Here’s what I learned today…

Chestnut paste is heavy, whipped cream is light. Put one on top of the other in any quantity and the result will be…this. Hm…this is going to mean a re-think of the recipe since I don’t much care for the idea of a giant, shambling mound of chestnut paste on a base. I like chestnut paste, just not THAT much. Also, after all that hassle I ended up receiving chestnut spread in the mail, not chestnut paste, and there’s a difference. Man, my projects are getting the best of me in the dog days of summer, aren’t they?

11 thoughts on “Here’s what I learned today…”

  1. Joe, would you be able to make your own chestnut paste? Either from fresh chestnuts that you boil or roast yourself or ones that are pre-cooked? For the last few years here (Canada), we’ve been able to get little pouches of fully cooked and peeled chestnuts. They are nice and soft and I’m sure would mash down into a paste with some sugar very easily. Here’s an example: They’re usually in the snack/nut aisle of the grocery store, I think. Good luck!

    1. I should add that although the particular one I linked to is organic, these are not a “luxury” item! A 100g (3.5oz) bag is usually around $1.50 or $2.

  2. You might try Italian-style monte bianco – it puts a mound of chestnut paste on the bottom to stand in for the mountain and the whipped cream goes on top as the snow cap. Might work better with gravity and all.
    I’m thrilled that you’re doing this – it’s one of my favorite desserts and I don’t have a good recipe for it. Good luck and thanks.

  3. A french version of the recipe that I’ve seen called for crumbling meringues and folding them into the whipped cream. That should give the base some structure and likely solve the collapse issue.

    1. Hey Dani! Very interesting…I may well employ that little trick!


      – Joe

  4. The chestnut paste topping on the pastry I ate in Japan had probably some whipped cream folded into it: it was light (though not as light as whipped cream). There was chestnut paste also under the whipped cream which also might make the pastry more “stable” 😀 Hope you manage to nail it 🙂

    I made my own chestnut paste last year (never again! Too laborious peeling the inner skin and pushing the chestnuts through sieve… it was a total disaster).

    1. Hey Yukiko!

      I have no ambition to make my own chestnut purée, though with my food mill it probably wouldn’t be a very big deal. Still, if canned is good enough for the French and Italians, it’s good enough for me. Stay tuned!

      – Joe

  5. Joe—by some work of the Gods, my sister in law, who just came back from Paris, brought me back some Angelina Creme de marrons. I was like…that’s so funny, I was just reading a blog about chestnut paste, and she just bought it cause it looked “fancy”.

    its an insanely small tube, I might be able to make 2 of these Mont Blanc things.

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