Monday, October 16, 2017

Chestnut Recipe- Chestnutella

We have many sources for our local harvest of Chinese chestnuts (Castanea molissima). This has been a mediocre mast year, but we have found plenty to boil for a fresh snack or for a recipe or two, plus have a few pounds in our freezer from last year. Commercial cocoa-hazelnut spread is an inherently unhealthy product filled with modified palm oil and massive amounts of sugar. In this recipe we tried working with natural starchiness and thickening properties of cooked chestnut to make a thick spread that provides a deep chocolate flavor from cocoa powder with a hint of sweet nuttiness. The recipe calls for milk, but in our house we use nut-based or soy-based "milks" for dietary reasons; keep all tree nut milks in mind for allergy reasons. We use a Vitamix blender for an absolutely smooth spread, but a food processor can be used for a grainier spread, or a mortar and pestle can be used as well.

Chestnutella   makes about 4c.

1 c. milk (or almond milk, or soy milk), or 225 g
1 c. plus 1 Tbsp sugar, or 235 g
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 c. boiled, shelled chestnut meat, or about 400 g
1/2 c. cocoa powder, or 56 g

1. In a saucepan, heat the milk and sugar together and stir until the sugar is dissolved.
2. Pour the hot milk and sugar mix into the carafe of a blender, add the vanilla. Add the boiled, shelled chestnut meats about 1/2 cup at a time, blending well between each addition.
3. Sift the cocoa powder into the blender carafe and blend until homogenized. The spread will thicken as it cools, so consider adding a bit more milk to thin it further.
4. Keep chestnutella spread in the fridge. Spread liberally on toast, fill crepes, swirl into ice cream, and use to flavor desserts like brownies, tartlets, and sweet wontons.

The spiny husk, leathery chestnut in the shell, boiled and shelled chestnut, and chestnut meat with the papery skin removed

1 comment:

Sandra said...

This looks so delicious! And I can't thank you enough for posting international measurements AND a vegan-friendly option. What great blog you have! Thank you. Can't wait to try everything!