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I always use frozen chestnuts to make marrons glacés 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

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2 Answers

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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I have not made Marron Glaces. However I have been researching how to make them and found someone, who had used a washed onion bag to put the chestnuts in to stop them breaking up. Apparently this works. So even though I have not made them I saw your question while researching and thought I would pass on this tip to you. Hope it works for you.

Deborah

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Good idea. I'll try this winter this technique. –  BlakBat Oct 7 '13 at 17:02
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