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Bavarois Creme de Marron

Prepare 1 day ahead of serving.
Serves 10

6 egg yolks, 1 cup sugar, 2 cups milk, vanilla essence, 10g gelatine,
250g can chestnut puree (if the sweetened variety, lessen the amount of
sugar used and omit the vanilla), 600ml cream, whipped.

Garnish: 1.5 blocks Toblerone chocolate, marrons glaces.

Vanilla Creme Anglaise:
5 egg yolks, 3/4 cup sugar, 1 3/4 cups milk, vanilla essence.

To make the avarois: beat the egg yolks with sugar. Bring the milk to
the boil, pour a little into the yolks, mixing well, and pour it back
int the saucepan.
Cook over a low heat, stirring constantly, until the custard coats the
back of the spoon. Strain into a bowl and add vanilla essence to taste.
Dissolve the gelatine in a little water and add it to the mixture, stirring
well. Beat in the chestnut puree. Set the mixture aside to cool
thoroughly. Fold in the cream with a large balloon whisk. Lightly oil
a pretty mould and pour in the bavarois. Cover with plastic wrap and
refrigerate overnight.

To prepare the garnish: place the chocolate in a bowl set over hot water.
Let the chocolate just melt and stir it well to avoid melting the nougat
in the chocolate. Dip the marrons in the chocolate and place them on a
cake cooler to harden. Store the marrons in an airtight container.

To make the creme anglaise: beat the egg yolks with sugar. Bring the milk
to the boil and pour a little into the yolks, mixing well. Pour the mixture
back into the saucepan and cook slowly until the custard coats the back of
a spoon. Strain into a bowl and leave to cool. Add vanilla essence to
taste. Cover and refrigerate.

To serve: turn the bavarois out onto a flat serving plate. Spoon creme
anglaise around it, and garnish with chocolate coated marron glaces.

My notes: you could make it more heady by flavouring the creme anglaise
with rum instead of vanilla and perhaps use some thin chocolate sauce
to make a nice butterflied pattern through the creme anglaise on the
plate. Looks very elegant.

Chestnut Log

Make 1 day ahead of serving.
Serves 8-10 (it's VERY rich).

2 x 500g cans unsweetened chestnut puree (if using sweetened reduce
the sugar in the recipe or it will be sickly sweet),
1 tblsp cream, heated, 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened,
3/4 cup castor sugar, 2 tblsp rum, pinch of salt, oil for mould or terrine.

Chocolate glaze:
155g dark chocolate, 150ml cream, 30g butter

Garnish: marron glace

To make the cake: beat all the ingredients with an electric beater until
they are thoroughly mixed and smooth. Oil a 23 x 10 cm (9 x 4 inch)
loaf tin and spoon in the mixture. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

To make the glaze: melt the chocolate with the cream in a bowl set over
hot water. Beat in the butter and allow the mixture to cool until it
achieves a spreadable consistency.

Top unmould and ice the cake: run a knife around the loaf tin and unmould
the log onto a flat platter. Cover it with the chocolate glaze and place
in the refrigerator until set firmly. Chestnut log must be stored in
the refrigerator. Serve garnished with marron glace.


Torta di Castagne

Very moist and rummy, more like a pudding than a cake. Without the
cream filling and topping can be made up to 1 week in advance..after
cooling, wrap it tightly and store in an airtight tin. Once the cake has
been assembled with the cream it should be kept in the fridge. Allow it
to come to room temperature for at least 30 minutes before serving so
that the full flavour of the cake can be savoured.

Serves 8 - 10

150g plain flour, pinch salt, 250g butter, softened, 200g sugar,
325g canned sweetened chestnut puree, 9 eggs, separated, 7 tbsp dark rum,
300ml double/heavy cream, 4-6 marron glaces to decorate.

Grease a 22cm/8.5inch springform cake tin. Line the bottom with nonstick
baking paper, then grease the paper. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.
Sift the flour and salt into a bowl and set aside. In a separate bowl,
beat the butter and 175g sugar until light and fluffy, then beat in
250g of the chestnut puree a little at a time, alternating with the egg
yolks. Fold in the flour until evenly incorporated.
In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff, then fold into the
cake mixture until evenly incorporated. Turn the mixture into the prepared
cake tin, level the surface and bake for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted
into the centre comes our clean. Remove the cake from the oven and pierce
holes in the top with a fine skewer, then pour over 4 tbsp of the rum.
Leave the cake in the tin until completely cold. It may crack and flatten
slightly on cooling...this is normal.
Remove the cake from the tin and slice into 2 layers. Whip the cream
with the remaining chestnut puree, sugar and rum. Place on cake on a
plate and spread with some of the cream mixture. Top with the other layer
and swirl over the remaining cream mixture. Decorate with the
marrons glaces.

