Marron glacé / Candied chestnuts breaking up. How to avoid this?

  • Marron glacé / Candied chestnuts breaking up. How to avoid this? BlakBat

    I always use frozen chestnuts to make marrons glac├ęs since I can find those all year long (and not only during winter) and because they're already pealed.

    I can cook them in simmering water without making them split or break up. But they always start breaking up on the third or fourth day when candying them. How can I avoid them from breaking into pieces and keep them whole?

    When I candy them, it's 75% sugar, 25% water, brought to boiling point. I turn off the heat, wait for the boiling to stop, and put the basket inside the pot. And wait 24 hours before next plunge.

    Thanks for any help

  • This is a guess, but I'm assuming the sugar concentration in the syrup that you're using is way too high. After a few days, the water evaporates off and the sugar is left in a crystalline form inside the chestnuts.

    This makes them very brittle at which point you see the breaking.

    If this is the case, I can recommend two things:

    • Reduce the rate at which the sugar in your confections crystallizes; left in the open air, you're going to lose moisture which is part of the problem.

    • Increase the water ratio. I'd start with a simple syrup (1 part water to 1 part sugar) and move up and down from there. Of course, your going to sacrifice some sweetness as a result, and you don't want too much water, as you'll end up making the chestnuts too soft. You'll have to adjust the balance to your tastes/tolerances.

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