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
1/2 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
|Makes 10-12 small muffins.|