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Chestnut mousse

Time 20 minutes
Yields Serves 4
Chestnut mousse
(Los Angeles Times)
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Chestnuts are great for any Christmastime dessert. This chestnut mousse is lush and creamy.

To peel chestnuts, first score them by making an “X” in the shell with a small, sharp knife. Then roast them in a 550-degree oven for about 15 minutes, cover them in a towel that’s been soaked in ice water until they’re cool enough to peel , and their shell and skin are fairly easy to remove. It’s a technique from “Roger Verge’s Vegetables in the French Style.”

From the story: Fabulously festive, in a nutshell

1

In a medium bowl, mix together the chestnut puree, butter, vanilla extract and 2 tablespoons water with a hand mixer until smooth. Set aside.

2

Set a saucepan of water over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Place the egg white in a deep metal bowl that fits over the saucepan without touching the water. Before setting the bowl over the simmering water, beat the egg white with a hand mixer on medium speed just until foamy, about 1 minute. Set the bowl over the simmering water, continuing to beat with the hand mixer (you don’t want to let the egg white cook); reduce the heat to medium-low. Slowly add the sugar and beat on high speed until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 6 minutes.

3

Immediately fold the meringue into the chestnut puree mixture. Chill for an hour, and up to 3 hours.

4

Spoon the mousse into a pastry tube fitted with a large star tip. Pipe the mousse into glasses or bowls. Garnish with shaved chocolate or whipped cream.

Chestnut puree can be purchased at major grocery retailers and online.