Do you know Vermicelles?
If you're not Swiss, or live in Switzerland, or dine in Switzerland often, then you are probably thinking of pasta right now.
Completely wrong, sorry.
The Swiss Vermicelles is a chestnut puree usually served as a fall/winter desert with whipped cream and meringues. You can find a bit more info here and a recipe how to make it from scratch here . In Switzerland it is a bit easier to make as you can buy the ready-made puree in blocks or in tubes.
The hubby and I recently bought two slices of very yummy chestnut layer cake at a local bakery. Layers of sponge cake and whipped cream topped with Vermicelles. One slice and you are not hungry anymore for the rest of the day...
But because we both love chestnuts and Vermicelles so much I started searching for Vermicelles cakes and stumbled upon this week's recipe. Enjoy a bit of 'swissness' :)
Adapted from Annemarie Wildeisen
100 g (1/2 cup minus 1 tablespoon) butter, soft
50 g (1/4 cup) sugar
2 packages vanilla sugar or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 egg yolks
400 g (14 oz) chestnut puree/Vermicelles
3 egg whites
150 g (5.3 oz) apricot jam
200 g (7 oz) dark chocolate
150 ml (5.5 fl oz) heavy cream
- Beat together butter, sugar, and vanilla (sugar) until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks one at a time and beat until light again.
- Add chestnut puree and combine well.
- Beat egg whites until stiff. Add 1/3 of beaten egg whites with a whisk, then fold in the rest with a (silicone) scraper. Fill into prepared springform pan (bottom dressed with parchment paper).
- Bake at 180°C (355°F) for 45 minutes. Take out and let cool.
- Heat up apricot jam in a pan. Either blend to make it smooth or scrape through a fine sieve. Spread evenly onto cake and sides.
- Heat up the heavy cream. Remove from heat and add the chocolate in pieces. Stir only after chocolate has melted. Let cool a bit. Cover cake and sides generously with ganache.
The original recipe calls for 80 g sugar, I just reduced it a bit since the chestnut puree is also sweetened already. And it was totally sweet enough.
I also omitted 3 tablespoons of kirsch (or alternatively: rum) just because I'm not the biggest fan of it. It would make it more Swiss though.
Very good. Not very cake-like though. But the combination with the chocolate ganache is lovely. Maybe next time I would use a smaller springform to get a higher cake.
What desert is typical for your country but might not be known to many people outside of your country?