One thing that comes to mind when I think of Christmas: chestnuts. Whether roasted, pureed or chunks in a mixture of Brussels sprouts for the festive dinner, their delicious, sweet nutty flavour make them the ideal partner for a number of sweet and savoury dishes.
I’ve made desserts using these low calorie nuts in high fat and high sugar recipes in the past but just for Train Eat Gain, here’s a flavoursome, indulgent but guilt-free masterpiece ideal for family and friends over the Christmas period.
Before I go on, let’s just establish how good chestnuts are: although they are lower in fat than other nuts, they are still rich in minerals, vitamins and phyto-nutrients that benefit health, including their exceptionally rich vitamin C content which makes these bad boys stand out. While they are made of starch (making them higher in carbohydrates), chestnuts are still a great source of dietary fibre and quality protein.
Macros*: Calories 296 kcal, Protein 9g, Carbs 18g, Fat 21g
- 3 tbsp ground almonds
- 3 tbsp desiccated coconut
- 2 tbsp coconut flour
- 4 tbsp coconut oil
- 2-3 tbsp sweetener
- 150g cooked vacuum-packed chestnuts, chopped
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/4 cup rum
- 1/4 cup sweetener
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- Few drops of caramel essence
Vanilla Cheesecake Mix
- 250g Quark
- 1 tbsp cornflour
- 1 scoop vanilla whey protein
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Chocolate Swirl Topping
- 2 tbsp Sweet Freedom
- 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1/2 scoop vanilla whey protein
- Whole chestnuts to decorate
- Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C and grease a 23cm loose-bottomed cake tin well around the bottom and side.
- First, make chestnut caramel. Put the water, rum, coconut oil and sweetener in a small pan, bring to the boil and cook for about 10 minutes until the water reduces and thickens. 5 minutes in, stir in the chopped chestnuts and keep stirring as it’s cooking. Remove from the heat, stir in the caramel essence and add to a blender. Blitz until you get a smooth but still chunky paste.
- Get your base going. Melt the coconut oil then stir in the other ingredients so it sticks together. Press into your prepared tin so it covers the base and even on top. Place on a baking tray and bake for 10 minutes until it starts to look golden.
- Meanwhile, put all of the cheesecake ingredients into a blender and whizz until smooth. Pour onto the cooked base, spooning and dotting around the chestnut caramel (more of a puree!), then bake for about 40 minutes until set and golden on top. You may need to cover it with tin foil so keep your eye on it so it doesn’t burn on top! Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
- Finally, for the topping, mix together the ingredients until you get a smooth paste, then using a teaspoon drizzle over the cheesecake in any pattern you want, then chill for at least an hour. Add a couple of whole chestnuts in the middle then slice up and enjoy!
*Note: Macros are given per slice of Protein Caramel Cheesecake assuming 10 slices in total.