For chestnut puree
1 large egg yolk
1 vanilla bean*
* I used 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1. Slice the vanilla bean in half length wise and scrape the seeds into a small saucepan. Add the cream, sugar and whisk in the yolk. Heat over low heat, continually stirring until the mixture begins to thicken. Take the pan off the heat and allow the vanilla bean to steep while the mixture cools.
2. When the mixture is cool, put it in a food processor along with the pureed chestnuts. Blitz until smooth and creamy.* Put a spoonful of chestnut puree in the double mesh strainer over a bowl and press through using a spatula. Strain the rest of the chestnut puree, cover and set aside.
* I did not use a food processor. Instead, I handwhisked till as creamy as I could, and i did not put everything through a sieve (like pureeing baby food).
Rest 125g of cream cheese at room temperature.
Whisk it then add in the chestnut puree. Add in gelatine solution (dissolve 1/2 tbsp gelatine powder in 1.5tbsp hot water) which is COOL.
Mix till well corporated.
*note, 125g of cream cheese is for HALF the recipe of the chestnut puree*
i spread chestnut mousse on the base, then lay the sponge fingers, topped it with mousse and lay with sponge fingers again (psst, it yield too many sponge fingers) and topped it with chestnut cream. then i decorate with valrhona crunchy dark pearls (i've got a container of it and expiring in nov so i dont want to keep it for long) and added some hearts.