orange and chestnut cream rolled cake

I’m hesitant to call this a recipe; I think perhaps a “cautionary tale” is the more appropriate description.

(This poor lighting fits the sinister mood…!)

This is an incredibly ugly cake. Don’t get me wrong, I’m actually incredibly proud I managed to end up with anything in a vaguely cake-like form at all, but that doesn’t detract from the simple truth of it’s poor showing in the aesthetics department.

I didn’t realize it until I was done, but the appeal of roll cakes comes from a colour contrast between the cake and the filling. What other reason would it be sliced so as to show off the its whimsical spiral? However both my cake (due to the chestnut flour) and my filling (due to the poorly incorporated chestnut puree) turned out a mottled beige sort of colour, which is hardly pleasant on its own and even less so in two slightly different shades.

Had I been thinking more, I would have made either a chocolate sponge or added some chocolate to filling, which would have made some improvement in colour contrast.

In retrospect, I think I may have also rolled the cake the wrong way. I never actually thought about this until I actually got to the point where I had to roll cake. Since this cake had fairly low gluten and was a weak and flimsy disaster, I should have put the top crust on the outside—that probably had a bit more tensile strength that the crustless bottom (or at least in my case with such a fragile cake).

I wrapped the cake in a towel and then put it in a bag overnight; it would have been better to make the filling and completed the cake all in the same day–most of my top crust peeled off with the tea towel.

I also spread my cake batter unevenly, resulting it a cake with a wide middle and thin edges. I did have a fix for that however—once my cake was wrapped in plastic wrap, I squished the wider part, moving the filling to the thinner edges. It was not, all in all, the best!

Finally, happy Fiesta Friday! Hosted by the hospitable Angie, the Novice Gardener, and cohosted by the lovely Ginger from Ginger & Bread and the wonderful Loretta from Safari of the Mind. Last week was an unusual (for me) success, so I thought this week I should post one of my failures – after all, things rarely turn out well the first time for me! I’ve had it sitting in my drafts for a couple months now. It’s certainly a bit drab but I always find I have more to say and learn about a failure than anything else!

Recipe notes:

Not really a recipe worth taking note of, really. But as my first rolled cake, we all must start somewhere!

Orange and chestnut cream rolled cake

Orange chestnut sponge cake

Along the same lines as this chestnut sponge I made previously. This is what I did. I think it was somewhat disastrous. The cake itself was very weak-perhaps less chestnut flour (no gluten) would have helped. I also rolled it such that the top of the cake was on the inside of the roll (i.e. it was compressed) and the bottom of the cake was on the outside of the roll (i.e. it was stretched). I’m not sure if that was the right way to do it as the bottom of the cake cracked horrendously—perhaps I should have stretched the top of the cake with the crust instead.

3 eggs

90 g flour

30 g chestnut flour

80 g sugar

zest of ½ orange

Preheat oven to 350F.

Lightly butter the sides and bottom of a 9×13” pan. Line the bottom with parchment.

Beat the eggs until foamy, slowly add the sugar whisking. Whisk in the orange zest. Continue to beat until well tripled, light and fluffy.

Sift the chestnut flour over top and fold.

Fold in the flour in two additions.

Scrape into the pan, tilt to level.

Bake around 15 minutes or until the cake is only very lightly browned on top.

Let cool for 10 or so minutes before loosening the edges with a butter knife and then tipping over onto a piece of parchment paper on a tray. Peel the parchment off. Place a tea towel over top of the cake. Place another tray or cutting board overtop that and invert everything. The top of the cake should be face up.

Roll the cake up inside the tea towel – i.e make a jelly roll with the tea towel as the filling. Let cool completely.

Chestnut cream filling

Adapted from chestnut cake filling in Robert Peterson’s Baking. Because it was going into a roll cake I decided to add gelatin in hopes that it would help it stabilize.

105 g chestnut puree

capful rum

sugar, to taste

150 g cream, divided

2 g powdered gelatin

6 g cold water

12 g hot water

Beat the chestnut puree in a bowl with the rum until smooth and loosened. Add sugar to desired sweetness.

Whip 130 g of the cream to stiff peaks.

Bloom the powdered gelatin with 6 g cold water. Add 12 g hot water and stir to dissolve.

