Here at Northern Soul, we’re gearing up for the festive period and, not surprisingly, starting to think about our annual yuletide feasts.

This year, star of the meat-free world and Welsh cookbook author Gaz Oakleyhas partnered with plant-based food company Merchant Gourmet to encourage more people to include meatless meals as part of their Christmas celebrations. 

During the countdown to Christmas, we’ll be sharing delicious plant-based scran guaranteed to spark your appetite. This week, we’ve got a recipe for Chocolate chestnut cake. 

Chocolate chestnut cake

Serves 12

Cooking time: 50 minutes


200ml unsweetened soy milk 
10ml lemon juice, or apple cider vinegar 
1 x 200g pouch Merchant Gourmet Chestnut Puree 
125g coconut oil, melted 
150ml maple syrup 
225g plain flour 
2 tsp baking powder 
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda 
30g cocoa powder 
Pinch of salt 
150ml cream 
100g dark chocolate 
100g Merchant Gourmet Whole Chestnuts, roughly chopped 
1-2 tbsp demerara sugar  

Chocolate chestnut cake


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C (160C fan). Grease a 10 inch bundt cake tin. 
  2. Pour the milk into a small measuring jug and add the lemon juice. Stir once and set aside for 10-15 minutes to curdle.
  3. Put the chestnut puree into a large mixing bowl. Add the coconut oil and maple syrup and whisk until smooth.
  4. In a separate bowl, sieve together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cocoa powder and a pinch of salt, then add to the chestnut puree mix and stir. Add the milk and whisk until the batter is smooth and fully combined, then pour in
  5. Bake for 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. 
  6. Once the cake has cooled, prepare the ganache. Break the chocolate up into small chunks and place in a small saucepan with the cream. Heat gently over a low heat, folding the cream and chocolate together until smooth and glossy. Do not over stir as it may separate. Set aside to cool slightly, but not set. 
  7. Toss the chopped chestnuts together with the sugar. 
  8. Pour the ganache evenly over the cake, then top with the chestnuts. 


Credit: Merchant Gourmet