Chestnuts may seem like quite a Christmassy thing to us but they are a much more popular and widely used ingredient throughout Europe.
While chestnuts lend themselves well to stuffing and soups, I think I prefer them in sweet dishes. The Italians love to make chestnut cakes, the French stuff their crepes with sweet chestnut cream and then there is the infamous Mont Blanc, a vision of a dessert made from pureed chestnuts and whipped cream enjoyed in many countries throughout the world.
We were sent a Panettone at work this year stuffed with marrons glacés, or candied chestnuts, and I couldn’t stop going back for more. They are such a treat for the sweet toothed (me) and they almost melt in your mouth.
Chestnut ice cream might sound a bit odd but it is a popular flavour through ice cream parlours in Europe. I’ve made a frozen yoghurt version, but the consistency came out better than I had imagined, very smooth and ‘ice creamy’.
You can chop up the marrons glacés and fold them into the mixture when you pour it out of the ice cream maker, or you can just crumble some on top before serving if you prefer. Marrons glacés can be a little tricky to hunt down, especially out of season, so instead try topping the frozen yoghurt with candied nuts or chocolate chips instead (or both!).
I use coconut palm sugar to sweeten the yoghurt which is one of my favourite ingredients for it’s caramelly flavour (despite the name and where it comes from it tastes nothing like coconut). It is an unrefined sugar and apparently has a low GI as well as retaining some minerals. Natural brown sugar should also work nicely though I haven’t tried this.
Chestnut and rum frozen yoghurt with marrons glacés
About 1 litre
- 500g full fat natural yoghurt
- 400g chestnut puree
- 170g coconut palm sugar
- 2 tbsp. dark rum
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 tsp. xanthan gum
- Marrons glacés, chopped
Put the yoghurt, chestnuts and sugar into a saucepan and heat over a medium heat until the sugar has fully dissolved and everything has incorporated.
Let the mixture cool then pour it into a blender. Add the rum, vanilla and xanthan gum and then blend to mix everything smoothly.
Pour the mixture into a bowl and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight until completely cold.
Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker to churn according to manufacturers instructions (mine takes about half an hour.)
I prefer to eat this as a soft serve, straight from the ice cream maker but you can also pour the frozen mixture into a freezer-proof tub and freeze for later.
If you want to put the marrons glacés into the mixture, fold them into the frozen yoghurt after it’s finished churning. Alternatively, crumble them on top before serving.
Make sure you take the tub out of the freezer about 20 minutes or so before serving to soften.