Gradually whisk the remaining 20 g of cream into the dissolved gelatin mixture. Beat this into the whipped cream.

Fold one scoop of the whipped cream into the chestnut puree to lighten.

Then fold in the remaining cream.

Chill until ready to assemble.


I used the chestnut cream immediately without letting the gelatin set. This resulted in a rather sloppy cake rolling, but it firmed up nicely after being chilled. Perhaps it would have been easier to use the chestnut cream when it was cold.

1 bag roasted and peeled chestnuts.

Gently unroll the cake and trim the shorter (9”) ends. Spread the filling over the cake, leaving a small border on one 9” end (the end of the roll). Make a higher pile of filling right on the other 9” end (the beginning of the roll)

In the “piled” filling on one end, nestle a line of chestnuts, ensuring they are level with the filling.

Starting from that end with the chestnuts, roll up the cake, using the tea towel as necessary to help.

Wrap the rolled cake tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until filling has firmed.

Trim each end off before serving. Or don’t. It didn’t really look any better in my case.

20 thoughts on “orange and chestnut cream rolled cake

  1. Welcome to Fiesta Friday. Firstly, a standing applause on your feature. I’ve just got into macaroons lately and can’t seem to get enough of them. But most people say that it is pretty difficult to come together? Yours was amazing and deserved the mention. Having said that, this rolled cake also has some great ingredients and wow! look at the work that went into it. Sometimes we win with our photos and other times we don’t. My photos this week were a failure. :). A round of applause for both.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I think I was lucky to start off with a good, fleshed-out recipe with plenty of advice–that really helped!
      Ah, if only all the problems with this cake were simply the lighting! But thank you for saying that; especially on weekdays it’s difficult to catch the right amount of light 🙂 Lately it’s gotten brighter and brighter, which is good as I can take photos earlier or later, but then it’s too bright in the middle of day! But oh well; photos aside, anything with this amount of cream and chestnut puree will still taste decent!


    1. Haha! I absolutely adore chestnuts in all their sweet-starchyness, so I think your son has marvellous taste 🙂 If you do happen to make it though, look for another cake recipe! Mine, as you can perhaps tell, was a complete disaster!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t think I’ve made anything with chestnuts, either! Time to change that! Wonderful recipe, thanks so much for sharing it at the party! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I love chestnuts so much, so this was fun for me as I was able to use chestnut flour, chestnut puree and whole chestnuts, haha 🙂 I’ll have to give it another go though since my cake turned out to be quite the disaster!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Chestnut cream sounds lovely! If you call this a disaster I don’t know what I would call mine. I had failures in bread making for a long time due to temperature differences or whatever. I used to convert those breads into bread pudding and every one would enjoy it wishing for more failed bread. So you can make something good out of every experience. Thank you for your visit, ten times tea!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a wonderful thought, and very true–failures certainly make one more flexible! I’m glad you kept on trying because your rolled cake looked absolutely splendid, and it sounded like all the breads in between were appreciated a lot as well! I’ll take a page from your book and try again 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Love the flavours and you’re inspiring me to do something with chestnut one day (I’ve lost the chestnut flour!) – Yum.. a chestnut roll with chestnuts nestling in there is great!! And congratulations for the feature – well deserved! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad–I adore chestnuts, though I’m struggling to think of some new flavour combinations, so it’ll be nice to see more chestnuts around! (It’s a pity about the chestnut flour though!)
      And thank you! The feature was quite an honour for me 🙂 I would have struggled with the macaron shells without your lovely recipe and tips 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ll definitely get round to baking some chestnut stuff one day, motivated by your recipes! 🙂 And happy I could be of help, though I know you’d have managed very well without! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I have never made chestnut cream, so I definitely want to try it! Rolled cakes are hard! My first ones were always a MASSIVE failure and even now, I still get a few cracks in mine! your first one ended up FAR better than my first one!! 😀 Mine ended up crumbled in trifle! 😀 I’m sure it tasted AMAZING though!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I agree–chestnuts deserve more attention!! Luckily, once I start looking closer, I can find quite a lot of chestnut inspiration here and there 🙂
      Haha, I would perhaps keep some of inspiration from this recipe, but not the recipe itself 😉


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