Chestnut Brulee with Brandied Oranges

A couple weeks ago I signed up to compete in Foodie Fights .  Every week, the authors Nick and Dan pick two new ingredients and ask the chosen competitors to submit their top creation using the challenged ingredients and the winner is decided by guest expert judges as well as the general public vote.  Being new to this blogging world, I thought this would be a great way to meet new people and have some creative fun :) !

This week is Battle 16 (My lucky number!) and the two featured ingredients are: Chestnuts and Kumquats.   Unfortunately I was unable to find Kumquats anywhere in Dallas — many stores said it was too early in the season so I had to settle for oranges instead.  I just bought some ramekins over the weekend and instantly knew I wanted to make some type of brulee.  After much thought over the weekend I finally decided on making a Chestnut Brulee and topping it with some brandied soaked oranges for an extra punch, pow!

It turned out to be a pretty whimsical dessert, the nutty brulee served as a nice contrast with the sweet and tartness of the brandied oranges.  I also added a pinch of cinnamon to compliment the nuttiness of the chestnuts.  I think the best part of a creme brulee is cracking into the burnt sugar crust, nothing is better than the little “crunchies” of burnt sugar mixed with the creamniess of the custard.

If you enjoy this recipe, please do not forget to vote for me, it would be much appreciated ^_^!!!

Ingredients for Chestnut Brulee:

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream, hot
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 10 oz chestnut,peeled, skinned and pureed

Preheat the oven to 350F.

For the Brulee, mix the egg yolks and sugar until well combined.  In a medium sauce pan, heat the cream at a medium heat.  (Be careful to not burn it).  Pour the hot cream gradually into the egg and sugar mixture, whisking until thoroughly combined. Slowly fold in the chestnut puree and mix well. Set 4 shallow ramekins in a sheet pan and divide the custard mixture equally amongst the dishes.  Pour water into the sheetpan high enough to come up halfway to the side of the ramekins.  Bake for 30 minutes or until the custard is set.  (You can test this by lightly hitting the side of the sheet pan and seeing if the how much the custard “jiggles” to the force, if it does not move much it is ready)

Take custard out of the oven and place in the fridge to cool, about 1 hour.  When ready to serve, evenly coat the surface with sugar and using a hand-held torch, burn the sugar until it forms a thin caramel brown crust.  Be careful not to burn your fingers!

Ingredients for Brandied Oranges:

  • 1 orange, peeled, sliced into 12 sections
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp of brandy

Mix the oranges with the cinnamon and soak in brandy for 20 minutes.  Serve with Chestnut Brulee.

I hope you guys enjoy my creation for Foodie Fights, it was definitely a fun challenge.  I had a blast looking for the featured ingredients and brainstorming ideas and flavor combinations and am happy with what I have created.  I hope everyone enjoys this recipe as much as I have, I love how the burnt sugar harmonizes with the brandied oranges and it was fun using chestnuts in a new way!  Thank you to Ed and Dan for letting me participate and I look forward to competing again :)

Prep Time: 20 minutes Total Cooking Time: 1 hour 50 minutes


  1. Posted 16 Nov ’09 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

    This is brilliant! I love the combination. Well done on this challenge. I may just sign up too!

    • Posted 16 Nov ’09 at 11:57 pm | Permalink

      Thank you so much Penny :) You should sign up, it was a lot of fun!

  2. Posted 17 Nov ’09 at 1:57 am | Permalink

    Looks so lovely………..have never made a brulee and this just sounds heavenly!!!!!!!

    • Posted 17 Nov ’09 at 11:24 am | Permalink

      Azoz it is great to meet you, you did such a beautiful job with your post! Thank you for your kind words and i look forward to getting to know you!

  3. Posted 17 Nov ’09 at 2:35 am | Permalink

    I have to say I love your photos a lot! Every single one!
    Not to mention the delicious food on there!

    • Posted 17 Nov ’09 at 11:23 am | Permalink

      aw lulu you are so kind, comments like yours always make me so happy! Is Lulu your real name?

  4. Posted 17 Nov ’09 at 3:55 am | Permalink

    These look fantastic. Well, you have to make these for me Joy as I can’t find Kumquats here. :D You’re one busy lady. When do you find the time to do all these posts?

    • Posted 17 Nov ’09 at 10:08 am | Permalink

      I cant find any here either! All the markets told me they weren’t in yet pooooo…

      I’m currently unemployed :( so I dedicate all my time to this blog. Hopefully I will find something soon ^_^

  5. Posted 17 Nov ’09 at 5:51 am | Permalink

    Love the brulee idea! Way creative! And not to mention… I LOVE creme brulee of any kind!

    • Posted 17 Nov ’09 at 11:17 am | Permalink

      Thank you Peggy for your kind words!! I love creme brulees too hee hee hee

  6. aharcharek
    Posted 17 Nov ’09 at 6:28 am | Permalink

    Wow! Looks lovely. Great job.

    • Posted 17 Nov ’09 at 11:17 am | Permalink

      Thank you so much you did a great job too!!!

  7. Posted 17 Nov ’09 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    That’s such a beautiful creation…..well done! I love creme brulee but have not made them yet. Probably high time to try. Kumquats are not available yet. I love to kumquat drink….very delicious.

    • Posted 17 Nov ’09 at 10:06 am | Permalink

      Thank you Mary:) I was not able to find kumquats either, which is why I had to use oranges poooo. :( But yes they are so yummy!!

  8. Posted 17 Nov ’09 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    This looks amazing! I’m off to vote for you…

  9. Posted 17 Nov ’09 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    Looks delicious!

    But I don’t see how to vote… :(

  10. Posted 17 Nov ’09 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    Nice combination of flavors, chestnut brulee sounds wonderful paired with the drunken oranges. Something a little sinful to eat on Christmas morning maybe

    • Posted 17 Nov ’09 at 10:29 am | Permalink

      Hee hee yeah the brandy went really well with the natural juices of the oranges— or maybe I just say that to have an excuse to have a little brandy with my dessert ^_^

    • Posted 19 Nov ’09 at 9:49 am | Permalink

      Very creative, a cordial built into the dessert, I like it!

  11. andrew
    Posted 17 Nov ’09 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    bosnia likes! very nice!

    • Posted 17 Nov ’09 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

      haha thank you my friend from Bosnia! hahaha

  12. Posted 17 Nov ’09 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    Hi Joy! Great job on this challenge. Sounds delicious! I can only imagine the warmth of chestnuts complementing the sweet/tart combination of the brandied oranges. Delicious :) Hope you win!

    • Posted 17 Nov ’09 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

      Thanks Rose for your kind words :) I would be very happy if I won!!!

  13. Posted 17 Nov ’09 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    another gorgeous creation!

    we have a cumquat tree.. :)

    • Posted 18 Nov ’09 at 9:48 am | Permalink

      aw man too bad you live so far away, I couldn’t find them anywhere in Texas!

  14. Posted 19 Nov ’09 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    You got the popular vote! Great showing! (I voted for ya =) )

    • Posted 19 Nov ’09 at 9:25 am | Permalink

      Aw thanks Peggy! I am happy I won the popular vote, I feel so special and thanks again for your support :)

  15. Posted 20 Nov ’09 at 1:28 am | Permalink

    Wow, you did bake like a pro honey! Well done to the challenge. Wish you best of luck! I know I’m too far behind. Trying to catch up lol!

    • Posted 20 Nov ’09 at 10:42 am | Permalink

      Hee hee thank you kristy! I won the popular vote which I was really happy with :)

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