7-day candied & glazed chestnuts7-day candied & glazed chestnuts7-day candied & glazed chestnuts7-day candied & glazed chestnuts7-day candied & glazed chestnuts7-day candied & glazed chestnuts7-day candied & glazed chestnuts7-day candied & glazed chestnuts7-day candied & glazed chestnuts7-day candied & glazed chestnuts7-day candied & glazed chestnuts7-day candied & glazed chestnuts7-day candied & glazed chestnuts7-day candied & glazed chestnuts

No, you’re not mistaken, this recipe takes 7 DAYS, and they’re officially called “MARRONS GLACES” . . . even though “mine” resemble small stones and seashells of different sizes found somewhere out there in nature (and not like the amber-colored and glittering ones we can buy) . . . BUT, (and please remember this because it’s very important) : for your 1st attempt & experiment, it doesn’t matter if they’re not the most beautiful, it doesn’t matter if they’re not the most tender, what’s important is that you made them yourself and that next year, they’ll be even better !

It's normal. Why do you think they’re sold for at least 2€ a piece when they’re industrially made and up to 4€ each when they’re hand-made ?! Good things require a lot of effort from our "talented professional candying confectioners". . . THANKS SO MUCH but in principle, I still prefer to do it myself with my own little hands even if they are less pretty (and darker because I never use white sugar), but they’re delicious and almost as tender ... ha ha, ha).

I don’t have any family stories to tell you about chestnuts because it's a mostly southern French and northern Italian tradition, not Greek nor Canadian, even if in Greek culinary tradition, we prepare a lot of candied fruits (and even nuts) in syrup. But normally, we roast them in the oven or on burning embers, we peel them, we eat them, like those we buy in the street in winter, when we have a little hunger pang and want to warm our hands as we’re peeling them. The SIMPLICITY of TASTE & the PRACTICAL ASPECTS of WARMTH.

The recipe in itself isn’t difficult, apart from the initial double peeling and preparing of the chestnuts (at least 1 to 2 hours) before even thinking about starting to candy them. Then a few minutes a day adding a little extra sugar each time by reheating the syrup and on the last day, a few more hours to heat them up again, dry, glaze and dry them again.

Tell yourself it will take you 7 days and try to start everything on the weekend and finish it on the next weekend. And do not wait until the last week before the arrival of the holidays because you will have other fish to fry - turkeys or legs of lamb to roast, a foie gras to prepare (cooked or salt-cured), holidays yule logs to prepare, etc ... and don’t you worry because some of these recipes will be published in the weeks to come because DECEMBER will be the month of holiday feast recipes !!!

Okay, I have to be honest. I tried this with frozen peeled chestnuts and pre-cooked chestnuts in jars (with and without liquid) and the results are not the same. The smaller peeled and frozen chestnuts are pretty good and quite time-saving but if you can USE FRESH CHESTNUTS. It’s a lot of work to peel and prepare them but so much better and rewarding.

Try to choose your chestnuts yourself. Beautiful big specimens (but if they are of different sizes, do not worry friends, you will use the smaller ones that still remained whole to crown your cakes and desserts and the broken ones and little bits and the syrup can be included in other sweet preparations.

I won’t go into all the minute details or ruin your life by complicating things with too many thermometers and science. I’ll stay as simple as possible and anyways, it’ll be fun (and maybe even make a few people giggle).

Fortunately, we only need to do ALL THIS only once a year ! . . . :)

7-day candied & glazed chestnuts


500 grams - 1 kg


preparation of chestnuts :

  • 1 kg of fresh chestnuts (peeled)
  • 2 liters of water
  • 15 grams (1 tablespoon) of sea salt
  • 15 ml (1 tablespoon) white vinegar
  • 12 grams (1 tablespoon) of sugar

syrup & candying :

  • 2,25 kg (11 ½ cups) of golden cane sugar (day 1 : 1000g (5 cups) + day 2-6 : 250g (1¼ cups) + 250g + 250g + 250g + 250g)
  • 250 grams (¾ cups) of glucose (or use corn syrup or liquid honey)
  • 30 ml (2 tablespoons) + 30 ml (2 tablespoons) of cognac (or rum or whisky)
  • 4 vanilla pods (split in 2)
  • 2 liters (8 cups) of mineral water

sugar glazing :

