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Marrons Glacés/Candied Chestnuts


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I've been thinking of making some marrons glaces for the holidays. Does anyone have a recipe? I read on a site that chestnuts should be wrapped in tulle and soaked in a sugar/vanilla syrup for seven days. Is this a correct method? Is there any way to make them in less time?

Thank you!

Anne E. McBride

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Lesley, I don't have a densimeter, but I'd be interested in seeing the recipe if it's not too much trouble for you. I usually buy them or receive them, but I'd love to give homemade ones to my father, as it is one of his favorite treats.

Anne E. McBride

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Les Marrons Confits et Glacés

(translated from a recipe by Jacques Noeninger)

The process for making candied chestnuts is similar to that of candied fruit. The preparation, however, is different in that the chestnuts are blanched twice.

1) Remove the outer shell of the chestnut, being careful to keep them whole

2) Plunge the nuts in simmering water for 5 minutes then peel by rubbing them one by one in a clean dish cloth. Then, using a small knife, remove the skin between the “veins” of the chestnut.

Cooking the chestnuts:

3) Once the nuts are perfectly cleaned, place them on a thick layer of cheesecloth, folding it over to cover. Transfer this “package” to a round, footed grill and place it in the bottom of a deep saucepan.

4) Pour in enough cold water to generously cover the chestnuts and heat until the water just comes to a boil. Reduce the heat, and let barely simmer 30-45 minutes depending on the size of the nuts (be sure the water never reaches a rolling boil).

5) Using a long pin, spear a chestnuts from end to end. You should be able to puncture the nut meat through without any resistance. Be careful not to overcook the chestnuts or they will be too fragile; keep in mind, they will cook further in the upcoming “confisage” step.

6) Carefully lift the grill out of the water, remove the cheesecloth, then rinse the nuts thoroughly in warm water. Let the nuts drain, on the grill, about 15 minutes.

7) Meanwhile, prepare a glucose syrup at 20˚ baumé (or 1160 on a densimeter) with the following ingredients:

1 liter water, 700 gr. white sugar cubes, 100 gr. Liquid glucose, 2 vanilla beans, split and scraped.

Heat together the ingredients and bring slowly to a boil. Off heat, carefully plunge each chestnut into the hot syrup, one by one. It is necessary to have a generous amount of syrup so that the chestnuts are well-covered.

Place the pot back on low heat, being sure the syrup never comes to a boil (a heat diffuser works well here). The syrup will become more and more concentrated, reaching 32˚baumé (or 1285 on a densimeter) when hot. This will take a long time – between 24-48 hrs to reach the proper sugar concentration. Check after 24 hours by removing a chestnut from the syrup and cutting it into pieces to see if the syrup has penetrated the middle of the nut.

When the chestnuts are sufficiently candied, remove from heat and let them cool in the syrup, then carefully transfer them into sterilized containers or Mason jars.

8) Glazing the chestnuts: To proceed with this step, the candied chestnuts must be drained at least 2 days in advance. Prepare a glace a l’eau (sugar/water glaze) by combining:

850 gr. icing sugar, 150 gr. water, and 10 gr. vanilla extract

Heat in a large pot to 45˚C. The consistency should be similar to fluid fondant used to glaze a cake.

9) Using a fork, dip each candied chestnut in the glaze, placing them carefully side by side onto a rack set on a baking sheet to drip dry.

10) When all the chestnuts are glazed, place the whole tray in a hot oven (200˚C) for a few seconds to set the glaze and make them shine.

11) Let them cool and dry on the surface, then wrap each chestnut in a small square of gold paper.

12) Crack open a bottle of Champagne and start eating!

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Lesley, you are a great sport to share this recipe. I am sure it was just as involved to type as it is to read.

Thank you! :smile:

Every time I eat them now, I will have even greater respect for the person making them. And my enjoyment of them will be elevated to yet a higher level.

Did you ever make these after graduating from school? :wink:

Again, many thanks.

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I recent had the similar thought to make Marron Glace, but gave it up after reading about it in Larousse gastronomique. Thanks Leslie for sharing the recipe. One of these days I may just be crazy enought to try it.

Ya-Roo Yang aka "Bond Girl"

The Adventures of Bond Girl

I don't ask for much, but whatever you do give me, make it of the highest quality.

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  • 7 years later...

There are several recipes for candied chestnuts on the internet. Most instruct you to boil the shelled chestnuts but I find that too often this produces a mushy result.

This is for one pound of chestnuts in the shell, it's easy enough to double the recipe.

I cut the chestnut shells, steam them for about 8 minutes, which is long enough to loosen the shell and the cuts begin to curl.

I remove the shells, return them to the steamer for an additional 2 minutes to make it easier to remove the inner skins and veins.

I change the water in the steamer, rinse the pan and the steam tray well and return the chestnuts to it and steam them for no more than 5 minutes, I begin testing with a thin skewer at 3 minutes and as soon as it penetrates easily, I remove them and blanch them in cold water and immediately drain.

