In my family, however, chestnut puree is stirred into yogurt, spread onto walnut toast, or used as the basis for a creme brulee, depending on the size of the sugar kick my daughter is looking for at the time. On occasion, she will use it to tweak a classic chocolate torte, or swap it for the buttercream in a less than classic Victoria sponge. If you're feeling lazy, you could always use the chestnut puree as a starting point for a homemade Mont Blanc. Just top the puree with some whipped cream and there you have it.
Eating that much chestnut puree can get expensive, but making your own is very easy.
425 ml water
1 tsp vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 210C.
2. To prepare the chestnuts, score an "X" into the flat side of each shell. Cover a baking sheet with a single layer of chestnuts and roast for 15-20 minutes, checking often. They will be ready when the skins begin to peel back where you have scored them. Once roasted, set aside until they are cool enough to handle. Peel the chestnuts.
3. Put the chestnuts, water, and sugar in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over a medium heat, and bring them to the boil. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and let the pan bubble away - uncovered - for around half an hour. Around three-quarters of the liquid should have evaporated or been absorbed.
4. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
5. Keeping the liquid to one side, put the chestnuts in a blender or food processor and pulse until smooth. Slowly add the liquid, blending often, until the mixture in the blender is a smooth, shiny paste.
6. Allow the mixture to cool completely before storing it in a sealed jar in the fridge.