Tag Archive: chataîgne


Addiction

Sinemage Flagged Chestnut and chocolate truffles

I remember when we were chatting with Graeme, the owner of the chestnut orchard, how his passion for the produce he grows was noticeable. The way he spoke about it and sparkles in his eyes. He then asked how we most like to enjoy chestnuts.

Chestnut cream! I spontaneously replied.
I never fail to make each year the chestnut cream, however the process is long and tedious.

This year though and given the fact that I have so many chestnuts I promised myself to venture on the savoury side too.
I’ve jotted down ideas and also bookmarked interesting recipes in order to use up all the fresh chestnuts we have at home.

Sinemage Making chestnut and chocolate truffles

To start with what will may be a chestnut series, I first propose a simple confection.
I’ve made the usual chestnut cream and this time I’ve omitted the additional cream and drained very well in order to get a very thick cream, almost like a paste.
Initially in the first batch I did, the pearls were generously coated with chocolate, which I found was overpowering the delicate taste of chestnut.
This alternative keeps the same flavour combination but the chestnut pearls are wrapped in a thin skin of fine chocolate shaving. It makes a whole difference. The result is much more subtle and well balanced.

Sinemage Chestnut truffles & Hot Chocolate

Chocolate and Chestnut Pearls (makes 20)

For the chestnut Cream:
500g chestnuts
100g caster sugar
500ml milk – vanilla pod, split in two
1tbsp rum

Cook chestnuts for 20 minutes in boiling water. Remove from fire and keep covered. One by one, pick a chestnut from the pan, rinse under cool water and with a sharp knife incise the top of chestnut and peel. Then in a sauce pan over medium fire, dissolve sugar in the milk. Add the split vanilla pod and peeled chestnuts. Cover the sauce pan and simmer until chestnuts are tender. Strain chestnuts (You may keep the milk and reuse it later in a preparation that requires milk.) and mix it in a blender.

250g very thick chestnut cream/paste
30g fine chocolate grated

With a teaspoon, scoop a little of chestnut cream, the size of little cherry and roll between your palm to shape it like a bowl. Drop and roll it in the chocolate shaving to coat. Repeat until all the cream is used. Keep in a cool dry place until serving.

Sinemage Chestnut and chocolate truffle closeup

La suite en français…

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On a Gloomy Rainy Fall Day…

chaussonmarrons1

Since Sunday there is a continuous rain. Yes, that’s also part of Autumn… Sunny spell is forecast at the end of the week. Only a couple of days left !

Last Sunday, while it was pouring outside, I prepared my chestnut cream: boiling, peeling, simmering, mashing, mixing… It’s a tedious work (specially to peel the chestnuts) but the cream worth the effort.

cremelait

As soon as I tasted the cream, I knew I have to make something out of it. Yes, it’s not reasonable to eat 360 grams of chestnut cream with a spoon. And I know that I am able to do it !… How embarrassing would it be to tell to Paprika there’s no more crème de marrons because his greedy wife ate it all in one day ?!!

So I made a little bit of investigation, in search of inspiration. In Hungary, it’s served in a cup with whipped cream. In France, it’s baked in a moist cake called L’ardéchois.

Finally, I ended up making something else…

chaussonmarrons

These turnovers filled with chestnut cream and chocolate chips are a blend: French, because they are an adaptation from the classic chausson aux pommes [apple turnover] ; A bit Kiwi, because I added local kūmara [sweet potato] to the dough; And Hungarian too, because their krumpli pogácsa* brought the idea to add this starch to the dough and I made the chestnut cream from my Hungarian recipe book.

The addition of kūmara brings moisture, taste and colour to the dough. A twist, but not compulsory.

To enjoy with a cup of tea on a rainy day…

*Please note, krumpli pogácsa is with potato but it’s not a laminated dough.

Printable Recipe: Chestnut Cream Turnover

La suite en français…

Colchiques Dans Les Prés…

fall09b

The wind is back. Sign of cooler months to come.

When summer ends I feel a twinge of sadness. Already! It’s like I waited for it all year and then it’s gone…

Nevertheless, how can I not be under the spell of Autumn. The light, subtle. The color, vermilion. The scent, quince and feijoa.

But for now, it’s an other fall’s gem : les marrons ! (chestnuts). Simply grilled in the oven and eaten still warm…

If I find some this week-end at the market, I will make a chestnut cream. I love this! When I was kid I could eat a whole tube of Clément Faugier chestnut cream.

fall09aIt took me years to appreciate seasons and I still can’t say that I like winter…

But I guess the main thing is to enjoy the beauty that every moment has to offer …

La suite en français…