I have long been a fan of Marrons Glacés, that wonderful confection made by candying chestnuts. I was turned on to them when I was working at a university hospital and a student returning from a stint in France brought back some; they were amazing.
Unfortunately they seem to only be made by the Europeans, and getting them in Canada is difficult, if you want them done right. I have had some vacuum-packed ersatz ones where the sugar had crystallized, and they were horrible; those I found in an Italian deli here. I had a bunch that were imported (or was that deported?) from France that were not so good.
Then one magical Christmas my SIL, who lived in Geneva, got me some amazing ones (3 kg of them) from Confiserie Rohr in Geneva; I was in heaven. I got some again last Christmas, and am awaiting some again this year.
A few years ago I decided that it was time to make them myself, so I tried, using a recipe I found on the Internet.....and failed miserably. The first problem was peeling the darn things, but that was minor. The major problem was cooking the things without them breaking up. Then if they did not get cooked enough they would get hard. I tried 2 or 3 times, then gave up.
Well, it's time to gird my loins and try again. One recipe I saw made me say, "Why did I not think of that?" - steaming the chestnuts so they do not break up. It was a recipe from, of all places, New Zealand. The rest of the recipe seemed too simplistic.
I am basing this attempt on the following recipe:
Unfortunately (not for me) it's in French. I started the process today. I steamed the chestnuts for 90 minutes, till they seemed tender enough. I consider it a good sign that a few broke. I then made the syrup and put the chestnuts into it.
The battle continues.......
I will update this thread as I progress. Any contributions (in posts or marrons glaces) would be much appreciated.