This indulgent, festive dessert combines layers of crunchy biscuit crumbs, a creamy winter spiced chestnut filling and a smooth ganache topping. A final sprinkling of chopped chestnuts and pomegranate seeds make it the perfect Christmas treat!
If you want to make a special dessert for Christmas, but are not much of a baker, then these chestnut and chocolate pots are perfect for you! They require minimal effort to prepare, and your fridge will be doing most of the work while you sit back and relax. Preparing Christmas dinner is usually quite a long process, so I don’t know about you, but I can never be bothered to spend hours on making a dessert, so these little festive pots are my go-to, hassle-free dessert recipe. The prep time for these chestnut and chocolate pots is less than 20 minutes, which means you can focus on cooking your main course while they set in the fridge, and what’s even better is that they can be prepared 1-2 days in advance.
Why You'll Love these Chestnut and Chocolate Pots
Aside from the fact that they’re irresistibly delicious, here are a few reasons why they’re the perfect festive dessert:
They’re packed with aromatic winter spices
They’re naturally sweetened with dates and date molasses
They’re no-bake and can be made days in advance
They can be made gluten-free by using a gluten free biscuit alternative
The filling is made from silken tofu, so they’re high in plant-based protein
They’re incredibly quick and easy to make
The combination of the crunchy biscuit, creamy filling and velvety chocolate ganache is amazing!
What are Chestnuts?
Chestnuts are the edible fruit of a deciduous tree that grows throughout the world. They grow in small, green, spiky shells that reveal the nut when peeled. They can be eaten raw or cooked, and they have a mildly nutty, creamy flavour that makes them suitable for savoury and sweet dishes. They are typically in season in the UK from October through to December, so now is the perfect time to make use of these seasonal nuts! Chestnuts are also high in antioxidants, vitamins and fiber, so they’re nutritious and delicious!
Where to find Chestnuts?
Chestnuts are sold fresh at most supermarkets in October- December, so you can purchase them fresh and cook them yourself, but this will add quite a bit of extra time to the time it takes to prepare this dessert. I prefer to purchase precooked chestnuts which are usually sold whole in small packets. The cooked chestnuts are peeled, cracked and cooked perfectly and they don’t contain any preservatives, so they’re perfect for this recipe.
Is this Dessert Gluten-Free?
The biscuits used in this recipe contain gluten, but you can easily make the recipe gluten-free by simply using a gluten free biscuit instead.
Ingredients for Chestnut and Chocolate Pots
Here’s what you’ll need to make these pots:
Biscuits: I've used vegan digestive biscuits for the base, but you can use any biscuit of your choice.
Vegan butter: The vegan butter is used to bind the crushed biscuits. Any melted vegan butter or margarine will do.
Chestnuts: I've used precooked chestnuts which are sold whole in small packets. The cooked chestnuts are peeled, cracked and cooked perfectly and they don’t contain any preservatives, so they’re perfect for this recipe. You could use fresh chestnuts if you prefer, but it'll take much longer to prepare.
Silken tofu: The silken tofu is high in protein so it increases the nutritional value of this dessert, it also gives the filling a rich and creamy consistency. I wouldn't recommend using firm tofu as it won't be as creamy when blended.
Dates: Dates give the filling a deliciously sweet caramel flavour. I’d recommend you use soft Medjool dates, but any variety of soft pitted dates will do. Medjool dates are pricier than regular dates, but they have a more intense flavour, so I’d say they’re worth it. If you have some dates at hand and they feel a little too hard or dry, do no chuck them away. Simply soak them in hot water for about 5 minutes, and they’ll be perfect to use in this recipe.
Date syrup: The date syrup has a rich, treacly sweetness and a thick, viscous consistency. The date syrup adds extra richness and sweetness to the filling. If you’re unable to find date syrup, you can use grape or carob molasses instead, or you can use some good quality maple syrup.
Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg: These warming spices will add a festive feel to these chestnut and chocolate pots. You can add as little or as much as you want - I'd recommend you start with the amount suggested in the ingredients listed below, taste it, and then make adjustments to suit your personal taste.
Coconut oil: The coconut oil is used to set the filling. I wouldn't recommend using another type of oil as it won't give the same result.
Vegan chocolate: The vegan chocolate is used to make the ganache. I'd recommend using either vegan milk chocolate or dark chocolate.
Coconut cream: The coconut cream is used to make the ganache. You can substitute the coconut cream with any vegan cream or plant-based milk of your choice.
Step By Step Instructions
STEP 1: For the Biscuit Layer
Place the vegan butter into a small saucepan on a low heat and allow it to melt. Add the digestive biscuit crumbs to the melted butter and mix until well combined, then divide it equally between the glasses or ramekins. Pat the crumbs down to make a firm base then set aside.
STEP 2: For the Filling
Add the cooked chestnuts, silken tofu, dates, melted coconut oil, date syrup, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg to a blender and blend on a medium speed for about 3 minutes until completely smooth. Stop to scrape down the sides if needed. Divide the filling between your glasses/ramekins, smoothing the top with the back of a spoon. Place the pots into the fridge while you prepare the ganache.
STEP 3: For the Ganache
To make the ganache, place the chocolate chips into a bain-marie and melt on a low heat. Add the coconut cream and stir on a low heat until well combined. Remove the pots from the fridge and pour 2-3 tbsp of ganache into each glass, then place them in the fridge for 30-40 minutes to set.
STEP 4: To Finish
Once, the ganache has set, sprinkle some chopped chestnuts and pomegranate seeds into each glass and serve chilled.
Make sure to blend the filling until it is completely smooth. The key to achieving the perfect consistency for the filling is to make sure your dates and chestnuts are soft, so make sure to use cooked chestnuts and use soft dates. If the dates are too hard and dry, they’ll give the filling a grainy texture.
Make these chestnut and chocolate pots a day in advance to allow the spices to infuse into the filling.
If you’re not a fan of some of the spices used, you can leave them out and it’ll still taste great.
For a gluten-free alternative, use gluten-free digestives or oat biscuits.
To make this recipe completely refined sugar-free, use sugar free vegan chocolate or dark chocolate to make the ganache.
How to Store these Chestnut and Chocolate Pots
Cover the top of each pot with cling film and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. The biscuit base will lose it’s crunchy texture the longer these desserts are left in the fridge, so I’d say they’re best served on the day they’re made or the following day.