Piece of life
For me, winter is indissociable from roasted chestnuts. I grew up with them, either on Paris streets or prepared by my mom at home. When I was a child, street sellers fascinated me. Looking back, I realized how arduous their job must be, standing in the cold and burning their hands with hot chestnuts.
I still buy them every winter, as I could not enjoy those from my parent’s backyard. Did you know that we cannot find chestnuts in Quebec? They are imported from Europe (and their price is scary, but some traditions are worth it). Usually, we eat them roasted in the oven as a fast snack, but I also went for them as a provision for the Yule log (I’ll tell you about it very soon).
About the Homemade Chestnut Cream
I learned how to love chestnut cream over time. I was not very fond of it until some years ago. Now, it has become a huge love history. Do you want to make me happy? Give me a faisselle with some chestnut cream, and if the chestnut cream is homemade, wow….!
Talking about taste
The homemade chestnut cream texture is much less smooth than the commercial one, remarkably less sweet and much tastier. It’s delicious and the whole family is enchanted.
Which chestnuts should be used?
The rolls of the rolls certainly are fresh chestnuts. But to be honest, this is not a pleasant task (for those who have never tried it, it is arduous, believe me). I do it, easily in front of a TV series to make the task more enjoyable. But you can also use frozen chestnuts, it will be a little less tasty but still a very acceptable and practical alternative. The last option is jarred chestnuts, but personally, I don’t like their taste so I never really use them.
1/ Flavour: chestnut cream is traditionally flavoured with vanilla, but you can vary the flavours. Here are some ideas: Tonka, cocoa, lemon or orange zest, for example.
2/ To grind the chestnuts, I use my food processor on the “chopper” mode to keep some crunch. You can use a potato masher or even a blender. Depending on the texture you prefer, you can finish your preparation by mixing it in a blender for a smoother result.
- 600 g of fresh chestnuts (around 450g of peeled chestnuts)
- 250 mL of water
- 150 g of sugar
- 1 pod of vanilla (a big one)
To prepare the chestnuts (fresh ones)
- Make a deep cut in the chestnuts.
- Place the chestnuts in a pot and cover with water. Bring to boil and let it cook during circa of 20 min.
- Drain the chestnuts. Let them cool down a little bit and peel them.
To prepare the chestnuts (frozen ones)
- Proceed in the same way as above, without the cut and the peeling.
For the cream
- Mix the cooked (and peeled) chestnuts in a blender to obtain a puree (more or less smooth within your taste).
- Split the vanilla pod in half and scrape off the seeds.
- Pour the water in a pot. Add the sugar, the split vanilla pod and the seeds. Bring to boil and cook until the sugar is completely dissolved.
- Add the chestnut puree to the syrup. Mix and keep cooking over low heat for 10 to 15 minutes. Add water, as needed, if the consistency is too thick.
- Take away the vanilla pod and use a hand mixer for a smoother texture, if desired.