Ode to a Chestnut: Sweet Chestnut Cupcake

Ode To a Chestnut on the Ground
Pablo Neruda
“From bristly foliage
you fell
complete, polished wood, gleaming mahogany,
as perfect
as a violin newly
born of the treetops,
that falling
offers its sealed-in gifts,
the hidden sweetness
that grew in secret
amid birds and leaves,
a model of form,
kin to wood and flour,
an oval instrument
that holds within it
intact delight, an edible rose…”

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“…In the heights you abandoned
the sea-urchin burr
that parted its spines
in the light of the chestnut tree;
through that slit
you glimpsed the world…”

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Ingredients
About 500-600 g chestnut to make 290 g chestnut puree
3 medium eggs
3-5 tbsp milk
120 g golden caster sugar
140 g ground almonds
100 gr butter
70 g chestnut flour
¾tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla bean paste/extract
To decorate:
80 g butter
50 g chestnut puree
100 g icing sugar
sugarpaste

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Method
Cook the chestnuts until soft (boil for about 50-60 minutes). Cool and peel them, finally puree it with a potato ricer. Preheat the oven to 160° C and line your muffin tin with 12 paper cases. Mash the puree in a dish with a fork. Whisk the eggs, milk and the sugar in a large mixing bowl until frothy. Add 200 g mashed chestnut puree, ground almonds, baking powder and vanilla extract and whisk until just combined. Divide the mix between the 12 baking cases and bake for 30 mins, until golden brown on the top and when they are springy to the touch. Mix the ingredients of the chestnut buttercream, pipe small mounts on each cupcake and decorate with sugarpaste circle.

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“…Because you are
only
a seed,
chestnut tree, autumn, earth,
water, heights, silence
prepared the germ,
the floury density,
the maternal eyelids
that buried will again
open toward the heights
the simple majesty of foliage,
the dark damp plan
of new roots,
the ancient but new dimensions
of another chestnut tree in the earth.”

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