Sunday, October 25, 2009

Chestnuts fever I: mont blanc + marrons glacés + chocolate chestnut soufflé
栗子狂熱: 蒙布朗 + 糖漬栗子 +朱古力 栗子梳乎厘

Have I ever mention my unexplainable crush with chestnuts?

As the cool autumn breeze arrive, my long-waited favorite fall ingredient is back! Last weekend, Mr. T and I were doing our normal weekend grocery shopping in Ranch99, and guess what? I saw CHESTNUTS! 2.99/lb!??!!! Really!? SERIOUS??! And they are in jumbo size too???!!! I immediately threw two bags of chestnuts into my shopping cart. Ha!!

This week is marrons glacés + mont blanc + chocolate chestnut soufflé!
*Also another favourite of all time: Lots of chestnuts pound cake

marrons glacés

Now I finally understand why are marrons glacés so expensive. It's a very time consuming process! But these marrons glacés totally worth the time and effort I spent....SO GOOD!

Hhmmmmm...the soft chestnuts texture, the subtle sweetness, the hint of vanilla have try it yourself to understand the magic of marrons glacés!!

Chestnuts, shells removed // 1 kg (2.5lb)
Granulated sugar // 500g
Water // 2 cup
Vanilla bean // 1

1. In a large saucepan, cover chestnuts with water. Bring to a boil. Boil 8 minutes. Discard liquid. Drain. Using a kitchen towel, rub off brown inner skins.

2. In a large saucepan, cook sugar, water and vanilla bean over low heat. Stir until sugar dissolves. Simmer 5 minutes. Add chestnuts. Increase heat. Boil 10 minutes.

3. Remove vanilla bean. Pour syrup and nuts into a large bowl. Let stand 12 hours. Return to pan. Boil 1 minute. Return to bowl. Let stand 24 hours. Repeat process 3 times until syrup has been absorbed.

4. Preheat oven to 150F. Cover a wire rack with parchment paper. Place chestnuts on wire rack. Bake in preheated oven with oven door open 2 hours or until firm. Remove from oven. Cool.

* notes *
1. The chestnuts didn't absorb all the syrup, so I just discard the remaining syrup.

2. Store in a container lined with waxed paper. Will keep up to 2 weeks.

Shot after boiling on the first day. I kept some of chestnuts with cleaned skin.

Started with 1 kg of chestnuts ended up with 0.6kg of perfect chestnut after the whole process!

mont blanc

If I have to pick one dessert that's truly capture my heart, then it must be mont blanc! Unfortunately, I haven't see any bakery selling mont blnac here, so sad /_\

This version of mont blanc is composed of a delicate macaron-like meringue, with a layer of crème marrons on top of it, wrapped by the soft and creamy crème fouette and finally topped with generous crème chantilly aux marrons. A word to say: marvelous!

Egg white // 105g
Raw sugar // 12g
Sugar // 160g
Powdered sugar // 30g

1. Beat together egg whites, 1/3 sugar and all the raw sugar in high speed until volume is formed. Add in 1/3 sugar and beat in medium speed for another 2-3 minutes.

2. Add in the remaining 1/3 sugar and beat in low speed until stiff peak. (Beat in lower speed will create a more smooth and less bubble meringue). Fold in powdered sugar.

3. Pipe the batter into small rounds(around 1.5" in diameter) on the parchment paper.

4. Bake 140C/284F for 10 - 15 minutes. When feet are formed, open the oven door and increase temperature to 150C/302F. Bake for another 30-40 minutes. Turn off oven when finished and let them sit inside the oven for a night.

1. This meringue is a very delicious sweet treat with a delicate crust and a caramelized layer in the center. I almost ate all of them the day after!

:Crème Marrons:
Chestnut puree // 50g
Butter // 15g
Rum liquor // 2g

1. Cream the butter, then add in chestnut puree until fully incorporated. Finally fold in rum.

:Crème Fouette:
Heavy whipping cream // 120g
Whipping cream // 120g

1. Pour both cream into a bowl that sits on ice water. Beat until almost stiff peak.

:Crème Chantilly aux Marrons:
Chestnut puree // 400g
Milk // 60g
Heavy whipping cream // 200g

1. Place chestnut puree into a large bowl, add in milk bit by bit to form a smooth cream.

2. Add in cream all at once and use a whisk to combine. Place the bowl over ice water and beat until stiff peak.

3. Use a pastry bag and pipe on top of the Crème Fouette.

1. I don't have the spaghetti pastry tip, so I use the star tip instead.

2. The original recipe didn't yield enough crème chantilly aux marrons, so I have no choice but to leave out the meringue.

chocolate and marrons glacés soufflé with chocolate sauce

2 serving
revised from Gourmet Traveller

Dark chocolate, finely chopped // 60g
Marrons glacés, finely chopped // 10g
Egg whites // 3
Sugar, plus extra for mould // 30g

1. For chocolate sauce: combine chocolate, cream and Cognac in a heatproof bowl and place over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth. Set aside and keep warm.

2. Preheat oven to 180C. Melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth, add marrons glacés and combine. Keep warm.

3. Meanwhile, whisk eggwhites until soft peaks form, add one-third of the sugar and whisk until glossy. Add remaining sugar, whisking continuously, until firm peaks form.

4. Add egg yolks to chocolate mixture and mix to combine (mixture will stiffen slightly). Fold one-third of the eggwhite mixture through chocolate mixture to lighten, then fold through remaining eggwhite mixture.

5. Divide among 2 buttered and sugared ramekins, smoothing tops and running a finger around edges.

6. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until risen and just cooked, dust with cocoa and serve immediately with chocolate sauce to pour over.

comment | 6 comments:
Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets said...

Lovely job on all of these! The mont blanc in particular really peaks my curiosity and I'd love to find a place to try it near DC. You have way more patience than me to have made your own marrons glacés.

Yujai said...

Thanks! Yea, I guess it would be a while before I want to make them again...haha, I was handicap after peeling and shelling those chestnuts...XD

Anonymous said...

請問糖漬栗子中Granulated sugar // 1 L的L是1磅?

Yujai said...

Oops! Typo. It should be 500g. Updated the recipe.

Quizzed said...

Beautiful! I'm trying the recipe now; if everything works out, these will be great holiday gifts.
The mont blac is amazing-looking; I'd love to try eating one someday!

Mika said...

Hi~ all your pics make me soooo hungry!!!! and i'm "supposedly" on a diet -.- so anyways i was wondering is it ok to leave out the rum liquor for the mont blanc recipe???

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