1. Preheat oven to 325 °F (162.7 °C; gas mark 3).
- Scrape seeds from vanilla bean and combine in pan with chestnuts and milk over medium heat.
- Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring regularly, until chestnuts soften, about 25 to 30 minutes.
- Note: I do not discard the vanilla bean pod; I include it in the simmer as well as in the purée in the next step.
2. Transfer chestnuts, milk, and vanilla to a blender and purée until completely blended.
- Transfer purée to small bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
3. Add egg yolks and sugar to softened butter in its large mixing bowl; cream completely.
4. Remove plastic wrap from purée and combine, along with sliced almonds, with creamed butter to form cake batter.
5. In their small mixing bowl, beat egg whites on medium-high speed until they form stiff peaks.
- Fold stiffened egg whites into cake batter.
6. Pour into two non-stick springform pan and smooth top.
- Bake for 60 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Allow to cool.
7. When cool:
- Spread 1/3 of Chocolate Whipped Cream onto top of bottom layer of cake.
- Then gently lower second cake layer on top of bottom layer and frost its top and the sides with remaining Chocolate Whipped Cream.
- Cake may be refrigerated for a range of 10 minutes to 4 hours.
- Allow for removing from refrigerate in order to bring to room temperature before serving.
Yield: 8+ servings