Once roasted, wrap your chestnuts up in a few layers of newspaper and let rest for 10 minutes for easier peeling.
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.
Place a heavy-based frying pan on medium heat. Slit each chestnut vertically towards the pointed end of the fruit, on both sides, and place them in the pan. Cover and roast for about 15 minutes, turning once, until the skins blacken and become loose.
Once they are cooked, place the chestnuts in the centre of several pages of newspaper, roll into a parcel and leave for about 10 minutes. The steam released from the chestnuts will soften the skins and make them easy to peel.
Work quickly. If they cool down, warm them again in the pan as the skins will only come off when warm.
You can also use the oven or even the griller. But don’t forget to pierce the skins on both sides first. If not, you’ll get mini-explosions as the nut expands inside the shell!
You can also boil them for about 20 minutes and again, loosen the shell while they are still hot. The peeled chestnut inside can be cooked further – in sweetened milk, for example, with a little cinnamon – to make a marvellous puree. Push the softened chestnuts through a potato ricer.