Chestnut waffles

Chestnut flour is made from dry, finely ground chestnuts and it has a wonderful sweet flavor. You can use it in exchange of regular flour in a variety of baking recipes such as crepes, bread or pasta. You can find it in specialty stores.

Chestnuts are low in fat and high in carbohydrates, they contain no gluten so can be used when someone is sensitive to wheat.

Usually chestnut flour is added in a ratio of 30-50%; be aware that if you use a higher proportion the taste can be a little overpowering.

I like to make waffles on Saturday mornings, in the recipe below I have exchanged part of the regular flour for chestnut flour, that gives the waffles a mild sweet taste. I suggest you serve them with a delicious chestnut cream.

  • 150g white flour
  • 50g chestnut flour
  • 1 egg, room temperature, lightly whisked
  • 300ml milk
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of butter, melted or tablespoon of sunflower oil
  • extra oil for brushing
  • 2-3 tablespoons of walnuts, crushed
  • 200g chestnut puree
  • 200ml double cream, or whipping cream
  • powder sugar for decoration

 

Heat the waffle iron and then grease with oil.

In a large bowl, sift the flours, baking powder and salt.

Add the tablespoon of brown sugar.

In a small bowl mix the milk, egg and melted butter.

Make a well in the center of dry ingredients and then pour in the liquid ingredients. Mix.

With the spatula spread the butter so that it almost reaches the edges of the waffle iron.

Cook until browned.

Brush the waffle iron with oil before you make a new batch.

In a small bowl mix the chestnut puree and 2 tablespoons of water to make it lighter.

In a bowl whisk the cream, and gently fold the chestnut puree.

Top the waffles with the cream and sprinkle a little bit of powder sugar over.

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Chestnut truffles

Last week little stands with roasted chestnuts appeared on streets of Switzerland; it’s a symbol fall has arrived. Chestnuts are a great snack, they warm you up in a cold day and are very feeling. They are also delicious, it doesn’t matter if you prepare them sweet or savory.

This year I plan to roast them at home; it will be wonderful to have the smell of roasted chestnuts fill my home.

These rum-filled  truffles are not only delicious with a cup of coffee or tea, but they are also fun to make!

They are coated in cocoa powder, but you can also coat them with finely crushed walnuts or dust them with icing sugar.

makes about 15

  • 200g chestnut puree
  • 1 tablespoon rum
  • 140ml double cream
  • 120g chocolate, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons walnuts, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • cocoa powder, for coating

Put the rum into chestnut puree. Mix. Add walnuts and mix well.

Roll mixture gently in your hands into small balls approximately 1.5cm / 1in. Put into refrigerator until making a chocolate cover.

Place the finely chopped chocolate into a heatproof bowl.

Bring cream to boil in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and slowly pour on the chocolate. Stir until the chocolate has melted. Add vanilla extract.

Put a baking sheet or a paper under a small wire rack.

Using two forks dip each ball into the chocolate to coat ensuring it is evenly coated.

Put on a tray and allow the excess of chocolate to drip, or you can put them directly on a baking paper.

Let the chocolate set in a cool place. Refrigerate until firm.

Put the cocoa powder in a shallow bowl.

Roll the ball in the cocoa. Place in a small paper case. Store in a sealed container.

Pumpkin dessert

Walking in front of a small Swiss farm and seeing such a pretty display of pumpkins I couldn’t resist buying one and preparing something sweet with it.

In the Middle East there are many versions of candied pumpkin desserts, the one below is a delicious Turkish recipe and it is very easy to make. If you are a fan of pumpkins this can be a great substitute for pumpkin pie.

The pumpkin is slowly cooked in sugar syrup and you can increase the level of sweetness by thickening syrup for a sweeter version. Vanilla, walnuts, pecans, or cardamom are all great compliments to pumpkin.

The only labor involved in this recipe is to cut the pumpkin into squares. Many supermarkets sell packages with pre-cut squares.

4 servings

  • 500g pumpkin flesh cut into squares 1-2cm – 1/2in
  • 250g sugar  1 cup
  • 250g water  1cup
  • 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts

Cut the pumpkin into squares.

Place the squares into a wide dish and sprinkle with sugar. Let it stand for 3-4 hours until the sugar dissolves or leave it overnight.

Put the pumpkin squares and dissolved sugar in a pot, then add water.

Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes or until tender.

Take the squares out of the pot and cool at room temperature.

Put the remaining syrup on gentle boil for 10 minutes, or until thickens. Cool.

Sprinkle walnuts over pumpkin.

Serve dessert in small dishes with reduced syrup on the side.

Life close to Swiss farms

If you decide to spend some days in Switzerland during the spring or summer months a visit to a farm is a mast.

This is my favorite time of the year because all animals are out, eating and relaxing in beautifully manicured loans around their barns and green mountain fields.

Every week I take walks around the many farms close to were I live, in many places in Switzerland farmland can still be pretty close to urban areas.Walk paths very often go thru, or very close to the farms.

I enjoy hearing the sound coming from the bells around the necks of sheep and cows here. If you happen to be outside late at night you can hear little bells echoing around you.

After returning from a trip to a crowded city or after a stressful day it is quite peaceful to look at these beautiful animals eating and relaxing. To walk around them has a relaxing effect on me.

Many these farms have small stores were they sell their own products. In off-hours you can purchase products inside clean and well organized “vending machines”; considering that in Switzerland everything is closed on late Saturday and during all of Sunday, these machines can be very handy.

Now we are approaching the colder months and the animals will soon be spending their days inside. The sound of bells at night will soon disappear, a clear sign winter is not that far away.