Happy Halloween!

Halloween 2018

Oompa loompa doompety doo, I’ve got a perfect puzzle for you … ♪♫

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Ruby chocolate here we go!

Ruby chocolate baci

Touted as the 4th chocolate type in the world, Ruby Chocolate has been gaining momentum and now we have this: a limited edition of Baci that tastes as pretty as it looks. I learned about Ruby choco only recently (and have been trying to find bars or callets to use in baking), but it’s still not available in amounts for non-professionals.

Kit Kat Ruby Chocolate

The ever-so-slightly sour but fruity flavor should appeal to those who don’t care for the sickly sweetness of white chocolate. Personally, I will always be a fan of dark chocolate, but if Baci and KitKat can make a go of it, I imagine others will be jumping in on the Ruby craze.

Chestnut fever

Marroni from Iperal
Large marroni for 5,99€/kilo

We’ve had them oven-roasted, boiled, turned into puree, cooked in rice (kurigohan style), and I think I’ll try dipping some in chocolate tonight. This was a terrific year for chestnuts, but even though the harvest has ended in our neighborhood, supermarkets will likely have them stocked for at least another few weeks.

Chestnut sizes

I bought 13 of the large marroni variety. Enormous and beautiful, yhey’re quite impressive next to the chestnuts I collect here. Yet every single time, no matter where I get them from, most turn out rotten inside and not usable at all.

Chestnut as big as doxie's paw

One of the marroni next to the dachshund’s paw!

Peeled marroni

But as I’ve said, you don’t always get what you expect. Marroni are easier to peel, yet out of the thirteen, 2 turned out perfect with another 2 partially blemished. You can see a couple of rejects in the container.

Prep for Mont Blanc dessert

Prepping for a Mont Blanc dessert: homemade chestnut puree, freshly whipped cream, finely chopped candied chestnuts. I’ll add my non-recipe for the puree at the end.

I take shortcuts wherever necessary, so store-purchased sponge cake layers it is!

Building Mont Blanc mini cakes

3-inch sponge cake cut-outs filled with a whipped cream/chopped chestnut mixture. Half of a boiled chestnut on top, dollop of whipped cream, and silly chestnut string to finish. Sweet bliss.

To make the puree: place 2 heaping cups of unpeeled chestnuts in a large pot of water, bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Drain, cut chestnuts in half, squeeze/scoop out the flesh into a clean pot. If cooked well enough, the flesh will be crumbly.

Cover the cooked chestnuts with milk and bring to a simmer; continue to cook for about 20 minutes then sweeten to taste (taste the milk) with granulated or brown sugar.

Strain mixture (you can save the delicious milk for breakfast granola) and scoop into the container of an immersion blender. Blend until smooth, adding a tiny amount of milk if it is too stiff (you want a consistency that will pipe easily but not be too runny). Press the puree through a fine mesh sieve; store and refrigerate in an airtight container. Will keep for up to 3 days.