Chestnut Butter | Dani Valent

Chestnut Butter

The silky nut butter that's a sensation in France

Chestnut butter is a favourite in France: it’s sweet, smooth and tasty, like peanut butter with soul. Spread it on a baguette, set it in a tart shell, swirl it through ice cream or dollop it over Chestnut Pancakes. You can also add chocolate to turn Chestnut Butter into Chestnutella (see Variation) but I love the sophisticated simplicity of the pared back version.

I made this video in Beechworth, at Beechworth Honey, in the heart of Australia’s main chestnut growing region. In fact, I’d come straight from Hall Stanley Premium Chestnuts – see the gorgeous farm and learn more about the chestnut harvesting process in this video. It’s a beautiful part of the world.

Before I get onto making nut butter, I show you how to steam and peel chestnuts. It’s easier than you might think, especially if you find one of the new easier-to-peel varieties. In this video, I also use pre-peeled Cheznuts which take ease to a whole new level.

Makes: about 400 grams (14 oz)
Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 200 grams (7 oz) cooked and peeled chestnuts (see Tips)
  • 180 grams (6 oz) water
  • 80 grams (3 oz) brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste

Method

1. Place chestnuts, water and sugar in mixing bowl. Cook 15 min/100°C (212°F)/speed 3.
2. Add vanilla. Cook 5 min/90˚C (195°F)/speed 3.
3. Transfer into a jar and store in refrigerator.

Serve on toast, with Chestnut Pancakes add to ganache, dollop on ice cream or set in tart shells.

Tips

  • Use pre-cooked chestnuts or do your own, as follows:
    • Cut a cross into chestnuts and place in Varoma dish.
    • Place 700 grams (25 oz) water in mixing bowl and set Varoma in place.
    • Cook 20 min/Varoma/speed 2 or until a knife slides easily into chestnut flesh.
    • Peel shell and inner skin while chestnuts are still hot.
  • You’ll lose about 1/3 weight of chestnuts when peeling yourself so start with 300 grams (10.5 oz) raw, unpeeled chestnuts for this recipe.

Variation

Add 90 grams (3.2 oz) dark chocolate pieces along with the vanilla to create Chestnutella.

I love chestnuts and had so much fun creating this and other delicious chestnut recipes in Victoria’s High Country. I even had the pleasure of visiting Hall Stanley Chestnut farm and watching the whole chestnut process from tree to package. Enjoy my chestnut farm visit here and then check out these delicious chestnut recipes:

More about this video

I filmed the video for this recipe at Beechworth Honey in Victoria’s high country. See my High Country travel videos.

I went on the road with chefs and sommeliers from MoVida as they sourced produce for two High Country Harvest events. It’s always such an enriching – and tasty – experience to visit food at its source, and I loved seeing it through the eyes of some of the country’s most talented and dedicated cooks and wine guys.

The High Country is a large and varied region in Victoria’s north-east, about three hours from Melbourne. People often think of it as a place for outdoorsy activities, and there’s certainly plenty of skiing, cycling, horse riding and bushwalking. But I am passionate about discovering destinations through their food and drink, and the High Country certainly lets you do that. It’s not just that the food and wine is great, it’s also that the people producing it are dedicated (even dogged!) and super passionate about doing what they do where they do it.

A girl’s gotta get dressed. Today I’m wearing Obus.

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