• Chestnut cream surprise with mendiants (Taste le Tour with Gabriel Gaté)Source: Taste le Tour with Gabriel Gaté

Sweetened chestnut spread is a chestnut ‘jam’ and called ‘crème de marrons’ in French. It is a very common and popular ingredient in French dessert making.






Skill level

Average: 2.8 (5 votes)


  • 50 g dark cooking chocolate (50-70% cocoa solids), chopped
  • 2 pieces confit orange peel, cut in 4 small pieces
  • 8 roasted peeled hazelnuts
  • 12 sultanas
  • 100 ml thin cream
  • 100 g sweetened chestnut spread
  • 4 thin chocolate cups, about 100 ml capacity
  • 20 griottines (preserved small cherries in liqueur)
  • 1 meringue, broken into pieces
  • 4 fresh cherries or other small red fruits

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Chilling time: 30 minutes

Place the chocolate in a small bowl over a saucepan of just simmering water until just melted. Remove from the heat and stir until smooth.

Line a tray with a piece of baking paper. Spoon little mounds of chocolate onto the tray to form 8 circles about 3 cm in diameter. You need 4 circles for this dessert but you will enjoy eating the four extra ones! Top each with a piece of orange peel, a hazelnut and 3 sultanas. Place in a cool spot to set. This chocolate preparation is called mendiants.

Whip the cream until firm peaks form, then fold it into the chestnut spread. Place in a piping bag with a serrated nozzle and pipe a little chestnut cream into each chocolate cup. Top each with 5 griottines and a few pieces of meringue. Pipe the remaining chestnut cream over the top.

Top each dessert with a cherry, dust with a little icing sugar and garnish with a chocolate mendiant.

• This recipe uses ingredients such as chocolate cups, chestnut spread, griottines and confit orange that are not found in standard supermarkets. So plan for this dessert. The internet should be able to help you with your search.

Taste le Tour with Gabriel Gaté starts Saturday 7 July 2018 on SBS and then on SBS On Demand and finishes 29 July 2018. Visit the Taste le Tour website to catch-up on episodes, cook up his recipes or find out more about the series.