31 August 2009

crème de marrons de l'Ardèche

marron01last summer, with my amazing french penpal T, we went to carrefour because her mom needed some ingredients for dinner. i was in heaven – i finally went to a french grocery store with an actual french person who could finally explain all the products that i didn’t understand!

marron02one of the products was this. crème de marrons (a sweetened chestnut purée) ? T’s eyes widened. what? you don’t know what this is? it is very very famous and delicious, you have to try it!, as she grabbed a huge can. except, this was about the 15th time that we were having this conversation. there are just to many things that i didn’t know about which shocked her. i stopped her from grabbing it, la prochaine fois! (next time)! i’ll be back, i promise! i can’t buy and try everything now, i’ve already got too much, pointing to my basket full of cookies and roquefort and other goodies.

this was one of the many moments in france that led to the title of this little journal.

but if i didn’t buy it then – how did I end up a can? well, i was in a grocery store in switzerland a few days later, and saw a tiny tiny can. the size was actually something that I could reasonably stuff in my luggage. i thought of her, and then caved and bought it. how could I not? when it’s tiny, there’s no excuse!

it sat in my cupboard for many months, since I wasn’t sure exactly how one ate it. and then I found the perfect recipe for a chocolate crème de marrons cake to use it up. thank you, swirl & scramble! (apparently, this stuff spread can be enjoyed simply on a piece of toast. but i have to make things complicated, don’t i?)


2 whisked egg whites

75g melted dark chocolate

1 tsp vanilla extract

300g crème de marrons (i ignored this and used the whole can, which was just a bit over this)

1 large egg

40g all-purpose flour


marron03I recommend whisking your egg whites first until they are foamy and nice, then setting them aside.

Melt your dark chocolate, then mix it with 1 tsp of vanilla extract and the crème de marrons.

marron04 Add your one egg, and continue mixing.

marron05 Throw in your 40g of all-purpose flour and… keep mixing.

marron06And here is what everything all nicely mixed together should look like.

marron07Finally, add your whisked egg whites, and fold them in gently. Now the batter is finished! I baked them in tart pans, but anything nice and shallow will do. Bake them in a 320F oven until nice and done.

marron08Last step: eat eat eat.

ps: i just love seeing my handwriting… even if it might make all my photos ugly. it’s a way of merging the handwritten journal with the typed blog.


Jennifer said...

I love seeing your handwriting too, it adds such a unique & personal touch :) This creme sounds amazing... just perfectly amazing!!

fanny said...

Cathy, I'm with you on the handwriting. so so pretty. as for the creme de marrons, it's a favourite here at my house. on crepes, in yoghurt or simply eaten b the spoon. delicious...

xx fanny

cathy said...

@jennifer: it is very amazing! why must we have only 1 stomach but 1 million+ yummy products that exist? it isn't fair!

@fanny: yogurt! didn't think of that. i'll just add it to must list of things to eat in life! :)