Chestnut Brulee with Brandied Oranges

A couple weeks ago I signed up to compete in Foodie Fights .  Every week, the authors Nick and Dan pick two new ingredients and ask the chosen competitors to submit their top creation using the challenged ingredients and the winner is decided by guest expert judges as well as the general public vote.  Being new to this blogging world, I thought this would be a great way to meet new people and have some creative fun :)!

This week is Battle 16 (My lucky number!) and the two featured ingredients are: Chestnuts and Kumquats.   Unfortunately I was unable to find Kumquats anywhere in Dallas -- many stores said it was too early in the season so I had to settle for oranges instead.  I just bought some ramekins over the weekend and instantly knew I wanted to make some type of brulee.  After much thought over the weekend I finally decided on making a Chestnut Brulee and topping it with some brandied soaked oranges for an extra punch, pow!

It turned out to be a pretty whimsical dessert, the nutty brulee served as a nice contrast with the sweet and tartness of the brandied oranges.  I also added a pinch of cinnamon to compliment the nuttiness of the chestnuts.  I think the best part of a creme brulee is cracking into the burnt sugar crust, nothing is better than the little "crunchies" of burnt sugar mixed with the creamniess of the custard.

If you enjoy this recipe, please do not forget to vote for me, it would be much appreciated ^_^!!!

Ingredients for Chestnut Brulee:

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream, hot
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 10 oz chestnut,peeled, skinned and pureed

Preheat the oven to 350F.

For the Brulee, mix the egg yolks and sugar until well combined.  In a medium sauce pan, heat the cream at a medium heat.  (Be careful to not burn it).  Pour the hot cream gradually into the egg and sugar mixture, whisking until thoroughly combined. Slowly fold in the chestnut puree and mix well. Set 4 shallow ramekins in a sheet pan and divide the custard mixture equally amongst the dishes.  Pour water into the sheetpan high enough to come up halfway to the side of the ramekins.  Bake for 30 minutes or until the custard is set.  (You can test this by lightly hitting the side of the sheet pan and seeing if the how much the custard "jiggles" to the force, if it does not move much it is ready)

Take custard out of the oven and place in the fridge to cool, about 1 hour.  When ready to serve, evenly coat the surface with sugar and using a hand-held torch, burn the sugar until it forms a thin caramel brown crust.  Be careful not to burn your fingers!

Ingredients for Brandied Oranges:

  • 1 orange, peeled, sliced into 12 sections
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp of brandy

Mix the oranges with the cinnamon and soak in brandy for 20 minutes.  Serve with Chestnut Brulee.

I hope you guys enjoy my creation for Foodie Fights, it was definitely a fun challenge.  I had a blast looking for the featured ingredients and brainstorming ideas and flavor combinations and am happy with what I have created.  I hope everyone enjoys this recipe as much as I have, I love how the burnt sugar harmonizes with the brandied oranges and it was fun using chestnuts in a new way!  Thank you to Ed and Dan for letting me participate and I look forward to competing again :)

Prep Time: 20 minutes Total Cooking Time: 1 hour 50 minutes