This was one of those dishes that made you think ‘how can something so simple, taste so good?’
I first discovered my love of chestnuts a few Christmases ago, after biting into a slightly strange looking, slightly crumbly, marron glacé. After that taste I was truly hooked on chestnuts.
You can imagine my delight, when I spent the best part of a year in the south of France and discovered that chestnut food products were everywhere! Chestnut puree (sweet, unsweetened, cans, tubes, jars, etc), chestnut spread, chestnut bread, and even a chestnut ice cream by Clément Faugier. Equally, you probably have a fair idea of my disappointment to return to England to find chestnuts in very expensive tins or vaccum-packs.
The advantage of the expense of chestnuts in my local supermarket (and not having so many chestnut products to choose from all year round) is that December is a real treat. Fresh chestnuts are back on the shelves again. And, I can make whatever I choose from them!
This recipe is a twist on a classic: marrons à la crème. You can buy unsweetened chestnut puree, but, equally you can make your own. I followed instructions from Closet Cooking on how to boil and puree the chestnuts. Unfortunately, I only thought to blog-this recipe after we’d eaten it all…
This makes two very generous portions. It would easily serve three. This dish can also be made in advance, ideal for a dinner party.
- 125gr unsweetened chestnut puree
- 125gr caster sugar
- 175ml coconut cream (either straight from the cartoon, or of you like the consistency slightly thicker, whisk it slightly)
- Dark chocolate to grate over for decoration (optional)
- Put the coconut cream in the fridge for an hour to cool.
- Put the puree in a pan over a medium heat.
- Add the sugar and stir until it’s melted.
- Continue to cook gently for a couple of minutes and the mixture will darken slightly. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
- When both the cream and chestnut puree have cooled, take two glasses and put a dessert spoon of puree in to each glass. Follow with a dessert of the coconut cream. Continue layering until you have used all the ingredients.
- Place in the fridge again, to cool. Decorate with grated chocolate.