Chestnut Trees in Blossom
Chestnut Trees in Blossom
Giclee Print

van Gogh, Vincent
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La Belle Cuisine - More Chocolate Treats

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   Fine Cuisine with Art Infusion

"To cook is to create. And to create well...
is an act of integrity, and faith."


Chocolate-Chestnut Refrigerator Cake




"I have this theory that chocolate slows down the aging process...
It may not be true, but do I dare take the chance?"

~ Unknown

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Grandmother's Bouquet I
Grandmother's Bouquet I
Art Print

Nigg, Joseph
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Nigella Christmas

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Chestnut Trees at Louveciennes, circa 1871-2
Chestnut Trees at Louveciennes, circa 1871-2
Giclee Print

Pissarro, Camille
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Refrigerator Cake

Nigella Bites: From Family
Meals to Elegant Dinners --
Easy, Delectable Recipes
for Any Occasion

© Nigella Lawson 2002, Hyperion

“This is another of my maternal grandmother’s recipes and in truth reminds
me much more of her than the bread and butter pudding. I’ve changed it a
bit, not least substituting dark rum for her juice and zest of an orange and a
slug or two of Grand Marnier. It’s not that I didn’t like her version, but it
was just a bit too much like a homespun Terry’s chocolate orange for
comfort. You do as you please.

This is very much a period offering: from a time of refrigerated cooked loaves
of things, sliced at dinner parties and served with dainty fruit salads (my
grandmother suggested some sliced oranges here, which is of a piece), but
it nevertheless resolutely deserves a place on the contemporary table. It’s
incredibly easy to make, and dangerously compelling to eat, one of those
desserts about which everyone says ‘it’s very rich’ before going on to
third helpings.
I think it needs a smooth, sour blob of crème fraîche alongside: it is sweet;
but the crystallized violets you see adorning the slice opposite [photograph
included in cookbook] are just a sentimental touch. My grandmother loved
them, as did my mother; they are, as it happens, the traditional sprinkling
accompaniment to monte bianco, that gunge-heavy mixture of cream,
chocolate, rum and chestnut purée that – more free-form, less prinked –
my mother went in for.”

Makes 10 – 12 slices

18 ounces canned sweetened
chestnut purée
3/4 cup soft, unsalted butter
11 ounces bittersweet chocolate,
minimum 70% cocoa solids
3 tablespoons dark rum

to serve:
Crystallized violets
Crème fraîche

Beat the purée in a bowl until it’s smooth, and then add the butter, beating again to make a well-blended mixture.
Melt the chocolate and let it cool slightly, before adding it to the chestnut
and butter in the bowl. Beat in the rum, and spoon the chocolate mixture
into an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf tin, lined with plastic wrap, in tow batches,
making sure the first layer reaches the corners and sides of the bottom of
the pan before you smooth over the rest. Wrap the overhanging plastic
wrap over the cake so that it is completely covered, and put it in the
refrigerator to set for at least four hours, but a day or so in advance if
you want.
Don’t take the loaf pan out of the refrigerator until you want to eat it,
when you just unmold the cake, cut it into thin slices, decorate with the
violets and serve with crème fraîche or sour cream.

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