A delicious dessert!
When you peel your chestnuts, and find one that is especially beautiful, set it aside to make a candied chestnut. Candied chestnuts take a few days to make, and the mousse needs a few hours in the refrigerator. Your verrines can be made in advance however, which is convenient for the home cook after a copious entrée.
|Marron glacé||Mousse vanille||Crème de marron|
|– peeled chestnuts
– 750mL water
– 500g sugar
– vanilla bean
|– 500mL heavy cream
– 3 egg whites
– 150g sugar
– vanilla bean
For the marron glacé, gently cook the chestnuts in simmering water for 30 minutes. Dunk them in icy water, drain and place in a basket that will fit the pot where you will prepare the syrup. In a heavy pot, boil water and sugar for five minutes. The chestnuts must be submerged in the syrup, so you may have to adjust the proportions. Add the vanilla bean which is split and scraped. Plunge the chestnuts in the boiling syrup and reduce the heat to simmer. Continue for 10 minutes and turn off. Leave the chestnuts in the syrup on your counter for one day. The next day, gently lift the basket. Bring the syrup to a boil, and plunge again the chestnuts. Reduce the heat to a simmer and continue for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and again leave the chestnuts in the syrup on your counter for one day. Repeat, by the third day your chestnuts are candied. You will notice they become darker, and will sink as they become dense with syrup. You can roll them in sugar. They will keep for a long time. I dilute the remaining syrup, filter it, and save it for something else, for drenching your baba or savarins, for example.
For the mousse, it is best to chill your equipment and heavy cream in the freezer. Moisten the gelatin in cold water. Add some heavy cream to it, and heat it so the gelatin dissolves. Let it cool. Scrape out the vanilla seeds in your mixing bowl that is out of the freezer. Pour in the very cold cream. You can also place the mixing bowl over icy water. Begin to whisk, gently at first. When the cream begins to thicken, and sticks to the sides, pour in sugar and gelatin solution, and continue to whisk. You can add more sugar if you prefer. You must be careful not to overmix. Keep this chantilly in a cold place. In another bowl that must be very clean and dry, whisk the egg whites en neige. A stabilizer can be used, or a drop of vinegar. You must now incorporate the egg whites to the chantilly with the aim giving the most volume possible. Cut the eggs whites in two or three portions, and gradually fold into the chantilly with a large spatula. This involves holding the bowl with your left hand, while the right hand scrapes the spatula against the edge of the bowl diametrically opposed to you in a downward motion. The left hand rotates the bowl while you bring the spatula towards the middle of the bowl in a rising motion. Continue until chantilly and egg whites are completely mixed. Cover and keep in the refrigerator for at least two hours.
Place a layer of chestnut jam at the bottom of your verrine. Add two or three quenelle of vanilla mousse. Finally top with some candied chestnuts. A shot of rum, Kahlua, or Frangelico would go very nicely! This is so delicious.