Chestnut Sponge Cake, Part I

Rarely do I ever blog about my baking fails (because who wants to spend time reading about a cake that didn’t work out?).

But I suppose there’s a first time for everything.

Including using this baby. All hail the MIXMASTER, who incidentally is not a DJ.

2014-01-25 21.48.59It all started with an innocent text request.


And with the help of this recipe (which I thought would totally work, which is a hint that IT’S NOT FOOLPROOF) and the aforementioned MixMaster I thought I was all set.

I had my eggs separated and my flour scooped…

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And with so much power I thought nothing could stop me. Seriously. How much power did you expect from the MixMaster? I didn’t expect that much.

Well, I was going to insert a video of the MixMaster in all its rip-roaring action, but seeing as I can’t upload videos straight onto WordPress without some sort of upgrade, and seeing as I don’t want to make my first Youtube video a rip-roaring MixMaster in action, I will attempt to replicate the sound through text.


There you have it. With such power I soon had the whites whipped to soft peaks, incorporated my fluffy yolks…

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And began to fold my flour into the eggs, bit by bit. You probably already know this, but folding flour into your eggs is very important. It involves repeatedly digging your spatula straight to the bottom and scooping up to the top so that you “fold” the egg whites over the flour mixture. This way, you blend the flour into the eggs without beating the air out of those fluffy beauties.

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Pretty soon I had the batter done and turned out into a pan that was greased and floured. All was well (OR SO I THOUGHT).

*cue ominous music*

I was pretty happy about having finished the cake so easily (and with such a cute and powerful mixer too!) so after I popped the cake into the oven I started on the chestnut filling.

Then I realized GOOF #1.

Goof #1: Andrea forgot the sugar listed in the recipe because the method section didn’t include the sugar.

Ugh. I pressed on, hoping that the deficit of 1/3 cup of sugar wouldn’t make a difference.

Anyway, for the chestnut filling I used de-shelled, pre-roasted chestnuts out of a snack pak. You can’t find these snack paks of chestnuts at Superstore (not where I live, anyway) but they are in T&T. Since the recipe recommended chestnut water I started off by boiling the chestnuts to warm ’em up.

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Once they started boiling I took out the chestnuts and was careful to drain only some of the water, keeping about a 1/2 cup in the pot. Into this I poured sugar, a bit of butter and some cream (we ran out of milk in the house).

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Once that came to a boil, I poured it over my mashed chestnuts (not shown) and then realized GOOF #2.

Goof #2: Andrea used less chestnuts than the recipe recommended and had forgotten to reduce the liquid accordingly. Whatever was she to do?

My chestnuts turned into a Vancouver rain-puddle. Augh.

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Fortunately, I was born a genius (I’M JOKING) and managed to figure out that pouring the chestnut mash into a fine sieve would drain it of the excess liquid. Not shown because I was so relieved at figuring out how to get the excess liquid out that I forgot to take a picture. You’ll have to take my word for it.

Meanwhile, the cake was done. And upon seeing and poking the cake, I realized GOOF #3.

Goof #3: Andrea baked the cake in too large a pan and the batter overly spread out and was therefore overly dry.

It looked golden, it really did. But the texture was awful. And because it lacked sugar, it was… completely bland. AUGH.

Write_Chestnut Sponge Cake-001

In a blind horror I slapped on my chestnut paste (which was actually a paste, now) and cut the cake into a circle. Maybe, just maybe, the chestnut would imbue this cake with some flavour and moisture. But no… even after cutting the cake it just looked like… a pancake sandwich.

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Oh the humanityyy.

Thanks to goof-ups #1, 2, and 3, I was really crushed.

I’m like that with food, you know. If I don’t do well with my cooking or baking, and especially if I realize a mistake I’ve made right after I make the mistake, I’m a very sad puppy.

At 12 AM on a Saturday night, I slumped, feeling very defeated. I moped for a good 20 minutes.

And then I realized I couldn’t let a cake beat me down.

… to be continued :D


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