Marron glace are a particular pastry production made of chestnuts, which are first canned and then covered with a delicious sugar glaze.
The preparation of the marron glacé lasts several days. The fruits, already selected according to the diameter, are initially immersed in water for nine days in order to complete the ripening and to facilitate the subsequent peeling. This is done by making a small incision on the peel and subjecting the fruit to a jet of steam.
The brown is then cooked in water, and the cooking water (together with sucrose and vanilla) will be the basis for the subsequent candying with sugar syrup, heated gradually until it reaches 70 °C. For the chestnuts to acquire an adequate softness, the candying must last about a week. When the chestnut is candied (i.e. saturated with sugar), it is left to drain for at least 24 hours on grids.
The final phase, glazing, involves laying the glaze (prepared with icing sugar and water and left in the fridge for 24 hours) on the candied chestnut, and the transfer of the chestnut to the oven for a short time in order to crystallize the glaze and give it the typical translucent appearance.
Today, we bring you a very particular and delicious recipe with marron glacè: a couscous dessert with chestnut cream and condensed milk.
- 110 ml of whole milk
- 100 g Classic couscous
- 6 Marron glace (cut into small pieces)
- 80 g Condensed milk
- sweet chestnut cream
- 2 whole Marron glace for garnish
Start by bringing the milk to a boil in a non-stick pan, then turn off the heat, pour the couscous, cover with a lid and leave to rehydrate for about 5 minutes.
After the necessary time, mix the couscous using a spoon or a fork, transfer it to a bowl and let it cool.
Cut the marron glace into chunks and add them to the couscous, then add the condensed milk and mix well until you obtain a homogeneous mixture.
At that point, distribute the couscous in two smooth pudding molds, so that it simply comes off.
Put in the refrigerator for about 4 hours.
When the time has come to serve the dessert, heat the chestnut cream to distribute it more easily on the surface of the dessert as you like.
Complete the dessert by placing a marron glace in the center of the dessert.
Your couscous dessert with marron glace is ready to serve!
Enjoy your meal!
Benefits of chestnuts
Chestnuts are nutritious and digestible fruits that meet the needs of consumers oriented towards natural and genuine foods because they provide biologically active substances essential for a healthy diet.
Their elevated energy value (100 g of fresh chestnuts bring about 160 Kcal) is not due to a high content of fats, which are present in small quantities, but of carbohydrates, such as starches, which make up about 50% of the dry product and also make this fruit particularly digestible.
Certainly, the energy value is quite high if you compare it to fresh fruit, but it is however lower than the calories provided by 100 g of walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, or other dried fruit (about 600 Kcal). In addition, also unlike dried fruit, chestnuts provide ready-to-use energy: the high content of complex carbohydrates makes them more similar to wheat and rice. They are therefore often referred to as “the cereal that grows on trees”. The content of potassium is also very high (more than 10% RDA, recommended daily dose) as well as for other minerals such as magnesium, calcium, iron, and phosphorus.
Potassium plays an essential role in various vital functions including nerve conduction and exchanges through cell membranes, promoting efficient muscle contraction and a normal heart rhythm. The importance of potassium for the proper functioning of the cardiovascular and neuromuscular systems makes chestnuts a food suitable for those who consistently practice physical activity.
Another important feature is the low content of another mineral, sodium, which must be introduced in small quantities since its excessive intake can cause water retention and hypertension. Chestnuts also contain antioxidants belonging to the vitamin E family, together with a high polyphenol content: both of these classes of compounds are fundamental for the prevention of aging-related phenomena, as they are natural antioxidants.
The nutritive heritage can vary significantly following the production process: boiled chestnuts experience an increase in humidity followed by a decrease of about 25% in energy value; the starch content decreases and there are losses of potassium and magnesium. Proteins, lipids and sucrose don’t change much. In roasted chestnuts, the humidity drops by 20% and the available sugar content and energy value increase by 25% (200 Kcal), when drying, the protein and carbohydrate content increase.