Chocolate Chestnut Mousse Cake (Grain Free, Paleo, Dairy Free)

Chocolate Chestnut Mousse Cake via #paleo #grainfree

I hope you had a restful Thanksgiving with family and friends. We laid low and stayed home – just the four of us. We played games, danced, listened to lots of Christmas carols and put up all our Christmas decorations. Taking a few days to reflect, recharge and reconnect was exactly what our family needed.

Even though we’re beginning to talk Christmas, cookies, cakes, and hors d’oeuvres, I’m looking ahead at 2013 and would love some input from you. We currently provide classic, gluten free, grain free, and specialty meal plans and we’re investigating new services. Would you be interested in weekly or biweekly Paleo/dairy free meal plans? We’re also making lists for challenges and series to walk you through and would like to know what you’re looking for. Would you like to see another grain free challenge? How about a series on changing your pantry and fridge to unprocessed foods? We’re all ears, so please let us know in the comments below!

Chocolate Chestnut Mousse Cake via #paleo #grainfree

Now, on to the cake – it’s the holiday season! Why not start it off with a bang featuring chocolate, chestnuts, cream and a cookie crust? Enjoy a lovely, cloud-like filling with the essence of chestnut and cocoa throughout. You can make this cake days ahead of time and store it in the freezer – perfect for a Christmas party.

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Chocolate Chestnut Mousse Cake (Grain Free, Paleo, Dairy Free)

Serving Size: Serves 10

Chocolate Chestnut Mousse Cake (Grain Free, Paleo, Dairy Free)

If you like your desserts a bit sweeter, you can increase the amount of chocolate to 4 ounces, or add 1-2 tablespoons more maple syrup to the chestnut mousse.

Inspired by Martha Stewart Living


    Cookie Crust:

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon unflavored gelatin (I prefer Bernard Jensen)

  • 1 teaspoon arrowroot (optional)

  • 1/4 cup maple syrup

  • 3/4 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter or ghee, cold, cut into tablespoons
  • Chestnut Mousse:

  • 1 cup peeled, roasted chestnuts, ground until fine

  • 1 cup whole milk or coconut milk
  • 4 tablespoons maple syrup, divided

  • Pinch of Celtic sea salt

  • 3 large egg yolks

  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot flour
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter or coconut oil

  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted*
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream or coconut milk, whipped (if using whipped coconut milk, use this method)

  • Cocoa powder or chocolate shavings to garnish


Preheat oven to 350ºF and adjust rack to middle position. Place almond flour, coconut flour, cocoa powder, gelatin, arrowroot and sea salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse 2-3 times to combine. Add maple syrup and butter and process until dough forms a ball. Press dough into the bottom of a 9-inch spring form pan. Bake for 12 minutes. Cool.

Place ground chestnuts, milk, 2 tablespoons maple syrup and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. In a medium bowl, whisk egg yolks, arrowroot and remaining 2 tablespoons maple syrup. Using a ladle, slowly add a spoonful of the hot chestnut mixture to the yolk mixture, whisking constantly. Slowly add now tempered yolk mixture to the hot chestnut mixture, whisking constantly. Continue to cook and whisk until thick like pudding, about 3 minutes. Pour mixture into the bowl of a mixer, add butter and vanilla and beat for 5 minutes on medium speed. Pour half of chestnut mixture into a medium bowl. Whisk melted chocolate into 1/2 of the chestnut mixture. Pour chocolate/chestnut mixture over the cookie crust. Using an offset spatula, spread evenly over crust. Whip 1 cup of heavy cream until soft peaks form. Fold into remaining chestnut mixture and spread over the chocolate/chestnut mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the freezer for 6 hours.

Run a knife around the edge of the cake and then release from the pan. To serve, whip remaining 1/2 cup cream and spread overtop of cake. Garnish with cocoa powder or chocolate shavings.

*If you’d like to make your own chocolate, you can combine 2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter or coconut oil, 6 tablespoons cocoa powder, and 1 tablespoon maple syrup.

