Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Plain Yogurt with Chestnut Spread

Chestnuts (châtaignes in French) are to the French what cranberries are to the Americans. French people eat chestnuts as a side dish in the traditional Roasted Turkey with Chestnuts (Dinde aux marrons, which despite its name does not call for horse chestnuts (marrons in French) but for châtaignes ). Candied in sugar (marrons glacés), they become a delicacy people buy alongside chocolates for Christmas. Roasted (marrons grillés), sometimes right in the middle of the streets of Paris, they become a healthy snack... but more frequently, you'll end up eating them pureed in chestnut spread (Crème de marrons).

We live on chestnut spread in our family: my husband is able to eat it straight from the can, one spoon after the other. As a result, my children are big chestnut spread lovers as well (my eating-by-example theory!). I like it as well but I prefer my châtaignes with meat or game (more recipes to come!!)
Until recently, we were bringing our chestnut spread back from France because we could not find it around us (or at prohibitive prices)... and I never even thought about making my own (too much labor)! Visitors were always asked to bring back some Cme de Marrons in their suitcase to restock until our next trip! I was very happy to discover that, even if still expensive, some supermarkets and online websites started carrying whole chestnuts and chestnut spread! The suitcase weight limit and the euro-dollar exchange rates were making our little traffic more and more difficult!
Chestnut spread is very thick, creamy, and very sweet. The brand we generally get is the Clement Faugier Chestnut Spread (with Vanilla) but other brands, including Bonne Maman, carry their own spread as well. If you are up for trying something new, I would highly recommend you try this recipe out. I'm sure your little ones will ask for more...
In this recipe, I just put a doll of chestnut spread on plain yogurt. In some families, that could be dessert. In ours, it's just another way to flavor plain yogurt before we eat a piece of fruits or a REAL dessert.  Bon Appétit!

My Personal Comments: 
  • I generally purchase plain yogurt  in a quart container because I find the individual size yogurt too expensive, too sweet if they are flavored, and really too big for a child (if I ever buy individual size yogurt, I share it among my two children). We sweeten plain yogurt with chestnut spread, jam, honey or unrefined cane sugar. In summertime, I just add fresh berries.
  • Chestnuts come in different varieties (Chinese, Japanese, European, and American), the widespread one being the Chinese. American chestnuts are making a come back after chestnut trees suffered a devastating fungus in the 1930s... but today, China still accounts for 40% of the worldwide production!
  • Chestnuts are very healthy : very low fat, gluten free, cholesterol free, high in Vitamin C and potassium, and providing very assimilable proteins.
  • If you can't find chestnut spread near you, you could order some online:


  1. This is a great idea! We have two cans just waiting to be put to use.

  2. Hello Gaelle,
    Thanks for posting a link to my online shop histoiresucree, it's very nice of you! I really like your blog and I regularly visit it.
    I wanted to share some of my recipes using marrons glaces:
    and also: