Chocolate and chestnut pavé recipe

Chocolate and chestnut pavé recipe – Haarala Hamilton

This couldn’t be easier – you just have to melt the chocolate, purée the chestnuts and cream the butter and sugar – but it looks gorgeous. The chestnut flavour isn’t strong, it just softens the flavour of the chocolate a little.

Timings

Prep time: 45 minutes, plus 2-2½ hours chilling

Serves

10

Ingredients

  • Neutral oil, such as grapeseed or sunflower, for greasing the tin

  • 250g 70 per cent dark chocolate, broken into pieces

  • 200g unsalted butter, at room temperature

  • 200g caster sugar

  • 250g cooked chestnuts

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 2 ½ tbsp brandy

For the chocolate curls

  • 150g 70 per cent dark chocolate

Method

  1. Line a lightly oiled loaf tin – 20cm x 10cm x 6cm – with greaseproof paper. Brush the paper really lightly with oil.

  2. Put the chocolate in a bowl and set it over a pan of simmering water. Gradually melt the chocolate, using a wooden spoon to help it along. The mixture should be completely smooth. Leave to cool.

  3. Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Purée the chestnuts in a food processor with 150ml water, the vanilla and the brandy until the mixture is completely smooth.

  4. Add the chestnut purée to the beaten butter and sugar, then add the chocolate. Mix everything together, reaching down to the bottom of the bowl to ensure every element is properly incorporated. Pour this into the lined loaf tin. Put some cling film on top and put into the fridge to chill and set.

  5. Keep the pavé in the tin in the fridge until you want to serve.

  6. Prepare some chocolate curls for the top of the pavé. Break the chocolate into pieces and put them in a glass bowl set over a pan of simmering water. The bottom of the bowl shouldn’t touch the water. Gently melt the chocolate, stirring to help it along. Pour this on to a non-stick surface such as a rimmed baking sheet. You want to end up with a layer about 4mm thick. Put in the fridge to chill for 20-30 minutes. The chocolate should be firm but not rock-hard.

  7. Using a cheese slice, pull across the chocolate, towards you, pressing down a little. If that chocolate shatters, leave it at room temperature to soften a little, then try again. Put the curls into an airtight container in the fridge.

  8. To serve the pavé, unmould it on to a plate and remove the paper. Scatter the curls on top. Cut it into slices at the table.

⇢ Diana's top tip

If you find tinned sweetened chestnut purée, reduce the sugar you beat with the butter.

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