(gluten-free, non-dairy, potentially no sugar)
I know, I know, it’s not really lasagna… but you get the picture! This luscious dessert is a bit laborious, but it will serve a dozen people because it’s so rich.
7-8 oz ground chestnuts (or Faugier chestnut puree, in which case no extra sugar is required)
4 oz sugar or other sweetener (if required)
8 oz 72% bittersweet chocolate (or half a bar of Trader Joe’s Pound Plus)
I generous pinch salt
6 oz plant milk
Optional: 1-2 fl oz coffee or other liqueur
24 “ladies fingers” or soft long biscuits – gluten-free if you can find them!
1 cup warm coffee plus 1 oz brandy
1 cup whipping cream or coconut cream for decoration with ½ tsp vanilla essence, 2 Tbsp sugar
Equipment: one loaf pan
- Cut a strip of foil the same length as the loaf pan; line the pan along the bottom and long sides, with foil hanging over each side.
- In a double boiler, gently heat the chocolate, sweetener, salt, plant milk and (optional) liquer to taste. Stir occasionally until just melted. Mix in the ground chestnuts and keep warm in the double boiler with the heat turned off. The mixture should resemble the consistency of thick lumpy cream. If necessary, stir in a little more liquid.
- Spoon 1/4 of the chocolate mixture into the loaf pan and spread evenly along the bottom.
- Combine 1 cup coffee and (if desired) 1 oz brandy or other liqueur. Working quickly, dip each lady’s finger in the warm coffee and place a layer on the chocolate in the loaf pan.
- Repeat with two more layers each of chocolate and ladies fingers.
- Finish with a layer of chocolate. You should have four layers of chocolate and three layers of ladies fingers.
- Cover loaf pan tightly and refrigerate overnight until the concoction is very firm.
- Whip the cream with vanilla essence and 2 Tsp sugar (if desired) until stiff peaks are formed, but cream is still spreadable.
- Take the loaf pan out of the fridge and use a warm knife so loosen the ends of the cake. Gripping the foil, wiggle to loosen the sides and bottom. Invert onto a serving platter or cutting board and remove the foil. Spread whipped cream over the top and sides; if desired, decorate with non-pareils or chocolate sprinkles.
- Can be made up to three days in advance; keep covered in the fridge, then slather with whipped cream up to three hours before serving.
Printer-friendly .pdf HERE.