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Hungarian gesztenyepüré is one helluva sensuous dessert! Every time I had this dish I thought I died and gone to heaven. But it was a seasonal item and we were lucky if we could afford it once a year. There was always excitement in the neighbourhood when the Barát Utcai Cukrászda started selling it. I would run down and get a large order of chestnut puree and a large order of whipped cream and took it home and me and my large family devoured it on the spot. I made it for the first time this year and yes, it was every bit as good as I remembered.

500 g [1 lb] chestnuts, roasted
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup water
1/2 vanilla bean, scraped
1 cup sugar + 1/4 cup water
1 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup whipping cream
1/4 tsp salt
a shot of rum

1-1/2 cups whipping cream for topping
1 Tbsp sugar

• Clean the roasted chestnuts according to directions.
• Place the peeled chestnuts in a medium pot.
• Add the milk and water and make sure every chestnut is covered.
• Scrape the vanilla seeds into the liquid and add the pod segment as well.
• On low heat cook the chestnuts for 30-45 minutes or until soft.
• In a separate pot combine 50 g sugar and 50 ml water.
• Bring to boil and cook until sugar completely dissolves.
• Pour the cooked chestnuts through a sieve, discarding liquid and vanilla pod.
• Transfer the chestnuts to a food processor.
• Add the syrup, salt, melted butter and the whipping cream.
• Add a shot of rum.
• Puree until very smooth.
• Place in a covered container and chill in the fridge for several hours.
• Before serving, beat the whipping cream and sweeten with 1 Tbsp sugar.
• Put the chilled chestnut puree through a potato ricer.
• Place a small mound of chestnut puree in a serving dish.
• Top with a generous mound of sweetened whipped cream.



Roasting chestnuts is easy. You can roast it on an open fire for ambiance, but they taste just as good warm out of the oven. Always start with fresh, shiny, blemish-free chestnuts. The small, dull chestnuts supermarkets often sell are a waste of money and time.

• Wipe the chestnuts.
• Place them on a wooden cutting board with the flat side on the bottom.
• Make sure every chestnut is sliced into or it will explode. With a sharp chef’s knife cut a slit across the rounded side of the chestnut. Fresh chestnuts are easy to slice into. [Somebody somewhere thought of slicing an X into them, so now every recipe repeats the same thing. Just slice it once; cutting X into them is a waste of time.]
• Preheat the oven to 375F.
• Place the chestnuts in a shallow baking pan with the cut sides up.
• Don’t put water beside the chestnuts, you don’t want steam, you want the chestnut shells crispy. Crispy shells are easier to peel off.
• Bake the chestnuts for 20-50 minutes or until the shells are crispy and both the outer shell and the inner brown skin peels away easily. The roasting time will vary depending on how large the chestnuts are and how many you are roasting.
• If the brown skin is hard to remove put the chestnuts back in the oven for awhile. But make sure they don’t burn.
• When they seem to be ready, remove half a dozen and place in a kitchen towel lined basket and cover to keep warm. Warm chestnuts are easier to peel.
• Turn the oven off and leave the rest of the chestnuts in the oven to keep warm.
• Remove one chestnut and peel off the brown outer shell and the inner brown skin.
• When the chestnuts in the basket are all peeled, take six more from the oven and repeat procedure until every chestnut is peeled.
• Serve roasted chestnuts while still warm for best taste.

In this video our daughter is watching her father in-law roasting chestnuts the Italian way.



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It began with posting a few recipes on line for my family. "zsuzsa is in the kitchen" has more than 1000 Hungarian and International recipes. What started out as a private project turned into a well visited blog. The number of visitors long passed the two million mark. I organized my recipes into an on-line cookbook. On top of the page click on the cookbook to access the recipes. I am not profiting from my blog, so my visitors will not be harassed with advertising or flashy gadgets. Feel free to cut and paste my recipes for your own use. Publication is permitted as long as it is in your own words and with your own photographs. However, I would ask you for an acknowledgement and link-back to my blog. This is to my old on-line friends and visitors: policing the comment section for spam and answering questions has become a chore. Good wishes to you all, happy cooking and keep on feeding your people with good food.