Okay, so I have a question. Is it possible to be able to roast/boil/roast then boil/boil then roast/otherwise cook chestnuts such that the inner skin can actually be peeled off with relative ease? Is it just me who has this problem?
My solution is to use packed pre-cooked and peeled chestnuts from those handy foil packages. Unfortunately, too bad/so long/oh well for freshness and DIY. I’ve completely given up on the chestnut front–I think it’s a lost cause.
mont blanc kvæfjord cake
Adapted from Norwegian Cakes and Cookies by Sverre Sætre, combined with elements from a chestnut mont blanc I once made. Makes enough for 6 8-cm diametre cakes. They’re too big for one person though, so I think making more smaller cakes would have been nicer!
chestnut butter cake
65 g soft butter
33 g granulated sugar
3 egg yolks, room temperature
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
15 g chestnut flour
52 all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
35 g milk, room temperature
42 g unskinned almonds
40 g icing sugar
94 g egg white (3 egg whites)
47 g granulated sugar
To prepare for the meringue, toast the almonds in a pan until very fragrant. Grind together with the icing sugar in a food processor until quite fine, and set aside. Put the egg whites (for the meringue) in a bowl (it’s useful if you have a stand mixer) and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 375F. Line two pans with parchment paper and trace 12 8-cm diameter circles on the backside of the parchment.
To make the cake, cream together the butter and sugar (for the cake) until light, beat in the orange blossom water, then the eggs (for the cake), bit by bit. Whisk together the flours and baking powder. Alternate adding the flour and milk to the butter, mixing until just combined.
At this point, if you have a stand mixer, you can start beating the egg whites (for the meringue), beating them until frothy and then gradually adding the granulated sugar (for the meringue). Divide the cake batter into twelve spoonfuls, one for each circle. Spread out the batter with an offset spatula, into a thin even circle, following the lines you traced earlier on the parchment.
Return to the meringue, beating the egg whites until they hold stiff, voluminous, smooth peaks. Whisk the almond and icing sugar to loosen the mixture, and fold into the egg whites. Fill a piping bag fitted with an Ateco 804 or Wilton 2A tip (equivalent courtesy of this handy reference). Slowly pipe a spiral overtop of each cake layer.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the bottom of each cake layer is nicely golden, and the meringue crust is crisp and set. If you have extra meringue, you can pipe a small test meringue on the side–the outside will be crisp and the inside still soft.
230 g chestnut puree
25 g sugar
35 g butter
1 capful rum, or to taste
Press the chestnut puree through a sieve with a rubber spatula. Beat in the sugar and butter, then the rum. Beat until lightened. Fill a piping bag fit with a Mont Blanc tip.
6 roasted and peeled chestnuts
~ 150 mL heavy cream
powdered sugar, if desired
Whip cream until stiff, and add sugar as desired to slightly sweeten. Place a chestnut on cake side of 6 rounds. Pile a spoonful of whipped cream overtop, smoothing a bit with an offset spatula if necessary. Pipe the chestnut cream around each, and top each with the other 6 rounds.