I make my own vanilla syrup ahead of time

For one pound of chestnuts.

1 1/2 cups sugar to 1 cup water,

one whole vanilla bean,

add to the syrup and bring it to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 4-5 minutes, stirring constantly. Leave the bean in the syrup.

If you have made your syrup ahead of time and it is cold, bring it to a boil and add the chestnuts, stirring constantly and cook at a slow boil for 8-10 minutes.

Transfer to a canning jar and set aside to cool. Place the lid loosely on the jar and leave overnight, 18-24 hours.

Make a small batch of new syrup, 1/2 cup sugar to 1/2 cup water, bring to a boil and cook for 3 minutes.

Add the chestnuts in their syrup (with the vanilla bean) bring it to a boil and cook for 3-4 minutes.

Remove from heat, return to the jar and soak for another 24 hours.

You will need to repeat this process (do not add more syrup unless there is not enough to partially cover the chestnuts) four more times - figure on it taking almost a week altogether, although the soaking can be extended for up to 2-3 days if you need to.

By the end of this process there should be only a little syrup remaining. Save whatever there is and use it in your coffee. :biggrin:

Remove the vanilla bean, rinse it well and allow it to dry. It still has some uses.

Place a wire rack on a sheet pan and handling the chestnuts with care, place them on the rack so they are not touching.

Put them in a cold oven and set the heat at 225. Set your timer for 30 minutes and when it sounds, turn off the oven. Do NOT open the door.

Leave the chestnuts in the oven for an hour.

At this point the surface of the chestnuts should be just slightly tacky.

You can set the sheet pan on the counter and leave them to dry further or if you wish, you can roll them in coarsely granulated sugar.

I have a dehydrator and do not use my oven to finish them. I put them in the dehydrator at medium-low heat (115° F) and leave them for 24 hours.

I buy the little paper nut cups at Smart & Final and store the chestnuts in them in a single layer in a cookie tin.

I don't know how long they will keep, they never last long enough for it to be a consideration.

Here's a web site with more details and variations.

Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett


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  • 1 month later...

I was walking by our local chestnut roaster Thursday evening, and couldn't resist picking up a pound. Before being able to eat them, I was called off to something else, so I ended up with a bag of peeled roasted chestnuts. Then I thought, "Well, I'll make a chicken on the weekend with some chestnuts stuffing; no worries." Only when I got to my market, they had all the fresh ingredients for a Thai curry, and moments like that cannot be wasted.

So now I still have these chestnuts, and really, today is going to be their last workable day, I feel. Chestnut soup does not appeal.

Can I put them into a sugar syrup, or is it too late once they've been roasted?

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  • 2 years later...

So this is the second time I've tried these elusive classics, using this recipe



I couldn't face fresh chestnuts so used canned. The results? Not bad, but nowhere near the quality you find in the chocolateries around here- it's mostly a texture problem. They're a little hard on the surface, and just not as velvety.

Any help here from the pros? On the plus side, I now have half a litre of delicious chestnut-vanilla syrup and just need a nice way to use it.

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I've started with both the vac packed chestnuts and the dried chestnuts from the asian store with good results - a bit closer to velvety with the vac packed. And that syrup is the best!!!

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I have a jar of half broken half beautiful marrons -- im going to have a try with the vac-packed raw material -- getting them out of the shell and keeping them whole is far too trying. After eating the rejects I ended up with a liter jar from a kilo of nuts.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I've started with both the vac packed chestnuts and the dried chestnuts from the asian store with good results - a bit closer to velvety with the vac packed. And that syrup is the best!!!

Do you need to boil or steam vac packed chestnuts before beginning the sugar syrup process? Just not clear to me if vac packed chestnuts are cooked at all.

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I've started with both the vac packed chestnuts and the dried chestnuts from the asian store with good results - a bit closer to velvety with the vac packed. And that syrup is the best!!!

Do you need to boil or steam vac packed chestnuts before beginning the sugar syrup process? Just not clear to me if vac packed chestnuts are cooked at all.

They are cooked. So you can just start the syrup process.

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  • 8 years later...

Has anyone successfully made candied chestnuts (marrons glace) at home which even remotely resemble the professional ones you get from Europe?


I've tried making them using RTE Chinese chestnuts from Costco with varying success:

One batch became leathery after being simmered in (what started out as) simple syrup which had its sucrose concentration gradually increased.


I have also tried soaking the chestnuts in hot water prior to beginning the candying process.  The nuts, once again, developed a tough skin after a few days.  To reverse the tough skins I added more water to the syrup, broke the nuts up into pieces and simmered them gently for a few hours.

While some pieces have a tough skin, many of them have taken on a candied texture.


Should any further attempts to candy chestnuts be attempted using the method of slowly simmering them in simple syrup?


Please share any feedback ypu may have.  Thanks!

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