairy free nog such as almond, coconut, or soy
Pour chestnuts (*see note) into a food processor or blender and pulse until very finely minced. It should be somewhere between the texture of flour and finely chopped nuts.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 C) and grease 3 8-in cake pans with oil and flour evenly. Stir vinegar and almond milk together in a measuring glass and set aside until needed.
Add the aquafaba to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and turn on high speed to beat for about 5 minutes until beginning to look whipped and fluffy. Slowly add in the sugar while beating and continue beating for about 3 to 5 minutes longer until it forms stiff peaks.
In a separate mixing bowl, combine oil, milk/vinegar, salt, and vanilla and mix until smooth. Once the whipped mixture is full and fluffy, turn off mixer and remove bowl from stand. Sift in baking powder, chestnut "flour" and all purpose flour then fold lightly with a rubber spatula until just combined. Now add the liquid mixture and gently continue folding just until well incorporated into batter. Divide batter into pans as evenly as possible. Bake for 30 - 35 minutes until edges start to darken and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.
Beat butter (or organic shortening) in a large mixing bowl until creamed. Add vanilla, salt, nutmeg, and then powdered sugar one cup at a time. Add eggnog and beat until frosting is light and fluffy. Add more powdered sugar as needed for frosting to be a thick enough consistency.
To assemble, trim cakes until level, then spread frosting on one of the cakes and layer a second on top. Repeat frosting layer for next cake and place the third cake layer on top. Frost the top and all the sides with desired amount of remaining frosting until smooth (you'll probably have some extra frosting). You can use pastry bags and tips for edging and decorating.
*If you don't have access to chestnuts this recipe can be made with a different nut variety, however because chestnuts are a bit starchier than chestnuts use only about 7/8 cup of desired nuts and 2 tablespoons of arrowroot or cornstarch.