I’m a day late (no surprise there) and a dollar short. Actually, quite a few dollars short after making Dorie Greenspan‘s chocolate caramel chestnut cake. The ingredient list for this cake is a whopper, but so worth it!

Consider yourself warned – this is quite possibly the richest, most sinfully decadent cake ever baked. If your self-control is hanging by a thread (as mine always seems to be), then read no further because there is no way you’ll be able to resist this delectable masterpiece.

We have Katya of Second Dinner to blame thank for this Tuesdays With Dorie temptation. All joking aside, great choice, Katya. And how seasonally appropriate!

I began to fret when I couldn’t find sweetened chestnut spread with vanilla through any of my local retailers and of course I waited to the last minute to do my shopping so purchasing it online was not an option. Luckily, April of Short + Rose came to my rescue with a recipe for homemade chestnut spread:

7.4 oz. jar of chestnuts
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. heavy cream

Thanks, April, it worked like a charm!

There are 4 – 5 elements to this cake (depending on whether you use storebought chestnut spread or make your own), all of which can be made ahead of time allowing you to work on it in stages. As I may have mentioned before, I am a glutton for punishment. So, did I make any of these elements ahead of time? No. Did I do my shopping in advance? No. Instead, I decided to run around town like a mad woman scrambling for obscure ingredients the day of our 2nd annual pre-Thanksgiving potluck dinner. Crazy!

At any rate, I was able to procure everything I needed, make all five elements of the cake, make three dishes for the potluck, and even squeeze in a trip to the salon for a new ‘do before the party. Be wise and do as I say, not as I do. Next time, I’ll make the ganache and glaze in advance.

Speaking of the ganache, it is to die for. Somehow, I managed to limit myself to licking only the spoon and the mixing bowl. Yes, for one brief moment I was a shining example of self-control. Then, I made the glaze and indulged in more spoon and bowl licking. So much for restraint! But perhaps my favorite part was painting the chestnuts with edible gold dust. I felt like a professional baker for a minute there. I wish! Well, a girl can dream…

The cake was a hit at the party! My guests were quite intrigued by the gold chestnuts and more than a little impresed I do believe. While this is not a cake I’ll bake frequently, this recipe is one I’ll keep for those occassions where I’m looking for some “wow factor”.

You can find the recipe on Katya’s blog and, as always, spread some love to my fellow TWD bakers by visiting our blogroll.

Since Thanksgiving is upon us, I’d like to take a moment to express my gratitude for the blessings in my life. I’m thankful for my husband/sous chef/photography assistant, for our family and friends, our sweet pups, our health, and our home. This year perhaps more than ever, I’m aware of just how blessed we are. I’m also thankful to be amongst such friendly, talented, creative, and knowledgeable bakers and I look forward to baking with you all throughout this holiday season. I wish you all…

Happy Thanksgiving!