Chestnuts are one of my five-year old son’s favourite snacks. In Singapore, street vendors roast them in a covered urn or wok, filled with charcoal bits. You crack open the shell, and the flesh within is creamy, sweet, fragrant, and extremely addictive. My family goes through a 600g bag whenever the craving strikes. But recently, I have also developed an appreciation for the cooked and peeled chestnuts that come in foil packs, sold in convenience stores and supermarkets. With a few of those packets in hand, whipping up this crème de marrons is a piece of cake.
For this delicious spread, all you need are three ingredients – sugar, cream and chestnuts, a handheld blender, and fifteen minutes. My family’s favourite way of eating this is by smearing a layer within hot spelt crepes (pictured) or buckwheat galettes in the morning. With a strong cup of coffee, it is the breakfast of champions. For dessert, dollop some on vanilla ice-cream and blanket with shaved dark chocolate, or sandwich a generous amount between two sponge cake discs. Heck, I have even eaten it straight out of the jar with a spoon (as I do with Nutella or peanut butter) after a particularly trying day. It went down very well indeed.
Crème de marrons
300ml cream (35% fat)
⅓ cup white/light brown sugar
300g cooked and peeled chestnuts
Combine all the ingredients in a pot, bring cream up to a gentle bubble. Turn the heat down low and simmer for a few minutes.
Using a potato masher, gently break up the chestnuts. This is a good way to test if chestnuts have softened.
Once chestnuts have softened, either transfer mixture to a blender or use a handheld blender, and blitz till smooth.
Store in an airtight jar in the fridge, for up to two weeks.