chocolate-covered roasted chestnuts

December 6, 2010 § 4 Comments

It is certainly December!  I drove back to Toronto to be met with a generous dusting of snow (oh, a good half a foot deep), after spending the weekend down in Michigan at my parents’.   They threw a sizeable party for 50 people for a late Thanksgiving and early Christmas celebration.  I’m utterly exhausted.   I took on two experimental Asian desserts as well as prepared and packaged 50 favors — a small dent in an extensive party spread.  I really can’t comprehend how mom hosts such big parties.  I’ve got a lot to learn.

My idea for the party favors evolved quite, hmmm, favorably.  About two weeks ago, I made a random visit to my local packaging supplier and found individual gold truffle boxes and miniature poinsettias on clearance for bargain-basement, jaw-dropping, only-a-fool-would-resist prices.  The boxes were 25 for $1 and the poinsettias 36 for $1.   For 50 people, $4 on all this beautiful packaging is beyond a steal.

Keeping things frugal and fuss-free, I thought of filling the truffle boxes with chocolate-covered roasted chestnuts.  It’s the season for chestnuts roasting on an open fire, afterall.  But there’s an easy substitute to buying fresh chestnuts for roasting.  These days, Asian grocery stores sell packaged roasted chestnuts all year long, and they are just as good as fresh roasted chestnuts.  A package will run you about $1.50, containing anywhere between 15-20 roasted chestnuts (already peeled), depending on quality and size.   As luck would have it, I found packages of delicious chestnuts for $1 each.  Three packages were enough for 50 favors.  It took no more than half an hour to melt down a couple of dollars worth of Ghirardelli dark chocolate and dip the chestnuts.

The creamy texture of the chestnuts is comparable to very firm ganache, with some grit.  In fact, I could’ve gotten away with calling these chestnut truffles, as they have the air and luxury of truffles.  But at under $10 worth of ingredients and packaging for all 50 favors, there’s simply no putting up pretenses!

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