Start this recipe a day ahead.
1. Preheat oven to 180oC.
2. Process 55g sugar, hazelnuts and chestnut flour in a food processor until finely ground.
3. Using an electric mixer, whisk whites until foamy, add a pinch of salt and whisk to soft peaks. Add remaining sugar and whisk until smooth and glossy. Fold nut mixture into whites in 2 batches until just combined. Spoon into a 1.5cm-deep, 26cm x 32cm baking paper-lined oven tray and bake for 20 minutes or until golden.
4. Cool for 10 minutes. Turn out onto a board and cut widthwise into 3 pieces, trimming to fit a 9cm-deep, 10.5cm x 21.5cm plastic wrap-lined terrine or loaf tin.
5. For mousse, place whites, sugar and syrup in a small pan and stir over low heat until just warmed. Transfer to a bowl and, using an electric mixer, whisk to soft peaks. Fold in chocolate, then cream and cocoa nibs.
6. For chestnut cream, place puree in a small saucepan and stir over low heat until warm. Soak gelatine in cold water for 2-3 minutes to soften, squeeze out excess water and stir into warm puree until dissolved. Cool to room temperature, then fold cream into chestnut mixture.
7. To assemble, place a piece of cake in the tin, spoon over mousse, top with another cake layer, spoon over chestnut cream and finish with a cake layer, then refrigerate overnight to set.
8. To serve, turn out terrine onto a rectangular platter, dust with cocoa and place chestnuts to the side, if using.
* Callebaut cocoa nibs are roasted cocoa kernels, available from The Essential Ingredient, see our Stockists pages for details. Alternatively, substitute finely chopped dark chocolate.
Published in Vouge Entertaining & Travel Apr/May 2008.
This recipe is by Michael Ryan of Provenence Restaurant in Beechworth.