  • 85 grams (¼ cup) warm syrup
  • 170 grams (1 ¼ cups) icing sugar


day 1 (peeling and first cooking phase) :

  • plunge all chestnuts into a container of warm water and remove any floating ones (they probably have small worms inside)

note: I used chestnuts of different sizes but on average, the weight of each was between 10 and 20 grams, after peeling …

  • cut a slit on the thick outer skin of each chestnut, going from the top to the bottom and plunge into hot water at 50°C-60°C to soften the outer skin for 30 minutes
  • remove the first thick skin/peel, using a small knife with a hook called "bird's beak" (if you have one and it’s like a knife for picking mushrooms)
  • boil 2 cups of water in a saucepan, put a strainer/steamer over it, place some chestnuts and cover and steam them for about 2 minutes, then carefully remove/scrape off the second very thin skin (repeat this step 2 or 3 times until all the chestnuts are done and if they are different sizes, group them in different sizes) and place them back in some room temperature water
  • put the chestnuts in a cooking basket (like a frying basket) and then in a large and deep saucepan, cover with water, then add the tablespoons of sugar and salt and white vinegar and cook the chestnuts (in their basket) with barely simmering water (without ever reaching a boil) until you can easily pierce the chestnuts with a pin, for about 1 hour minimum to 2 hours maximum (add some cold water occasionally in the pot to lower the temperature of the water and keep at 95°C, do not ever boil)
  • remove the basket of chestnuts from the saucepan and let them drain

note: for very beautiful candied chestnuts/‘marrons glacés’, before starting the candying in syrup, one can wrap each one or two by two in a sterile gauze by making small packets to prevent them from breaking but it is very long ... it's up to you !

part 2 of day 1 & the 1st day of candying :

  • in a large saucepan, pour 2 liters of mineral water (or enough to cover the chestnuts, but remove the basket with the chestnuts then, after measuring the volume of water required), add the split vanilla pods, the glucose syrup (or corn syrup or liquid honey), the cognac (or rum or whiskey) and the 1000 grams of sugar and bring to a boil for a few minutes, until well melted incorporated
  • turn off the heat and gently immerse the basket of chestnuts inside the hot syrup
  • put a second basket (or small plate or a cover) on top of the chestnuts to avoid them from floating and to plunge the chestnuts completely into the syrup
  • let the chestnuts rest in this syrup for 24 hours until the next day

day 2 to day 5 (candying) :

  • remove the basket of chestnuts from the saucepan and set aside on a large plate, collect all the syrup that has drained and pour back into the pot
  • add 250 grams of sugar to the syrup and heat the syrup to melt the sugar and boil for a few seconds, turn off the heat and put the basket back with the chestnuts inside the hot syrup and let it sit again for 24 hours, putting the second basket on top (or a plate or a cover) to keep everything in place
  • repeat every day until and including the 5th day

day 6 (last day of candying) :

  • repeat the process by heating the syrup (without the basket of chestnuts) and adding another 250 grams of sugar and the second dose of 30 ml of cognac (or rum or whisky), bring to a boil, turn off the heat
  • place the basket of chestnuts back inside the hot syrup and let rest until the next day for 24 hours (sufficiently candied chestnuts do not rise to the surface)

note: if there is some sugar crystallization, add a little extra water

day 7 (glazing/icing & drying) :

  • remove the basket of chestnuts from the syrup, heat the syrup (without adding sugar), remove from the heat and plunge the basket of chestnuts into the pot to warm them for 5 minutes, then remove the basket, drain well and put the chestnuts that have remained whole on a rack to drain well for a few minutes (they should remain warm before glazing but if they cool, place in a preheated oven at 210°C for 2 minutes)
  • prepare the glaze/icing by mixing together the warm syrup with the icing sugar and then dip/coat each candied chestnut (those that are whole and presentable) and put them on a rack to dry completely at room temperature for a minimum of 1-2 hours
  • keep the candied & glazed chestnuts in a box or each wrapped with waxed paper

note: for the broken chestnuts (maybe half), heat them up in the syrup, then transfer the chestnuts into sterilized jars, pour the hot syrup over them and close tightly with the lids and turn the jars upside down until cooled; use the half-broken chestnuts, smaller pieces and the syrup in other sweet preparations or turn them into candied chestnuts purée or a creamy spread ...