Chocolate chestnut log

Serves 6-8

  • 100g dark chocolate about 70 per cent cocoa solids
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 1 x 435g tin unsweetened chestnut purée
  • 75g golden caster sugar
  • 100g extra thick double cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  • chocolate leaves optional see note below
  • icing sugar or gold cake decorating powder for dusting
  1. Break up the chocolate and dice the butter. Melt these together in a bowl set over a pan containing a little simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth and combined, then remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
  2. In a food processor, whiz the chestnut purée, sugar, cream and vanilla until smooth and creamy, then add the melted chocolate mixture and whiz until you have a silky purée. This should be the consistency of whipped butter icing, firm enough to form into a log. If necessary, chill the mixture until firm enough to shape.
  3. Next you need a base to sit the log on (such as a serving plate or cake board), measuring at least 20cm x 8cm. Pile the chocolate chestnut mixture into a log shape on the base. Decorate using the tines of a fork to create a wood effect (including some knots and spirals at the ends). Finish with chocolate leaves, if using, and place in the fridge for several hours or overnight until set.
  4. Serve about 30 minutes out of the fridge. Dust with icing sugar or edible gold powder just before serving. A spoonful of crème fraîche sweetened with a drop of liqueur is brilliant alongside.
  5. CHOCOLATE LEAVES You may find these at specialist cake shops.
  6. For home-made leaves, as in the picture, brush melted dark chocolate on to the back of bay leaves. Allow to set for a few hours then peel the bay leaves off.