It’s getting chilly outside. You think I would use this as an excuse to turn on the oven but I’m a rather contrary person sometimes. Instead I’ve been spending the majority of my days curled up with my Portuguese water dog, Doodlebug.
My flavor palate tends to lean toward rich dense flavors in the winter. I shy away from sweet and develop more of a taste for complex savory flavors. I am one of those people that loves savory flavors incorporated into my final course. One of my favorite parts about this time of year is the availability of nuts: Pistachios, walnuts, pecans, almonds, Brazil nuts. It’s like during the miraculous overnight shift from Halloween to Christmas Santa comes early (he’s trying to tell us he wants nuts in those cookies you’ll leave out for him). You go to the grocery store and there are barrels of nuts of every variety ready for you to toil away peeling. TOTALLY WORTH IT.
Nuts are underutilized. I strongly believe that the immense dessert potential for nuts is un-actualized. We must think beyond the pie, people! Processing nuts for desserts can be out of the reach for those that don’t have the right equipment, though. I’m extremely fortunate to have an arsenal of tools that grind, juice, pulverize, and whip with simple on and off buttons
Chestnuts are the hallmark of the holidays. Their texture/taste is not as oily as other nuts so I thought it would work wonders in a mousse. I was right. I wanted something denser than cake so I made a flourless chocolate cake base. (This is one of the best gluten free desserts BTW). All in all this was a pretty labor intensive the dessert: Cook nuts, pulverize them, make a cake, make a mousse, wait to firm/chill etc. Regardless the ratio of calories to minutes is about 80:1, which is worth my time.