Ok, I can't resist in posting this one, because to be REALLY honest, I really like this dessert very much!
1 1/2 pounds chestnuts
milk as needed
3/4 to 1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1 tsp. vanilla
rum to taste
1 pint whipping cream for topping
Put chestnuts in a large saucepan and cover with water. Boil for 10
minutes. Remove outer and inner peel from chestnuts. Take only a few out of the water at a time as they are easier to peel when warm.
*Tip: Cut the nuts in half and scoop out the meat with a nut pick.
Put the chestnut content into a saucepan, cover with milk and simmer until the chestnut is soft enough to easily mash and the milk is absorbed.
Press the chestnuts through a sieve (though you might also try a food
Boil the sugar and water to make a thick syrup (don't brown).
Immediately add to the chestnuts and cool. Add only enough liquid so that the chestnuts can be put through a potato ricer and still hold their shape.
Add the vanilla and rum. The rum suggested here is called "Stroh" and it is from Austria. Technically, it is a "tea rum" with an incredible butterscotch-like aroma and flavor.
Put the chilled mixture through the potato ricer, making a small mound in the center of individual dessert plates. Top with the whipped cream. Sweeten my whipped cream slightly and add a bit of vanilla too. You should balance the sweetness of the whipped cream to act as a counterpoint to the chestnut puree (i.e. sweeter puree = less sweet whipped cream, less sweet puree = sweeter whipped cream). The lightness of the whipped cream will also cut the incredible richness of the puree.