Sunday, 6 July 2014


Chestnut & Maple Creme brulee, Spiced Pumpkin tuile, Callebaut Chocolate decor and Roasted chestnuts.

                    When I think of chestnuts, for me its very much a winter thing. With fond memories of the big chestnut trees in Melbourne and the aroma of roasting chestnuts from the street vendors, wafting through the main streets and side alleys of the inner city hub or the sunday markets. Its a very comforting aroma that instantly makes you feel warm inside, despite the weather. For me the aroma from roasting chestnuts is such an association trigger for the city streets of Melbourne, as popcorn is for the movies. When I moved up to Queensland, where the sub-tropical climate and low chill in winter doesn't allow chestnuts to grow I noticed that the nut of choice for street vendors was the macadamia nut. The macadamia nut was virtually unaffordable for people of Melbourne and the thought of it being sold by street vendors, is that similar to Queenslanders and chestnuts, it just doesn't happen. So when I saw these chestnuts on the shelf I just had to purchase them for the nostalgia. This is a very simple recipe and you could be sitting down to eat your rewards in just over an hour, so below I've added A scaled recipe and detailed method for those that would fancy trying the recipe. Both the chestnuts and the maple syrup give the custard a real lift to an otherwise plain vanilla flavour.                                      
                    Into a blender I added 75g of chestnuts peeled and chopped together with 120g of milk, 15g vanilla extract, 15g of maple syrup an a pinch of salt. This was blended to a puree and set aside. In a bowl I whisked together 105g of egg yolks and 105g of caster sugar vigorously but without aerating the mix. To this I added 270g of heavy cream and the puree, these were mixed to incorporate and then poured into ramekins, this recipe makes 6 serves. I then placed the ramekins on a tray filled with water and baked them at 160 degree C. for about 55 minutes or until the brulee no longer trembles when gently shaken. The brulee's were then removed from the water bath and in a small saucepan I melted some sugar until syrupy and amber in colour. This was poured thinly over each creme brulee and allowed to set, giving the custard a thin caramel crust as apposed to the traditional technique to brulee sugar with a blow torch.                                                                                                                            
                    To accompany the dessert I made a spiced pumpkin tuile by melting 50g of glucose in a small saucepan over a low heat. To this I added 60g of pumpkin puree and this was then poured into a mixing bowl with 75g of icing sugar, 60g of flour, 1tsp of mixed spice. This was mixed to form a stiff batter and spread organically over a lined baking tray, these were then baked for 5-6 minutes in a 190 degree oven until the edges of the tuile's start to brown. While they were still warm I was able to shape them and then allow them to cool. To make the callebaut decors I simply melted the good quality Belgium couverture chocolate in a bowl in the microwave in 30 second stints, checking each time. This was then poured into a decorative mould and placed in the fridge to set before being sliced into decors. Below I've shown a few variations of plating up, using different shaped ramekins, tuile's and decors.

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