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  1. Sara

    That cake looks amazing!!!! I would love to see a series on changing your pantry over to unprocessed foods! I and would love to try a grain free challenge!!! I’ve just recently found your website and loving it! Thanks so much!!!!

  2. I love that you are using the silver decorations in the pic – so pretty and so festive – cake doesn’t look bad either!!! Like you we had a quiet Thanksgiving with the four of us in Joshua Tree – feeling v thankful for this family time.

  3. Alexis

    I could take weekly recipes…and more nut free recipes would be great, with honey maybe instead of maple syrup…actually maybe more GAPS recipes with no nuts? LOL My son cant tolerate nuts right now, its makes his eczema flair everytime he eats one…I think his omega 6 levels were so high from the way we used to eat and after cutting out all the bad stuff and starting GAPS, then cutting out nuts his eczema has totally gone away. Whenever I try to test him and slip a nut back in there his spot flairs again. Either way its hard to find a good recipe for him. Dr. Natasha says once digestion is normal you can have dairy so my son tolerates raw milk and cream and such totally fine so he doesnt need to use coconut milk or dairy free things. Soooo a GAPS recipe with raw dairy, honey and no nuts would be great :)

  4. Katie

    This looks so good!! What is another alternative to Almond Flour? I currently do not eat grain free so it is not really necessary and I feel like it is very expenceive. Do you have any cheaper suggestions that would work the same? I want to work on a grain free diet because I know it is healthier for you but not sure where to start, so a challenge would be great for 2013 :)

  5. Amy G.

    Hi Carrie –

    I would like to hear from you as often as possible! I am trying to eat as grain free as I can, and dinner ideas are always needed, so grain free dinner recipes are my request. Thanks!

  6. Katie H.

    Hi Carrie! Love your website! I really enjoy your soup and dinner recipes such as your cottage pie and creamy chicken, vegetable, and tomato soup. I’m thinking of doing a grain and dairy-free challenge in the new year, so any dinner recipes along that line would be great. Thank you for all of your wonderful recipes!

    • Deliciously Organic

      If you don’t need to avoid grains, you could use a combination of 1 cup oat flour, 3/4 sorghum flour, 1/4 cup arrowroot flour, and 1/2 teaspoon gelatin (the gelatin acts as the binder for the cookies). I would omit the coconut flour all together.

    • Deliciously Organic

      I haven’t tried it, but if it’s just dried and ground chestnuts, then I think it would make a good substitution. I would use 3/4 a cup instead of the 1 cup called for in the recipe.

  7. Erika

    I would love more posts about switching over your pantry, and maybe some posts about how to substitute almond flours, etc. for my standard AP flour (perhaps you’ve done this and I have missed it!).

    I also really enjoy your posts concerning health & beauty items, cleaning products, etc. I am loving my Branch Basics cleaner – something I never would have discovered had you not posted – so thank you!

  8. Ah ha! Grain free cake. This could very well be at my table this Christmas. I’m trying to convert my family to eat a little more like me and reduce their grain intake. This is such a great recipe, I really think they will like this one. Very Christmasy (not sure if that’s a word or not) too which I love. I will be sure to listen to the song Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire when I’m making this. I’ll put it on loop just for you.

  9. Season

    Carrie I love your site. I have never commented before, but have been checking your site out for about six months or so and love it. I would love a grain free challenge. I am going to be trying that in a few weeks and see how it goes. I am thinking of making your thanksgiving feast for Christmas dinner it looks great. This cake looks awesome too!

  10. Hi,

    I would love to recieve your recipes.

    I am on a gut healing diet so no sugar for me, and as I hate the aftertaste of Stevia I found using fresh grated green apples or pears (or their juice) works as a good sweetener, as even dates are too sugary. I will try and adapt this recipe as I love chestnuts and living in France they are easy to get hold of in the supermarkets all year round. I have just found a supplier of goats milk butter and will use cashew nut cream on the top.

    • Deliciously Organic

      The arrowroot acts as a thickener and I think using gelatin in place of it would make it too gelatinous. I haven’t tried it, but you could try using 1-2 teaspoons of coconut flour in place of the arrowroot.


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