Chocolate Chestnuts (Fruits d’Automne Bernachon)


by Heather Harris Brady

I’ve been enthralled by this recipe for a long time and finally this year the stars aligned so that I could make them. These chocolate chestnuts are in Bernachon’s Chocolate cookbook. They end up as rather large candies, so they make a pretty accompaniment to placecards for a dinner party or as hostess gifts.

The centers are a chestnut buttercream covered in a chocolate shell, then a layer of marzipan and a final coating of ganache for the outer husk.

Chocolate Chestnuts, Makes Six Large Candies

Buttercream centers:

1/3 c. mashed roasted chestnuts

2 T. softened butter

1/3 c. powdered sugar

1/2 lb. dark chocolate couverture

One small can of almond paste (marzipan)

1/3 recipe chocolate ganache


Lay out six couverture discs (or melt some of the couverture and drop 1-1/2″ circles onto waxed paper, allow to harden). Cream the center ingredients together and form into six balls. Place one on each disc.


Put the centers in the refrigerator to harden while you melt the couverture. Dip each center and coat them completely. Return to the refrigerator to harden.


While the coating hardens knead the marzipan until it’s soft and pliable, adding powdered sugar as necessary. Divide it into six balls and flatten them into circles. Mold each circle around each center. Cover them with plastic wrap to keep them from drying out.  At this point your ganache should be cold but still spreadable.


Cover the marzipan in a thick layer of ganache. As it starts to set, press against it with the tip of a knife and pull out to create the little barbs all over the surface.



The chocolate chestnuts will keep about five days at room temperature. Refrigerate or freeze for longer storage.


One year ago: Chocolate YOLO Grenades


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