Vegetarian recipe ideas
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Soak the chestnuts in cold water for 20 mins before carefully scoring a large cross over the tip and extending two-thirds of the way down each chestnut. Do not cut deeply, just enough to cut the shell and the skin underneath.
Bring a pan of water to the boil, add five chestnuts and boil for 8 mins, making sure they are fully submerged. Remove with a slotted spoon and (working quickly and carefully as they will be hot) peel off the shell and inner skin. A tea towel might be helpful at this point. Repeat this process until all the chestnuts are done.
Weigh the peeled chestnuts and then measure out the exact same weight of granulated sugar and water. Put the water and sugar in a large pan and gently heat, stirring until dissolved, about 2-3 mins. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 mins before adding the chestnuts and continuing to cook for 10 mins. Remove from the heat, cover and leave to cool and soak. This will take a while so best to do overnight.
The next day, remove the chestnuts with a slotted spoon before bringing the pan back to boil, then return the chestnuts and simmer for 2 mins. Remove from the heat, then cover and leave to cool and soak again overnight. Repeat this process twice more over the next two days. Finally, remove the chestnuts with a slotted spoon and arrange over a baking tray lined with baking paper. Leave to dry in a warm place for around 12 hrs before serving or wrapping and storing in an airtight container.