Chocolate and chestnuts combine for an alternative Yule Log that makes a delicious dessert with a beautiful presentation.
By Ruby Rasa
Funny story about chestnuts… (It’s hard to say ‘chestnuts’ without adding ‘roasting on an open fire…’ in your best impression of Nat King Cole, isn’t it? Especially at this time of year. So take a minute to sing it out of your system. I’ll wait. All done? OK, let’s continue.)
One Christmas, many years ago, I had ‘that’ song stuck in my head when I chanced to look out the window and spy a carpet of chestnuts on the grass. Of course I’d seen them there before, but never in this context. Why, I wondered, had no one else had the bright idea to gather and roast them? More for me! So I ran out and filled my bag quickly, before anyone could realize I was getting away with all the bounty.
I ducked back into the house and turned on the oven (alas, we didn’t have an open fire at the time). You can imagine how excited I was to taste them when they were finally done. And then how revolted I was at the bitterness I had to blast out of my mouth! Yes you, dear reader, will already have guessed what I was too ignorant at the time to realise: I had roasted conkers. Or horse chestnuts, as they’re more technically called. Great for childhood games but definitely not for eating.
Lesson learned, I now buy my chestnuts at the supermarket. And, each Christmas, this is what I do with them:Print
Curious about her British mother's seemingly bizarre love of cheese & onion sandwiches, Ruby moved to England and discovered an island full of people eating them. She now lives among them, works as a freelance writer and photographer and yes, occasionally enjoys a good cheese & onion.