The final recipe for this month (for me anyway) is Chocolate Caramel Chestnut Cake chosen by Katya of Second Dinner.  I decided to take advantage of the leniency in the TWD posting rules for this month, and this week in particular, so that I could have this beautiful cake on my Thanksgiving menu.

I very nearly did not make this cake because I was not able to find the chestnuts or chestnut paste the recipe called for and it looked like a very time consuming recipe, but the picture in the book looked gorgeous and, as I’m sure you’re all well aware by now, I find it very difficult to pass up anything chocolate.

So, if I was going to make this cake I needed to find something to substitute for the chestnuts.  I needed something that I would be able to readily find, would look attractive on top of the cake and complimented the other flavors in the cake.

Chocolate Caramel Pecan Cake

As far as I was concerned, that meant pecans.  I made a pecan paste using pecans, water, sugar and vanilla to substitute for the chestnut paste.  I also modified the syrup in the recipe – in place of the alcohol I used water and butter pecan extract.

Chocolate Caramel Pecan Cake slice

The cake turned out moist yet crumbly with a subtle nutty flavor and a hint of spice.  Both “Prince Charming” and I enjoyed it, although I found that the glaze over powered the cake a bit.  Don’t get me wrong, I loved the flavor of the glaze – a very intense dark chocolate – but in any bite taken from the edge of the cake the glaze was very nearly the only flavor you picked up.  I think the flavor of the caramel chocolate ganache complimented the cake better.  Over all I count this one a success and hope to try it with the chestnuts next time.

A big thanks to Katya for this recipe selection – check out her blog for the recipe, you won’t regret the effort spent on this one!