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  • teresaandras

Vegan Chocolate Chestnut Hearts, "Maroniherzen"

Updated: Dec 3, 2020

I love autumn, when the leaves turn into all these beautiful colours and we have those days with a crisp, sunny morning where you can cosy up in a warm, fluffy jumper and go for a nice autumnal walk. Another association I have with autumn are roasted chestnuts. When I was a kid I always got some freshly roasted chestnuts on my way back home from school and enjoyed them at home with my family. An Austrian delicacy is chestnut purée covered in dark chocolate in a shape of a heart, called "Maroniherz". The "crispy" shell of the chocolate and the smoothness of the chestnut are such a delight and something very unique. Since chestnuts are only in season for a couple of months, the demand for chocolate chestnut hearts is always very high and a special treat. I love to give them away as small presents and what would be more exciting than homemade chocolate chestnut hearts? Here you will find an easy recipe:

For around 25-30 chocolate chestnut hearts you will need:

  • 500g chestnut purée (or whole cooked chestnuts - they will require a little bit more work)

  • 40g caster sugar

  • 1tbsp rum essence or plain rum

  • 200-250g good quality, dark chocolate

First heat up the caster sugar with 40g of water until the sugar has dissolved and let this sugar syrup cool down completely. Once it is cool, mix it together with the chestnut purée and the rum essence with a hand blender. If you only have whole cooked chestnuts, chop them up roughly with a knife bevor blending it with the syrup and the essence. If the mixture is too thick, add some spoons of water, I added around 4-6 step by step. When everything is smoothly combined you can either leave it as it is or pass it through a sieve to get a perfectly smooth and even consistency.

Then roll down the chestnut mixture in between two baking papers to a thickness of 1-1,5cm. Take a heart-shaped cutter (if you don't have one, you can shape them by hand) and cut hearts out of the chestnut purée, repeat until you have used up all of the chestnut mixture. Place them on a plate with cling film and leave the hearts in the freezer for about an hour.

Then melt the chocolate in a bowl over a hot water bath, making sure the bowl is not touching the water. When the chocolate is fully melted, you can start with the dipping of the chestnut hearts, take only a couple of them out of the freezer, so they do not get too soft too quickly.

With a fork, take out the chestnut heart of the melted chocolate, try to get rid of as many chocolate by dabbing the fork on the side of the bowl, then place the chocolate on a plate lined with baking paper. Repeat everything until all chestnut hearts are covered in chocolate. Leave them in the fridge so the chocolate can harden and then enjoy the chocolate chestnut hearts - be careful, you will get addicted to them!

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