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OK, I'm after inspiration. I have a large sweet chestnut tree at the end of my garden..... and it's absolutely laden this year. The chestnuts are starting to fall and I'm about to face my annual chestnut glut. Each year I roast a handful, keep a couple of handfuls back for the Christmas stuffing and then dump as many of the remainder as I can be bothered to collect in a box at the top of the drive for passers by to help themselves to.

I have got a couple of friends coming round to help themselves to some, but since I'm assuming that they're planning on filling a carrier bag or 2, rather than a trailer, I'm still going to have masses left for us.

This year I'd like to be a bit more imaginative with them and not allow as many to go to waste, but I can't think what to do with them. I have found a recipe for chestnut jam :shock: , but I'm not sure that I fancy it.

Has any one got any tried and tested chestnut recipes please?

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Lucky you! I might just come and visit the end of your drive!


I seem to remember making a loaf of bread that had chestnuts in it and was rather good. Think I've also seen an interesting looking chocolate and chestnut cake recipe somewhere. And we've definitely made lovely winter stews with chestnuts in: I think they go well with beef (though we rarely have that). Do any of these interest you??

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Christine, any time you're in the area just come and knock... you can have as many of the things as you can carry. Honest. My house backs onto a mature wood, and back in the '60's the whole area was wooded. They then built our estate on woodland, leaving several mature trees standing in the gardens. My chestnut is a magnificent specimen, and being right at the far end of our garden doesn't get in the way at all.... except for in the spring when the flowering bits fall, and at this time of year when the leaves and nuts fall.

Lesley.... if only you were nearer I'd extend the same invite to you, but Stratford's approx 150 miles from here, and a bit far to travel for a few chestnuts. I'm not sure what postage would be on a kilo or 2 of chestnuts... I'll investigate :wink:

I do always save a few for my Christmas stuffing.... Delia does a good one that I use most years, and I've just found a recipe for Chestnut soup from her as well. I might give it a go :D

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Thanks so much for that link Craig, some great ideas there. Since the chestnuts are now falling thick and fast I'm a bit inundated so I'm sure that I'll be able to try some of those recpies.


Kate.... I'm competing with you now for obscure things to soak in alcohol.... I reckion that this one beats the beech leaf liquour :lol::lol::lol: I'm seriously considering giving it a try :wink:



Chestnuts in Spirits - - Marroni al Liquore


Chestnuts in Spirits, or Marroni al Liquore: If you want something more elaborate than simple Marrons Glacés, you can make Marroni al Liquore, Chestnuts in spirits. Again, you'll need marroni and not simple castagne. The recipe makes a lot, so this could be a good Epiphany gift.



4 1/2 pounds (2 k) marroni

18 ounces (500 g) sugar

1 quart (1 liter) water

1/2 quart (500 ml) rum, cognac or brandy

2 bay leaves

4 cloves


Carefully peel off the outer skins of the chestnuts, without nicking the inner skins, and set them in a large pot of cold water, with the bay leaf and the cloves. When you are finished peeling bring the pot to a slow boil and cook the chestnuts 25 minutes.


Carefully remove the chestnuts with a slotted spoon and set them on a plate to cool. When they have almost completely cooled use a thin bladed knife to remove the inner skins, being careful because the chestnuts will be crumbly.


Combine the sugar and the water in a broad pot, bring it to a boil, and skim the froth that rises to the surface. After 8 minutes add the chestnuts to the syrup and let them simmer without stirring them for 5 more minutes, over a very low flame.


Let everything cool and then carefully remove the chestnuts with a slotted spoon, layering them in an elegant, wide-mouthed jar. Return the pot to the fire and bring the syrup back to a boil. Skim off the froth several times, add the liquor, stir, and let it cool to room temperature. Once it has cooled gently pour it over the chestnuts. If there's not enough liquid to cover them add more alcohol to cover, without stirring. Seal the jar with a lid, and set it in a cool dark place for 2 weeks or more.


Bottoms Up all!!!

Oh, and if anyone's in the Dartford area over Christmas do come and see me.... I might even offer you a drink of this stuff :wink:

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i havent made this, but it sounds nice.


chestnut and chocolate cake


450 gm fresh chestnuts

1 x vanilla pod


110 gm plain chocolate

4 x eggs separated

220 gm caster sugar

For the filling:

60 gm plain chocolate

150 ml double cream

150 gm marrons

marrons glaces chopped

For the icing:

100 gm plain chocolate

60 gm butter diced

68 x marrons glaces (optional)


Method :

First deal with tbe fresh chestnuts.

Score an X in the skin and put them into a pan with enough waler to cover.

