When Chestnuts Australia Inc. first contacted me to offer me a sample of chestnuts, I was beside myself with excitement. I love chestnuts, and it conjured up memories of strolling through Milan in the middle of winter with snowflakes falling and keeping my hands warm around a cup of fragrant, fresh roasted chestnuts.

Romantic, no? Well, now that I know what is involved in the actual “dealing with the chestnut”, I can tell you it is not quite as romantic as what my mind recalled.

They are perfect looking, these chestnuts. Perfectly smooth shells and shaped like an adorable little chubby heart. What’s not to love? I’ll tell you what: preparing these bitches. Chestnuts can be prepared in a number of ways, and most websites I’d read suggested boiling them if you plan on chopping up or puréeing the flesh.

So boil ’em I did.

What makes the preparation rather painful (figuratively and somewhat literally) is peeling the chestnuts. There are two layers to the shell. An outer shell (which comes off pretty easily) and an inner layer (which does not). And to make matter worse, all websites will tell you that you need to peel the chestnuts while they’re warm (read: hot) because as they cool, they get harder to peel. So effectively, I ended up with very raw, very burnt, very sore fingertips.

By the time I’d peeled the chestnuts I was cussing significantly more than usual and if it hadn’t been for the fact that I’d promised some scrumptious mini muffins for a birthday do, I would have totally given up. (That’s a lie, I never give up. Ever.) Luckily, the remaining steps to produce these adorable apple & chestnut mini muffins were fingertip-friendly and uber easy.

ps. these mini muffins were a hit at said birthday do. It made me want to prepare chestnuts all over again but don’t worry, that lapse in sanity didn’t last too long.

pps. maybe I’m was just peeling them wrong because it was my first time after all, but I am all for pre-packaged freshly peeled chestnuts which apparently is sold at good grocers around town 🙂

Apple & chestnut mini muffins
80 grams butter, room temperature
1/2 cup castor sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cup plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup chestnuts, chopped
1 medium apple, chopped (makes about 1 cup)
topping: 1/3 cup chestnuts, chopped finely
topping: 1/2 cup brown sugar
  1. Pre-heat oven to 205°C/400°F.
  2. To prepare the topping, mix together chestnuts and brown sugar and set aside.
  3. In a bowl, beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Add egg and beat, then add milk, flour and baking powder.
  4. Stir in chestnuts and apple and mix thoroughly.
  5. Scoop mixture into muffin tray and top with about 1/2 teaspoon of topping on each.
  6. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  7. Remove from muffin tray and cool on a wire rack.
Makes 10-12 small muffins.

13 Thoughts on “recipe | apple & chestnut mini muffins

  1. Yeah I hate peeling chestnuts too, why must it be so difficult to obtain such deliciousness?! Surely there must be an easier way. These look great and the flavour sounds amazing.

  2. OMG I got cuts on my fingertips from mine 🙁 sore for days!!

  3. Hmmm I wonder how you could get around the burnt fingers situation? Would gloves work?

  4. jenny c on May 15, 2012 at 2:50 pm said:

    I love chest nuts too but I’ve never tried to prepare them… these look great!

  5. Phuoc: I know! I think the “easier” way is to buy them pre-peeled hehe..

    Nic: Lucky I didn’t get cuts but I did get little bits of shell wedged under my nail OUCHHHHHH >.< Gourmet Chick: Hmm probably not cos you need to have some grip to peel but... urgh. Buy fresh, peeled chest nuts! jenny: Yeah they are great but be warned re peeling them hehe...

  6. Hehe I went through the same thing when I was making marron glaces! Never make those after you have a manicure and yes cussing is mandatory and expected 😛

  7. Sometimes you just crave that savoury muffin and I tell you what, yours looks like it would hit the spot!

  8. Lorraine: I don’t even know what those are lol. But YES i had a f**king manicure and then it was all ruined 🙁

    Tina: These aren’t to savoury due to the apples but they were a perfect morning tea type muffin, but a sweet/dessert type.

  9. I can imagine that it’s hard to peel them! I would totally take the lazy way out and buy them pre-peeled lol. These look good! And healthy!

  10. I know the pain that’s why I try not making anything too ‘fiddly’ or ‘delicate’ when I’ve just got my nails done but it’s hard to avoid 🙂 another reason why I don’t really eat chestnuts because hahaha i hate the preparing them but these muffins look so yummy! I wonder if i can buy chestnuts that have already been prepared? 😀

  11. Su-yin: Sorta healthy. With butter 😉

    Daisy: You can definitely buy prepared fresh chest nuts, so look out for them!

  12. I hate peeling chestnuts, although I find ones that are roasted streetside always easier to peel than ones boiled at home. Or perhaps that’s coz I’m peeling them to eat immediately as opposed to reserving them for use in something I can’t eat til later…?

    Heheh, but yes, frozen/vacuum pre-peeled ones make life much easier!

  13. Pingback: Top 10 Best Chestnut Recipes

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