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Vacherin aux Marrons (Gluten free)

This recipe is Vegetarian, Gluten free, Wheat free and Dairy free.

ingredients

serves 8 - 12
4 large free-range egg whites
225 g (8 oz) 1 cup of caster (superfine) sugar
1 teaspoon of pure Madagascan vanilla extract
225 g (8 oz) 2 cups of chopped walnuts
425 g (15 oz) of canned unsweetened chestnut puree
55 g (2 oz) 1/2 cup of icing (confectioners') sugar; sifted
2 tablespoons of dark rum
2 tablespoons of soya cream, or sufficient to make a spreadable puree
500 g (17 oz) 3 1/2 cups fresh strawberries, washed, hulled and left to dry
30 g (1 oz of (DF/GF) continental dark chocolate, coarsely grated
Extra icing (confectioners') sugar sifted, to decorate

method

1. Draw around 2 dinner plates on 2 sheets of baking parchment (wax paper) and place each sheet on a non-stick baking tray

2. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) gas 4

3. Whisk the egg whites until they stand in stiff peaks. Whisk in the sugar, a little at a time, until thick and glossy.

4. Fold in the vanilla extract and nuts using a metal spoon.

5. Lightly spread the mixture over both of the prepared circles of paper.

6. Bake the meringues in the oven for about 35 - 45 minutes, or until lightly coloured on top and set inside (unless you are very lucky and have two ovens, 1 usually swap their positions around at half time, so that they are evenly cooked).

7. Meanwhile, beat the chestnut puree with the icing (confectioners') sugar, rum and soya cream until it reaches a spreadable consistency.

8. Slice up the strawberries.

9. As soon as the vacherin is cold, carefully peel off the paper and place.one vacherin on a serving plate.

10. Spread all the chestnut puree on the top of the base and then cover with the strawberries.

11. Cover with the remaining vacherin and decorate the top with the grated chocolate and sifted icing (confectioners') sugar.

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