Bring up to the boil and simmer for a minute.

Draw if the heat but not drain.

Take chestnuts out and peel one or two at a time bringing the water back to the boil when necessary.

Put the peeled chestnuts into a pan with the vanilla pod and pour in ono milk to cover.

Bring up to the boil and then simmer until the chestnuts are very tender Drain and pick out the vanilla pod.

Put the chestnuts into the processor with the chocolate and whizz until very very finely chopped s"Ooops, word censored!"ing down the sides frequently.

Beat the egg yolks with the sugar until light and pale.

Fold in the chestnut and chocolate mixture.

Mix the egg whites until they form stiff peaks and fold in.

Divide the mixture between two 20cm cake tins lined with non stick baking parchment spreading it down lightly.

Bake for about 20 minutes at 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 until just firm.

Cool for 20 minutes in the tin then turn out and finish cooling on the baking parchment on a cake rack (the cakes are too delicate to be placed on it directly).

To make the filling break the chocolate into pieces and place in a bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water making sure that the base of the bowl does not touch the water.

As soon as the chocolate has melted lift the bowl off the pan and let the chocolate cool until barely tepid.

Whip the cream and fold into the chocolate.

Spread the mixture over one of the cakes scatter with chopped marrons and sandwich with the second cake having carefully peeled off the parchment.

To make the icing melt the chocolate as before then gradually beat in the butter a little at a time.

Cool until begining to thicken then spoon over the top and down the sides Decorate with marrons glaces (if using) before the icing sets.

Serves 10

Any problems are readily disguised with strategic blobs of filling or icing as appropriate. The finished cake will keep in the fridge for several days so can be made ahead of time.

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Laura, thanks so much for those links. I'm planning to make that chocolate cake... it sounds delicious, so chocolate cake baking as well as Christmas cake baking will be on my half term activity list :D:D

(Any excuse to eat chocolate..... and I can quite sincerely blame it on the need to do something with all those darned chestnuts :roll: )


Reading through the downunder link... I love the sound of this one, I think I'm going to make it for dinner tonight :D


Boulders' Spicy Sweet Potato and Chestnut Gratin


[Reset] Keys : Side Dish Vegetables Tubers Root Vegetable Nuts

Ingredients :


Vegetable oil or spray as needed

1 cup skim milk

1/4 cup maple syrup

3 x garlic cloves chopped

2 x ancho chilies stems removed, and

torn into 1/2" pieces

2 lrg or 3 medium sweet potatoes peeled, and

thinly sliced

Salt to taste

Freshly-ground black pepper to taste

3 x leeks, white part only thinly sliced

1/2 cup roasted chestnuts coarsley chopped

(or substitute canned chestnuts)

1/2 cup grated aged Monterey Jack cheese

(or Asiago or Parmigiano-Reggiano)

Snipped chives (optional)


Method :

Lightly spray a 9-inch by 12-inch oven-proof casserole dish with vegetable spray. In a small saucepan, heat the milk and maple syrup. Remove from the heat and add the garlic and chilies and let steep for 30 minutes. Puree in blender.

Lay about 1/3 of the potato slices in one layer of the casserole dish, overlapping slightly. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle 1/3 of the milk mixture over the potatoes. Sprinkle with 1/3 of the leeks and 1/3 of the chestnuts and 1/3 of the grated cheese. Repeat twice more.

Cover the dish with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 20 minutes, or until brown and bubbly. Let sit for 20 minutes. Serve cut into squares or circles, or spoon from the casserole. Sprinkle with snipped chives.

This recipe yields 6 servings.





There's also a tasty sounding Autumn casserole there..... and surely I can't be the only one salivating at the idea of Banana Rum Fritters with a Rum Chestnut Sauce :drool: . And luckily I have some bananas in, as well as the great chestnut glut :D Might need to get to the offy later, for a bottle of rum :oops::wink:


Thanks so much. I might not be around much this week.... I've got a lot of baking to get on with :D

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Mmm - that sounds lovely Kate - let us know how it goes.


And what a great link Laura! I've just tried it for cashew nuts as I have a packet that needs using, and I got nearly 400 recipes! Particularly like the sound of Brown sugar cashew corn bread; Cardamom and Cashew lamb with spiced cucumber relish; and Rosemary cashew biscotti!! :D

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Im going chestnut picking again later!


I pickle some

store some (for roasting on the fire over christmas)

roast some to make chestnut coffee

roast some for soups

roast, chop and freeze some for use in chestnut stuffing


Im sure you could make a lovely chestnut brittle or praline for christmas too!


finally how about chestnut flour?

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