[A delicious Christmas log – Vanilla, candied chestnuts and fluffy chestnut macaron]

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We all know one of those people who dream about Christmas all year long and when it’s finally time to celebrate – around mid-October (because, yes, these people start to act much earlier than others) -, spend days and nights thinking about the dinner, the presents, the decoration…Well, I am one of these people.
Hi, my name is Fanny and I am a Christmasholic.

It usually starts from the 26th of December, occasionally from the 27th.
I know and feel it’s not sensible, but can’t help.
Without I even notice it, I’m already in the mood for next Christmas.
Whether it’s about the tree ornaments, the Christmas cards or the menu, I can’t stop my brain coming up with tons of ideas.
Thus, I keep hundreds (and I’m only slightly exaggerating) of Moleskine notebooks to write down every single one of these ideas.

When Christmas finally – and actually – arrives, I just have to leaf through these paper treasures to set all the variables of the equation:
ax + by + cz = BCPE
(BCPE standing for Best Christmas Party Ever)

A week ago, while searching for some inspiration for la bûche I remembered les petites notes griffonées sur un coin de feuille.
It reads – une délicieuse bûche de Noël: vanille, marron glacé et macaron à la châtaigne.

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PS – I would understand now if you consider me a chestnut aficionado.

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Bûche à la vanille et au marron glacé sur un macaron à la châtaigne
This bûche is made of a candied chestnut mousse encased in a vanilla mousse and wrapped in a stripped joconde.Regarding the joconde biscuit, the result didn’t turn out as beautiful as expected. I guess the use of my father’s glue comb (self-note: buy a set of decorating combs!) has something to do with the almost disaster.

Both the mousses are delicious and complementary: the chestnut mousse is rich and sweet while the vanilla one is slightly tangy and more firm making for a balanced and delicate pudding.

The macaron is probably the best part of the bûche: satisfyingly sweet with caramel undertones and a pleasant chestnut flavour; definitely the real winner of the unforgettable Christmas Eve dinner.
Culinary speaking I’m not sure it would qualify as macaron though. Dacquoise would probably be more accurate, but the chewy texture, shiny crust and little ‘feet’ exude the macaron-attitude.

Macaron à la châtaigne

170g ground almonds
140g icing sugar
60g flour
4 large egg whites
100g light muscovado sugar
60g caster sugar
70g cooked chestnuts, in small pieces

Preheat the oven to 190°C.
Line a 30 x 40cm pan with baking paper.
Blitz the ground almonds and icing sugar in a food processor. Mix in the flour.
Whip the egg whites until stiff, add the sugars and continue whipping until they form firm peaks.
Pour over the almond mixture and incorporate gently. Mix in the cooked chestnut bits and pour the batter into the lined pan.
Bake for 18 minutes and allow to cool on a wire rack.

Note – you could also pipe the batter into small rounds for a macaron-look.