Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Dan Lepard's Chestnut Chocolate Cream Biscuits

I love cooking with chestnuts, there is something about their sweet, mealy texture that really appeals to me. I tend to use them in savoury dishes- paired with a ripe gorgonzola in a oozy risotto, or with pasta, caramelised onions, sauagemeat and wholegrain mustard for a bolstering winter dinner. Almost all of the time I go down the lazy route, and buy them ready cooked and vacuum packed; usually by the good people at Merchant Gourmet. Tesco were getting rid of their Christmas stock of the aforemented lazy cook's chestnuts for £1 a box, so I now have a good stock of them in my cupboard.

 I came across this recipe by Dan Lepard from searching for something sweeter to do with chestnuts. These biscuits are so rich and indulgent, I think you could serve them as a pudding, and it wouldn't be a disappointment to anybody. On the other hand, they make an afternoon cup of tea very special indeed.

Before baking

Just out of the oven

Freshly filled

A few notes about cooking these:

I forgot to dust the biscuits with cocoa before baking. Nothing disastrous happened. I decided to sieve over the cocoa powder after they were baked and assembled instead.

I was eager to try a biscuit straight after assembling them but found the chocolate filling oozed out everywhere. It was messy and delicious, but you can have a far neater experience if you let the biscuits sit for an hour after filling them. The chocolate cream firms up substantially to a far more manageable texture.

This recipe has inspired further ideas for me- possibly making the chestnut biscuits without the cream, and serving with some baked or poached fruit. Plums, pears or quinces, perhaps, to end an autumnal dinner. I also link the idea of using the dough as a the pastry for a tart- perhaps with the fruit suggested before, or a rich chocolatey filling.

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