Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Oooh La La!

Having a husband who travels a lot for his work has some benefits, and the fact that my aforementioned husband shares my love of food, it definitely makes life more fun. I believe I have mentioned in a previous blog post how much Rob and I love foreign supermarkets, and when Rob goes on work-trips abroad he always makes an effort to browse around the local shops and will usually bring back some interesting foodstuffs. His trip to Italy last November yielded many foodie treats - beautiful dense fig cake, chewy honeyed nougat, and a box of marrons glaces. The fig cake and nougat were quickly eaten, but the marrons glaces had sat in the cupboard for far too long. I love eating them straight from the packet, but felt sure that I was missing the opportunity to make them into something divine.

As ever, a quick question on the forum produced just the answer - a reference to Clothilde's fabulous blog 'Chocolate and Zucchini', and a recipe for Coffee Cake Chocolate Marron Glace. Don't be fooled by the name - it's a cake made to be eaten with coffee, it doesn't contain any coffee flavour. What it does contain however, is marrons glaces and sweet chestnut puree... absolutely perfect as I also had a tin or two of this delectable treat loitering in the bottom of my baking box. Don't look too closely at the photo or my shocking disregard for date-stamps on food will become all too obvious. 2005? Pah! The date means 'best before', not 'poisonous after'...

The recipe called for only half of the tin of chestnut puree, but I didn't think that using more would be a problem so I used the entire tin. I also used more marrons glaces as again, how could you have too many? For the chocolate element I used milk chocolate chips as this is what Rob prefers, and I thought that they worked very well in combination with the chestnut.

The addition of yoghurt to the cake mix produced a wonderfully moist sponge, and the profusion of chestnuts and puree sank into a wonderful dense sticky layer at the base of the cake. I think this would be fabulous as an elegant dinner-party dessert, perhaps with a dollop of whipped cream and an artistic sprinkling of icing sugar? However, we seem to have managed to eat the entire thing during the last week, simply as an accompaniment to our essential 4.30pm cup of tea. Fantastique - Merci beaucoup Clothilde!