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Chestnut Puree

Asked by lando. Answered on 24th May 2012

Full question

I live in South Africa and not sure where to get the chestnut puree for Nigella's Chocolate Chestnut Pots. Is there anything I could use as a substitute and also what other liquor besides rum could I use?

Our answer

Unfortunately we can't suggest an alternative to the chestnut puree in Nigella's Chestnut Chocolate Pots. Chestnuts have a relatively low fat content relative to other nuts so substituting something like a hazelnut spread or a nut butter would make the pots too heavy and rich.

Quite a few of the canned chestnut purees are French so you could try on-line for a French food supplier and Clement Faugier is a good brand of puree to look for. Some Italian delis may also sell the puree. If you can only get an usweetened can of puree then use this, adding around 50g/1/2 cup icing (confectioners') sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract to each 250g/1 cup puree.

Alternatively if you can get the vacuum packed roasted chestnuts then you can make a puree from these. You will need around 200g/1 1/2 cups cooked chestnuts. Put the chestnuts in a medium saucepan and just cover with milk. Bring the saucepan to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer gently until the milk has almost fully evaporated and the chestnuts are very soft. Tip the chestnuts into a food processor and whiz to a puree, adding the milk from the pan and extra as needed to make a smooth, thick paste. Sweeten the paste as above before using in the recipe. You will need 250g/1 cup of the sweetened puree to make the dessert.

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