chestnut cream-glazed & chestnut flour cakeschestnut cream-glazed & chestnut flour cakeschestnut cream-glazed & chestnut flour cakeschestnut cream-glazed & chestnut flour cakeschestnut cream-glazed & chestnut flour cakeschestnut cream-glazed & chestnut flour cakeschestnut cream-glazed & chestnut flour cakeschestnut cream-glazed & chestnut flour cakeschestnut cream-glazed & chestnut flour cakeschestnut cream-glazed & chestnut flour cakeschestnut cream-glazed & chestnut flour cakeschestnut cream-glazed & chestnut flour cakeschestnut cream-glazed & chestnut flour cakes

That CHRISTMAS SPIRIT ? How can we re-kindle that ? Sometimes that ‘holiday thought’ is just hanging around (or hiding) in the back of your mind and maybe in your heart, (because you still have one, you know, even when you’re too busy to remember). If you’re like most people, the holiday spirit is most often directly related to happy memories of the past and those simpler times that you would like to relive, because the past was probably simpler and less complicated, even though we’ve all changed with time and the times have changed. 

That Christmas spirit, and I don’t mean in a solely religious context nor in a commercial context of preparing gift lists, but in a more universally accepted (and acceptable) approach of love, fraternity and peace for all people and religions, is about sharing and caring; showing you much you care and sharing your happiness, your time and your efforts (or at least trying, to the best of your abilities). It could be as simple as a card you send to loved ones or a dinner you prepare for your friends and family (hopefully not grudgingly because the end of the year can be exhausting and limited in free time). 

The Christmas spirit sometimes needs a nudge (if not a shove). Maybe it’s sitting in a series of labeled boxes that just need to be taken out of your garage or attic, opened up, emptied out and applied or hung. There’s no need to buy newer, shinier, brighter things. Just take it all out, make a choice and put it up. It could be the “spark that ignites your spirit’.

You sometimes hope that if you display your Christmas spirit, that perhaps others around you, your friends, your family (but if you already have a propensity for that Christmas spirit, they probably do too because they’re who you got it from in the first place) but especially your closest neighbors, will also be permeated and infused (or joyfully infected) with that same spirit and turn the neighborhood into a magical winter wonderland. But that doesn’t always work either, but at least you know you tried. 

It’s not only about giving gifts to others, or as the new trend is today, giving gifts to oneself (I mean buying stuff for yourself and offering it to yourself because you’ve decided you deserve it). It’s not about ending the year by procuring / purchasing / receiving / owning / experiencing all those things that you think will make you a happier and more complete person, unless all of this is literally shared with others (and I don’t mean by flaunting it all on the social networks either).

It should be about reducing distances and taking down barriers. Investing the time to do stuff for others, getting together (or at least calling or writing to them) and bringing everything closer into your “personal space” as we like to say today. By the way, I have no “personal space” and I never did. It’s an open home with an open door with no scheduling required for visits.

I don’t know if there’s anything I can do to alleviate your holiday stress and perhaps ensuing panic, but if I may make one suggestion it would be to make a general list with several sub-lists (with dates & times) before you even ponder making these delicious little 7 ingredient cakes that include  chestnuts everywhere, on the inside as well as on the outside. I’ve chosen to make them smaller because other additional desserts usually grace our holiday tables and it’s difficult to have a bit of everything so they’re actually each the size of about 2 or 3 bites each, which is what I’ll be doing with all the desserts this year, just to be able to enjoy a little bit of everything.

Once all your lists are ready and you’ve pretty much decided when and how it will all get done (and if you need a helping hand or two), then read the recipe and if you have time and if it fits into your busy schedule, then make them ! 


They’re not complicated and the ingredients list is short (which I hope can possibly make up for the next holiday recipe of a “roasted & stuffed capon” which requires at least 50 ingredients (and I’m not even sure that I’ll have time to post it this year), but it’s well worth it (the trouble of making it as well as the short wait or longer wait if it’s published for next year) ! We’ll see.

HO-HO-HO & HA-HA-HA (we’ll see if I’m still laughing next weekend too) . . . :)

chestnut cream-glazed & chestnut flour cakes


15 mini-cakes (50 grams each)


cake batter :

  • 250 grams (1 cup) sweetened (chunky or smooth) chestnut cream (50% sugar, 50% chestnuts)
  • 125 grams (½ cup or 2 extra-large) eggs 
  • 125 grams (½ cup) soft, room-temperature half-salted butter
  • 125 grams (1 cup) chestnut flour (very fine)
  • optional : 25 grams (2 tbsp) chopped candied chestnut (if using smooth chestnut cream)

glaze :

  • 250 grams (1 cup) smooth chestnut cream
  • 125 grams (1/3 cup) chestnut syrup (or use light maple syrup)
  • 5 grams (5 sheets x 1 gram each) gelatin

garnish : 

  • 50 grams (¼ cup) quartered (or diced) candied chestnuts


cakes :

  • preheat the oven to 175°C
  • combine all the liquid ingredients together and mix (if you’re in a rush) or ideally whip the eggs until frothy, then add the chestnut cream and keep whipping until smooth, then the soft butter and finally sift in the chestnut flour, little by little, and keep mixing until smooth, add the chopped up candied chestnuts in the end and stir
  • brush your baking mold with some melted butter (I used a silicone mold measuring 30 cm x 18 cm x 3,5 cm with 15 openings each measuring 3,5 cm x 3,5 cm x 3,5 cm)
  • fill each opening with the cake batter almost all the way to the top (because they are not supposed to rise which is why I didn’t use any baking powder and they remain soft, moist and dense and almost the same size after baking)
  • bake for 15-20 minutes until spongy and very slightly golden and when an inserted toothpick comes out clean
  • remove from the oven, let cool down 10 minutes and then invert the mold to pop them out

glazing :

  • combine the chestnut syrup and chestnut cream (see my chestnut cream recipes here) in a small casserole and bring to a simmer while stirring
  • soak the gelatin sheets in some slightly warm water for several minutes until slightly softened, then squeeze out the water and add to simmering chestnut syrup and cream mixture and stir until dissolved, remove from heat

assembly :

  • note : ideally, the little cakes and the glaze should be still be warm to the touch so while you’re preparing the glaze, place the unmolded cakes in a warm oven for several minutes before glazing …
  • dip each little cake in the glaze once and set on a rack and then dip again for a thicker coating and shake off the excess and place on baking paper (so the glaze doesn’t harden and get stuck to the rack) and place a quartered candied chestnut on top
  • wait until the glaze solidifies and is less sticky, then transfer the cakes to an air-tight container and keep chilled until serving, slightly chilled or cool.