While there is the occasional splurge on some saffron or pashmak, most of the time my inner frugal madam doesn’t allow any food to be thrown away. Even the tiniest smidge of icing is ziplocked and popped into the freezer for future use. Of course, every now and again I get the “argh, what on earth did I save this for” drive and toss some, but more often than not, the oddments find their way into a recipe.
These cupcakes, inspired by Barquette aux Marrons (chestnut boats), were actually made a few weeks ago. However, the deadlines associated with baking challenges and a foodbuzz post meant they were bumped off the queue until a lull in the schedule opened up. I now know the wonderful feeling of being able to pull something out and declare: “Here’s one I prepared earlier!” Wish I had lots more stored up my sleeve now that summer is officially here, but I’m really not that organised.*Sigh*
Anyway, these Chestnut Boatcakes were requested by Mr. Kitchen Hand to farewell a colleague. The whole thing was pretty simple to put together barring an initial misstep. You see, I wanted to bake these into a boat-like shape but didn’t have any suitable tins. Of course being a tad optimistic, I thought that pinching the cupcake wrappers to shape, then lining them all up side by side on a large baking tray, would provide sufficient support so they would magically hold their shape. One can always live in hope, I’ve heard it’s lovely there.
I'm a glass half-full kind of person
After a quick bout of trimming, they looked much better. (We ate the trimmings – frugal, see?). Then, using a couple of tablespoons, I scooped the chestnut puree into a sort of quenelle shape and patted it onto the cupcake with a plastic-wrapped hand. Oh yes, first I piped a bit of ganache onto the cake to act as “glue” and for extra flavour. I think the ganache was also a freezer-find. Topped with dark melted chocolate then decorated with drizzled white chocolate, they eventually looked very presentable.
A similar sweetened chestnut puree recipe can be found here when I made Mont Blanc Cupcakes but I added some rum to this version. The cake base was a Golden Almond Cake by Rose Beranbaum (I won’t post it because I didn’t change the recipe or add any new tweaks, just used it straight up. An almost similar recipe can be found here.)
Off to see what else the freezer holds...hopefully ice - cream ;P