I have been cooking with chestnuts a lot this winter and while telling my mother about my triumphant puree de marron filled doughnuts, we got onto the subject of a frozen chestnut pudding she used to make for Christmas back when we were kids. Lighter than the traditional pudding, it was studded with marinaded dried fruit, sweetened with chestnut puree, it was a real family favourite. She used a clipping from (quite possibly the Radio Times) with the recipe on and it was a sad day when that precious piece of paper got lost and we stopped making the nameless pudding. Buoyed by nostalgia and Google, we looked up frozen chestnut pudding in the vain hope of finding something similar and were thrilled to discover that we had been making a dish called Nesselrode Pudding and that our festive dessert was sorted for this year.
This is a Victorian era pudding named for a MittelEuropean Count and was fabulously popular in those days, showing off expensive luxury items to full effect on Christmas Day while keeping some of the tastes of a British Christmas such a dried fruit and brandy. It relies on the flavours of sweet chestnuts and brandy to end the feast in style and we were delighted to have the chance to re-visit this classic family favourite!