My note: This looks nice decorated with chocolate rose leaves too.

Crostata di Marroni

Serves 4-6.

225g plain flour, 85g ground almonds, 85g caster sugar, pinch salt,
150g butter, softened, 1 egg, 1 egg yolk.

440g can unsweetened chestnut puree (reduce sugar in recipe if using the
sweetened variety), 115g sugar, 2 tbsp water, pinch cream of tartar,
1 tbsp rum, 1-2 tbsp icing sugar to finish.

Make the pastry: sift the flour, ground almonds, sugar and salt onto a
cold work surface. Make a well in the centre and add the butter in pieces
and then the egg and egg yolk. Work the ingredients together lightly with
your fingertips, gradually bringing the flour into the centre (or just
use a food processor). Gather the dough into a rough ball, then knead
gently on a floured surface until smooth. Wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the filling. Put the chestnut puree in a bowl and mash
well with a fork. Put the sugar, water and cream of tartar in a small
saucepan and stir over very gentle heat until dissolved. Bring to the boil
and boil for 1 minute then pour into the chestnut puree and beat until
well mixed. Add the rum and beat again to mix.
Preheat the oven to 190C/375F. Cut the pastry in half and use one half
to line a 20 - 23cm/8-9inch sloping sided, loose bottomed flan tin. Spread
the chestnut filling evenly in the tin, then crumble the remaining dough
evenly over the top. Bake for 30 - 35 minutes or until the pastry is
golden brown. Remove the sides of the tin and leave the tart to cool on
a wire rack. Sift icing sugar lightly over the crumble topping just before

Just a note: add sugar gradually if substituting the sweetened puree
for the unsweetened kind as the sweetened one is very very
conservative in your amounts or the result could be sickly sweet.


Chestnut Creams

60g unsalted butter, 60g cooking chocolate, 60g copha (vegetable shortening),
125g sweetened chestnut spread/puree, 2 tsp rum, 125g milk chocolate.

Bring butter to room temperature. Melt chopped chocolate and chopped
copha over hot water, remove and allow to cool without setting.
Cream butter and beat in chestnut spread and rum. Stir in cooled
chocolate mixture. Melt additional chocolate over hot water (I'd use
dark chocolate instead of turns out much better). Place 36
coloured foil cases on tray and pour 1/2 teaspoon melted chocolate
into each case, just enough to cover base. Reserve remaining melted
Place chestnut mixture into a piping bag fitted with a fluted tube and
pipe swirls of mixture into foil cases. Trickle reserved melted chocolate
over chestnut mixture in cases. Keep refrigerated until serving.


Festliche Schokoladen Marzipan Torte

(Chocolate Chestnut Marzipan Delight)

Serves 16

5 eggs, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup flour, 1 tsp baking powder,
2 tblsp "Dutch process" cocoa, 1 recipe Chocolate Icing (recipe follows)
Chestnut Filling (recipe follows), 1/4 cup apricot jam, 1 cup almond

Preheat oven to 350F/180C. Butter and flour a 9-inch springform pan.
Set aside.
Beat eggs, sugar, flour, baking powder and cocoa until smooth. Pour batter
into prepared pan and bake in oven until skewer inserted comes out clean
(about 25 minutes). Remove from oven and cool on wire rack.
Prepare icing and Chestnut Filling and set aside to cool.
When cake is cool, remove from pan and cut into two layers. Frost bottom
layer with Chestnut Filling. Top with remaining cake layer. Warm the
apricot jam and spread on top of cake. Dust the bottom disc of a springform
pan with sugar. Place the almond paste in the centre of the disc and, with
a rolling pin, roll into a thin circle. With a sharp knife, trim excess
paste around edge of disc. Reserve almond paste scraps for decoration.
Invert the springform disc with the almond paste over the cake top.
With a long metal spatula, gently loosen the almond paste onto the cake top.
Cover the cake top and sides with the chocolate icing. Divide almond paste
scraps into 16 pieces. Roll gently between palms to form tiny balls.
Decorate the outer edge of the cake with the 16 balls. To serve, cut into
16 wedges.

Chestnut Filling:

1 cup sweetened chestnut puree, 1 tblsp lemon juice, 1/3 cup whipping cream,
1 egg yolk.
Combine ingredients in a nonstick pan and cook over low heat until
mixture thickens. Stir constantly while cooking. Remove from heat
and cool.

Chocolate Icing:

1/2 cup butter, 1 cup semisweet/bittersweet chocolate.
Melt butter in a small heavy saucepan. Add chocolate to butter. Remove
>from heat and stir until smooth. Let cool until icing is of spreading
To melt refrigerated icing: Cook over very low heat, stirring constantly,
just until chocolate melts. Remove from heat and let cool until icing
is of a spreading consistency.


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