Chestnut "Mountain"

Serves: 6
Total Calories: 237


1 pound fresh chestnuts, or substitute 1 pound vacuum-packed cooked unsweetened chestnuts
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted
2 tablespoons dark or light rum or brandy
1 cup heavy or whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Shaved bittersweet chocolate, for garnish


1 If using fresh chestnuts, place the nuts flat side down on a cutting board. With a small sharp knife, make a slit in the shell without cutting through to the chestnut itself. Place the chestnuts in a saucepan with cold water to cover by two inches and the salt. Bring to a boil and cook until tender when pierced with a knife, about 15 minutes. Let cool slightly in the water. Remove the chestnuts from the water one at a time and peel them while they are still warm, removing both the outer shell and inner skin.

2 Place the peeled chestnuts, or vacuum-packed chestnuts, in a medium saucepan. Add the milk and sugar and bring to a simmer over low heat. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the chestnuts are tender but still hold their shape, about 10 minutes for the vacuum-packed or 20 minutes for the fresh-peeled.

3 Place the chestnuts and cooking liquid in a food processor with the rum. Process until smooth, about 3 minutes. Stir in the melted chocolate. Let cool to room temperature.

4 Scrape the mixture into a food mill fitted with the large-hole blade, or into a potato ricer. Holding the food mill over a serving plate, pass the chestnut mixture through the blade, forming a cone or "mountain" shape. (Can be made ahead up to 3 hours. Cover with plastic wrap and keep at cool room temperature.)

5 At least 20 minutes before serving, place a large bowl and the beaters of an electric mixer in the refrigerator. Remove the bowl and beaters from the refrigerator. Pour the cream into the bowl and whip the cream at high speed until it holds its shape softly when the beaters are lifted, about 4 minutes.

6 Spoon the cream over the chestnut "mountain," letting it drift down softly from the peak like snow. Garnish with the shaved chocolate.

From "1,000 Italian Recipes." Copyright 2004 by Michele Scicolone. Used with permission of the publisher, Wiley Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Nutritional Facts:

Serves: 6
Total Calories: 237
Calories from Fat: 148

This Chestnut "Mountain" recipe is from the Cook'n in Italy Cookbook. Download this Cookbook today.

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