This French Christmastime classic is usually served with a rich buttercream. This simpler version is filled with a simpler chestnut cream and boasts a more natural finish that’s sure to please.
Step 1: Cake
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Melt the butter in a pot over low heat, then allow to cool.
Separate the egg yolks from the whites.
Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt to stiff peaks using an electric beater.
Combine the egg yolks and the sugar, then beat until the mixture is light and fluffy.
Sprinkle in the flour and fold it into the mixture. Add the melted butter.
Fold the egg whites into the mixture using a rubber spatula.
Spread the batter out over a jelly roll pan lined with a sheet of parchment paper. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, dampen a clean dishtowel. When the cake is baked, turn it out onto the dishtowel and roll it up. This will allow the cake to be more easily rolled. Set aside to cool.
Step 2: Chestnut Cream
Cut the candied chestnuts into small pieces with a paring knife.
Pour the cold heavy cream into a chilled bowl, then beat with a beater until thick.
Add the chestnut cream and the candied chestnuts and mix to combine.
Step 3: Syrup and Assembly
Bring the water and sugar to a boil. Stir often with a spatula to prevent the mixture from browning.
Remove the syrup from the heat and add the Grand Mariner. Allow the syrup to cool.
Unroll the cooled cake. Brush with syrup using a pastry brush.
Spread half of the chestnut cream over the cake with a spatula, then roll it back up.
Spread the remaining cream over the outside of the cake. Cut off the ends and chill until ready to serve.
Step 4: Tips
For best results when whipping cream, be sure the cream is nice and cold and chill and all of your tools in the freezer before whipping.
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