A pretty golden hue, a delicious core with a luscious texture... Merely mentioning glazed chestnuts creates a sense of wonder and carries us away in an extravaganza of festive flavors!
Box of 6 plain glazed chestnuts
Box of 16 plain glazed chestnuts
Box of 6 chestnuts glazed with rum
Box of 16 chestnuts glazed with rum
Box of 12 assorted plain glazed chestnuts and chestnuts glazed with rum
Box of 25 filled chocolates + 16 squares of dark and milk chocolate + 6 glazed chestnuts
Box of 9 filled chocolates + 6 glazed chestnuts
Box of 25 filled chocolates + 16 glazed chestnuts
Our glazed chestnuts, plain or with rum, are carefully crafted and glazed in Ardèche according to tradition. Enjoy their slightly sweet flavor and subtle aroma – a must-have treat for holiday celebrations!
Each year, we impatiently await their return! Just like a classic box of chocolates, candied chestnuts add a feeling of celebration to your home and mark the beginning of the holiday season. Don your festive attire and share a box of chestnuts with your loved ones, to make your day truly special!
All will agree, a glazed chestnut is a unique, must-have treat, made using a meticulous artisanal process, for an unforgettable gourmet experience.
You’ve probably heard of this delicacy, but do you know where they actually come from? It’s a controversial story, which makes them even more mysterious. Some say that glazed chestnuts (or “marrons glacés” in French) first appeared on Louis XIV’s table. People from Lyon claim the invention as their own. Others believe that they were created in a region of Italy where chestnuts grow in abundance.
But at the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter. Nowadays, we know for sure that the Maures mountain range, in the region of Collobrières in Provence, is a hot spot for chestnuts in France, where this sweet treat has been made since the early 20th century. In Ardèche, they have been produced since the late 19th century, and that is where Maison RICHART’s glazed chestnuts come from.
It’s a long process, from harvesting the chestnuts, to cooking them, peeling them, and so on, to turn fresh chestnuts into delicious treats! There are many kinds of glazed chestnuts, using different recipes. First you must meticulously select your ingredients, most importantly, the chestnuts. Then, it takes artisanal know-how and a tried-and-true recipe... Here we lay out each key step, to satisfy the most discerning palates.
The first and undoubtedly the most important step involves meticulously selecting each chestnut, during the first days of fall. A fun seasonal activity can be to take your basket and gather fresh chestnuts, if you live in an area where they grow! You can then make many different recipes with them, such as classic roasted chestnuts. But be careful - don’t confuse sweet chestnuts (castanea sativa) with horse chestnuts, which come from conker trees. The latter are purely decorative and non-edible.
The best chestnuts come from certain well-defined areas - in Italy, and in France, the Maure mountain range in Provence, especially the village of Collobrières, and also Ardèche. From one region to another, chestnuts have different characteristics. Some are plump, with a less powerful aromatic profile, whereas others are smaller, but have the advantage of being much more flavorful. We choose the latter to make our glazed chestnuts, and the whole process is supervised by Sabaton, our chestnut specialist in Ardèche.
Once the nuts fall, we harvest them and remove their spiky husk. Only the best specimens, small in size but with plenty of flesh, are kept once peeled. Then, we bring them to the kitchen, where we place them, whole, in water to soak for at least nine days. After leaving them to dry for a long time (about three weeks), it’s time to add them to a pan, carefully wrapped in cloth, to cook for several hours in hot water (but never allowed to simmer or come to the boil). Once cooked, we will be able to peel and cut off every inch of skin using a knife, even from all the tiniest folds, for each individual chestnut. This careful peeling of the skin is what makes our chestnuts so refined and delicate in the mouth. The cooking step is very important, as it will partially determine the texture of the marron glacé. If they are cooked for too long or the heat is too high, it will produce a pasty or floury texture. On the other hand, if they are not cooked for long enough, the texture will be overly firm and sometimes brittle. Once this step is complete, the chestnuts can be candied.
The art of candying fruit is an ancestral technique, originally created to make it last longer, rather than to give it a different look and texture.
The key word is time, as artisanal French candying techniques involve replacing the water content that is naturally found in fruit with a liquid made of sugar, glucose syrup and vanilla beans (no need for butter). The recipe for this syrup has been carefully developed, to avoid any risks of crystallization, which produces an unpleasant sensation in the mouth.
The syrup has to penetrate through to the center of the chestnuts, slowly and progressively. First, we immerse them (but don’t boil them) in a pot of syrup for a number of hours, then remove them once they start to become “saturated”, and place them into another pot, containing liquid with an even higher sugar content. This process is repeated patiently for seven to ten days. We remove the chestnuts from the final candying pot when they are completely saturated with syrup, fully replacing the original water content. This is called osmosis, or, more poetically, sweet alchemy! Wrapping the chestnuts in cloth makes it possible to limit how much sugar they absorb and keep them whole.
It’s all a question of balance. One of the secrets behind this successful transformation is, of course, the complete mastery of the recipe and know-how of the confectioner, who acts as a true orchestra conductor, for the magic to take place over many minutes. But it also takes patience, to ensure a harmonious, smooth texture, which is easier to achieve with small chestnuts. You also need to know how to adapt to the specificities of each year’s harvest.
At Maison RICHART, we make sure that our marrons glacés are perfectly candied, without too much sugar, to offer you exceptional, luxury products with unparalleled aromatic power.
After being candied, the chestnuts are drained, dried and once again sorted, so that only the finest specimens are kept. The next step is quite simple. The chestnuts are placed on a rack and covered in a thin layer of slightly satiny icing sugar, which will give them a brilliant sheen. A few minutes in the oven, to set the glaze on the outside and the sugar syrup on the inside, and our chestnuts are ready to be enjoyed!
Our chestnuts are then delicately hand-wrapped in stunning silver or gold paper and carefully placed in the box, full of promise.
We recommend that you store them chilled but give them a few minutes to come to room temperature before enjoying, for a unique gourmet experience that will awaken all your senses. It starts with the elegant, immaculately white box, which reveals its delicious treasures to your impatient eyes. Then comes the soft rustling of each chestnut’s wrapping, opened enthusiastically, uncovering each beautiful, shiny nut within. The aromas of the chestnut and vanilla are irresistible, making it impossible to wait a second longer! Once you place a marron glacé in your mouth, its luscious, unctuous texture will give way to a full array of aromas, with strong chestnut flavors enhanced with a touch of smooth, enchanting vanilla...
With the holiday season fast approaching, give a box of marrons glacés to your loved ones, family, friends, or business colleagues, to end the year on a warm note. All will agree, it’s one of the best ways to thank someone and add your recognition for their presence in your life. Choose a luxury RICHART gift box, full of gourmet products made using tried-and-true artisanal recipes. Single origin or filled chocolates, with timeless or unique aromatic notes, chocolate truffles, macarons, and of course, glazed chestnuts - there’s something for every gourmet!
No matter where you’re located, our glazed chestnuts and other sweet treats are within your reach. You can collect them from our stores in Paris, Lyon, or Saint-André de Corcy, if you’re located in France, or enjoy home shipping for online products ordered on our website. It’s never been so easy to snap up the perfect gift box! You even have the option to personalize your gift box with a message that we will print on a gorgeous card, to delight the recipient when your box is delivered.
The entire team here at Maison RICHART hopes you enjoy your gourmet chestnut experience!
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