Sweet Chestnuts are to be found all over the place at this time of year, so what better excuse than to make use of them. Take your kids out collecting, and then have some fun making something tasty.
There are two parts to this recipe. Making the Chestnut paste. If you make enough of it you can use half a freeze the rest for use in many different recipes … even your stuffing at Christmas time.
Then there is the dressing recipe.
The resulting dressing is almost like a buttercream. With a small amount of nuttiness.
Ingredients for the Chestnut & Orange Chocolate dressing:
225g/8oz Chestnut Puree
175g/6oz Caster Sugar
250g/9oz Plain Chocolate
The finely grated rind and juice of 1 Orange
Method for Chestnut puree:
1. Bring a large pan of water to the boil.
2. Meanwhile, make a X shaped incision on the flat side of each chestnut. Put the nuts into the boiling water and boil for 5-10 minutes, then remove and peel first and second skin.
3. Place the peeled chestnuts in a medium saucepan with the milk and vanilla. Cook over moderate heat for 45 minutes or until tender.
4. Drain the cooked chestnuts, reserving a little of the cooking liquid, then place in a food processor and process until smooth, adding a little of the cooking liquid if necessary.
5. Transfer to a mixing bowl add the softened butter and mix thoroughly.
6. This is the puree complete and you can freeze or use it once cooled.
Method for Chestnut & Orange Chocolate Dressing:
1. In a large mixing bowl, beat the puree until soft.
2. In another mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
3. Break up the chocolate and place in a heatproof bowl. Set over a pan of very hot (but not boiling) water and stir until melted.
4. Add the melted chocolate and chestnut puree to the creamed butter and sugar together with the orange rind and juice. Beat until well blended.
5. Let the mixture chill for about 3 hours, and then it can be used for your dressing. It’s lovely used on the top of cupcakes, or as cake filling.