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Non-Chocolate & Chestnuts

Hello, everyone, from a baking hot Gooey Puds HQ. To be honest, I should be cooking, but the very thought makes me want to dive into the pool I don't have! I must tomorrow, though, as GP Club takes precedence over my hot-heat aversion! Even ice cream blends require heating first...

Speaking of, my mum used to do what we called at home 'chocolate brick', a deliciously creamy, chocolatey frozen dessert, which had no chocolate in at all, but minced chestnuts, cream and brandy, amongst a couple of other things. [Absolutely delicious, and a very similar pud on the list for the Club this Thursday. It isn't too late to order tickets from the website using the link at the bottom(sorry for the plug!)]

Sweet chestnuts (not to be confused with the common, but poisonous, horse chestnuts) are a naturalised tree from southern Europe, that fruits with amazing nuts every autumn. It was previously thought that the Romans brought them over so that they could use the flour, as it will grow more easily than some cereals, however recent dendrochronology has shown that the oldest trees in the UK are actually from the late middle ages, with very little evidence of chestnut use by the Romans outside of parts of Italy. In fact it was the Greeks who used it far more in terms of ancient civilisations, than the Romans.

Commonly found in deciduous and mixed woodland all over this beautiful country of ours, chestnuts can be collected and stored, or eaten after toasting over an open wood fire [always a Christmas favourite of my Grandpa]. They can be oven roasted, fried or boiled. Incredibly versatile in both sweet and savoury dishes, whole or minced. Especially delicious with game. And now I am wishing it was autumn! I may even do some experimenting with chestnut flour, as it is sweeter, so that I can naturally bring down the level of golden caster sugar in the Bakewells, and other similar tarts and puddings.

Its amazing what I learn, sometimes, doing these blogs!

Speaking of Bakewells, I will be putting them onto the website to order. I am not sure why they are not on there, so apologies for that!

Now time for that plug: Hope to see you there!

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