Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Hello Helo!

Although Toronto is considered a diversify city, and we can get almost everything from different countries, there are still things hard to find. Sometimes you try all your local stores you can't even find a trace of it. Chowhound is a good place to start looking for rare items, but when it tells you that the closest place you can get an item is 30 km away, it's kind of depressing. I know, I know, there are online stores and they will send the package to you within a week, but if it's food I would still want to touch an item, check it out, before I pull out my purse.

A few weeks ago I was early for lunch and came across this small local grocery store. I found the Helo chestnut puree in a toothpaste container. They also sell it in a big can too. Curious of the product I got myself a tube.

So here is the verdict: the puree is by far the most stiff compare to other chestnut puree you can find in big chain supermarkets. The flavour is more condensed, nutty with a slight hint of smokiness. The smokiness is very subtle as it the chestnuts had been roasted prior to mashing. It has the right amount of sweetness. It also has a special cap with 6 small holes for squeezing out the content directly on your dessert. I find it a bit stiff for my hands to squeeze and since it is a bit too stiff the strands aren't that long. It does say that it doesn't need to be refrigerated but it has to be consumed within 2 days once opened.

I had some leftover chocolate sugar crust and sponge cake in my fridge so I made this simple mont blanc for tonight's dessert. The taste wasn't bad. Nobody will know the chestnut puree came directly out of a tube.

Although I haven't tried, but I think the following will be easy enough for kids to make, as all the ingredients can be bought from the supermarket, except the chestnut puree of course.

DIY Mont Blanc
Digestive Biscuits (with chocolate glaze should taste better)
sponge cake / pound cake
Chestnut puree
whipped cream

Place 1 digestive biscuit on the plate. Put a teaspoon of whipped cream on top. With a cup or cookie cutter, cut out a circle of sponge cake. Mix whipped cream with chestnut puree in 1:1 portion and apply on cake. Pipe more chestnut puree strands to cover everything.  Serve.


  1. This sounds pretty easy to make. I'll try to make it soon! Thanks a lot for the recipe.
    Rita and I both bought the chestnut puree in a can and it was very sweet. I made Gateau de Crepes with chestnut cream filling yesterday. Since I cheated by making the crepes with my crepe-making machine, the crepes ended up being paper thin. I must have made some 30 crepes altogether but the cake was only about an inch high. It tastes good though...

  2. I am going to try Helo in a can next time now that I have tried the their product. I was skeptical of this product before as the can cost more than $18 on its own.
    30 crepes for an inch! wow, that's really thin! I guess when you make crepe with a machine there won't be any bubbles to fluff it up?



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