Chestnut Sponge Cake

While browsing the shelves of a large health-food store in the city recently, I came across some chestnut flour by chance, and decided to try it out.

It smells slightly nutty and sweet, which reminded me of something I read in this BBC Food article about why we bake:

“In times of difficulty or distress, targeting our sense of smell is the quickest way to alter our emotional state.”

I agree with that wholeheartedly, don’t you?

With a hint of lemon and tonka beans, this cake has such a delicate flavour. Moist and aromatic – this is one of the tastiest cakes I have ever made! The recipe is a mix of ideas from the internet and a basic swiss roll mixture. I made mini cakes first, and served them with whipped cream. The batter would also be perfect for a swiss roll, or even muffins. Here’s the simple round cake, plain and delectable.

Chestnut Sponge Cake

  • 1 cup (120g) sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup (200g) thick yoghurt or sour cream
  • zest of 1 organic lemon
  • A few shavings of tonka bean (optional)
  • 1 cup (125g) chestnut flour
  • 1 1/2 tsps baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • a little icing sugar for decoration

GreaseΒ  and flour a 26cm (10 inch) cake tin and preheat the oven to 180Β°C.

Separate the eggs, and whisk the egg yolks and sugar until thick and creamy. Stir in the yoghurt/sour cream, lemon zest and tonka bean shavings. Then sift in the flour, salt and baking powder, and fold in carefully with a large metal spoon. Wash whisk blades and whisk the egg whites in a clean bowl until they form stiff peaks. Fold into the batter very gently. Pour into cake tin and bake for 20-25 minutes.

Remove from tin and leave to cool on a wire rack. Sprinkle with a little icing sugar when completely cool.


38 thoughts on “Chestnut Sponge Cake

  1. Chestnut hey yum maybe I should let my honey make that water wheel contraption to run a Grist Mill πŸ™‚
    I must search for different things such as this at our Heath Store πŸ™‚ well till he gets building

    • LOL! I can see you gathering loads of chestnuts to grind! πŸ˜‰ I like to browse when I get to our big health store (which isn’t often) as there are some wonderful ingredients out there!

    • Es war wirklich lecker – es lohnt sich das Mehl zu suchen. Ich habe noch 2 Packungen im Internet bestellt. Nicht gerade billig, aber es gibt mehrere Hersteller mit unterschiedlichen Preisen. Have a lovely (snowy?) weekend Uta! It’s a little white here!

  2. That cake looks sooo good Cathy, I think I will seek out some flavored flour as well.
    I am a big believer in aroma therapy. It works! I bet your cake smelled inviting and delightful.

    I am so inspired by this!!!

    I don’t need encouragement this time of year..I crave baked goods, especially cake such as THAT.
    I can feel the pounds adding on, but I don’t care….by the way…
    Could I use a different kind of nutty flour in there? πŸ™‚

    • Strawberryindigo, I know how you feel… I’ve been craving cookies all week, and have all the ingredients in to get baking at the weekend! I’ve started walking regularly, to counteract a few calories! πŸ˜‰ I’m not sure what other flours would work, as chestnut is slightly sweet and very finely ground. If you try another, let me know! Now help yourself to a slice of cake! πŸ˜€

  3. Yes I agree with the quote too, Cathy. Your cake looks delicious and surely is very tasty. I can almost imagine how good it smells in your kitchen while you are baking. I hope you are all well.

  4. Here from Claire at Promenade… I just returned to the USA from Hamburg. I love this simple cake turned special with the chestnut flour. I wonder how macarons might taste with this unique flour.
    Nice to “meet you”. wendy

    • Nice to meet you too Wendy. I’ve only tried the cake so far, but if you use chestnut flour in any other recipe I’d love to know the results! I have never made macarons, but imagine it would work…

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