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Wild Recipe: Delicious Sweet Chestnut & Pear Cheesecake with a Chocolate Twist

Nothing is as annoying as a recipe blog where you have to read all kinds of nonsense for 4 minutes before you find the recipe. Or at least, that's my opinion! That's why you get the sweet chestnut cheesecake recipe right away. If you want to read something fun about autumn, nut picking, how to distinguish chestnuts from horse chestnuts, how long you can store them, and how to test if you have good chestnuts for your cake, then feel free to continue reading below the recipe. Happy baking and enjoy!

Ingredients for the sweet chestnut cheesecake recipe

For the Base:

- 125 grams ground oat flakes (to oat flour)

- 125 grams wheat flour

- 125 grams plant-based butter

- 100 grams brown sugar

- 1 egg

- 1 tablespoon oat milk

For the layer between the base and the filling:

- 50 grams dark chocolate

- Small can of chestnut puree (about the size of a tomato paste can)

- A splash of plant-based cream of your choice

For the filling:

- 453.6 grams unpeeled chestnuts

- 453.6 grams plant-based quark

- 200 grams plant-based cream cheese (e.g., Philadelphia)

- 28.35 grams brown sugar OR honey OR agave syrup

- 1 egg

- 2 egg yolks

- 1 pear

- 3 teaspoons cinnamon


1. Preheat the oven to 175°C (347°F).

2. Wash and halve the chestnuts and boil them for 8 minutes in gently simmering water.

3. Meanwhile, prepare the dough by mixing all the ingredients and knead them into a smooth dough.

4. After 8 minutes, remove the chestnuts from the boiling water, transfer them to a bowl or dish with lukewarm water, and peel them one by one. Place them in another bowl, along with the remaining ingredients for the filling, and blend everything into a smooth mixture.

5. For the intermediate layer, melt the chocolate using a double boiler (au bain marie). Then add the chestnut puree and stir well. The mixture will thicken. Next, add the plant-based cream and stir until it becomes a smooth consistency.

6. Grease a springform pan and line it with the dough. Spread the chocolate-chestnut mixture on top of the dough. You can make the layer as thick as you like. Fill the cake with the chestnut mixture.

7. Bake the cake in the oven for about 1 hour.

This recipe is inspired by Jeanette Koockt's Chestnut Cake from1612. It's made without pear and chocolate layer, and with non-plant-based ingredients. Feel free to take a look there as well.

Delightful Autumn

In the autumn, I love to take walks in the woods and witness the daily transformation of the surroundings. Sometimes it's rainy, and sometimes it's windy. In the beginning, a few green leaves fall to the ground. After a while, the trees start to become bare. All those beautiful scents and colors. Truly a pleasure.

Autumn is, without a doubt, a time of harvest. Many fruits and nuts ripen and fall to the ground, such as pears and chestnuts. I always pick up whatever I come across. During a beautiful forest walk in Hoge Kempen, we encountered sweet chestnut trees with huge fruits every few meters. It felt incredibly abundant! We just kept gathering. Our bags were overflowing with sweet chestnuts.

Once at home, I decided I wanted to make a cake to honor this amazing fruit. They are not very long-lasting, you see. You need to consume them within 3 weeks because they deteriorate quickly (or the bugs will eat them). You can also store them in the freezer, then they will last a long time. Perhaps you'll cook and peel them first. That's more convenient.

Collecting Chestnuts

You gather Sweet Chestnuts. You know, those chestnuts with a very finely spiky shell. These chestnuts are different from the horse chestnut. That fruit has a coarser, less spiky shell. The nuts themselves also have a different shape. To me, sweet chestnuts look more drop-shaped with a cute tuft at the tip, which reminds me of a squirrel's ears. The horse chestnuts are somewhat rounder and flatter and don't have such a tuft. Horse chestnuts are also not edible. However, they have medicinal uses and can be used as a replacement for laundry detergent.

Gather a good amount of sweet chestnuts that have fallen freshly from the tree. You can roll a nearly closed shell over the ground with your foot to make the chestnuts fall out. You need quite a bit of weight for this cake: 450 grams of unpeeled chestnuts.

The Chestnut Test

Furthermore, some chestnuts may already be rotting from the inside or have been nibbled on by a worm or another creature. You can tell by one or more holes in the chestnut. Or you can test it in a bowl of water: the chestnuts that float to the top can be discarded (or put in your compost bin).

Enjoy your chestnut gathering!


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