Mont Blanc Chestnut Dessert

Mont Blanc Chestnut Dessert

The Spruce / Christine Ma

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 100 mins
Total: 2 hrs
Servings: 10 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
553 Calories
19g Fat
89g Carbs
8g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 10
Amount per serving
Calories 553
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 19g 24%
Saturated Fat 10g 52%
Cholesterol 59mg 20%
Sodium 58mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 89g 32%
Dietary Fiber 7g 27%
Total Sugars 31g
Protein 8g
Vitamin C 36mg 178%
Calcium 70mg 5%
Iron 2mg 9%
Potassium 907mg 19%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Appropriately shaped like the beautiful Mont Blanc, this classic French pastry features chestnut purée piled on top of meringue rounds and topped with whipped cream for a subtlety sweet dessert that looks like a little snowy mountain. Its pretty appearance makes this treat a beautiful and elegant addition to dessert tables, bridal showers, or celebratory tea gatherings.

This recipe can be made as one large dessert or individually-sized. Since a raw egg white is incorporated into the whipped cream, make sure you use pasteurized eggs and be sure to let pregnant guests know about it, as raw egg consumption during pregnancy is not advised. Although the recipe requires a lot of attention and has several steps, it is easy to follow and a fun weekend baking project.

This delicious recipe comes courtesy of the "Best of Bon Appetit" (Knapp Press).

Ingredients

For the Meringues:

  • 4 large egg whites (room temperature)

  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar

  • 1 cup minus 1 tablespoon sugar

  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla

For the Chestnut Purée:

  • 3 pounds fresh chestnuts (or a 31-ounce can chestnut puree)

  • 1 vanilla bean

  • 3/4 cup water

  • 1/3 cup sugar

For the Whipped Cream:

  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons sugar

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

  • 1 large egg white (at room temperature)

  • 2 squares grated semisweet chocolate, for garnish

  • Confectioners' sugar, for garnish, optional

Steps to Make It

Make the Meringues

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Mont Blanc Chestnut Dessert, Meringue ingredients

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  2. Preheat oven to 250 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. With the help of a pencil, trace 1 (9-inch) circle for one large Mont Blanc or 10 (3 1/2-inch) circles for individually-sized desserts on the parchment paper. You might need more than one baking sheet if making small circles.

    parchment paper lined baking sheet

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  3. In a large bowl, beat egg whites with salt until foamy.

    beaten egg whites in a bowl

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  4. Add cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form.

    cream of tartar with the egg whites in a bowl

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  5. Beat in 2 tablespoons sugar until mixture holds long, stiff peaks when beater is lifted. Carefully fold in remaining sugar and vanilla.

    sugar added to the egg whites and cream of tartar mixture

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  6. Place meringue in a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain tube. Pipe 1 large round or 10 small ones onto prepared parchment-lined baking sheet.

    meringue piped onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  7. Bake 1 hour or until meringue is firm to the touch. If meringues begin to brown during baking, reduce heat. Transfer meringues to a rack and let cool.

    meringues on a cooling rack

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

Make the Chestnut Purée

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Mont Blanc Chestnut Dessert, Chestnut Purée ingredients

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  2. Preheat oven to 375 F. Peel chestnuts using a small, sharp knife and leave the inner skin on. Place chestnuts in a shallow ovenproof dish.

    peeled chestnuts in a shallow ovenproof dish

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  3. Bake 10 to 15 minutes, or until skin dries and peels off easily. Rub nuts into a rough clean cloth or hand towel to remove inner skins.

    Rub the nuts into a hand towel to remove the inner skins

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  4. Place peeled and skinned nuts in a saucepan. Cover with water and add vanilla bean.

    chestnuts with water and vanilla bean in a saucepan

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  5. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes, or until chestnuts are very tender. Remove vanilla bean.

    chestnuts in a saucepan brought to a boil

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  6. Meanwhile, boil 3/4 cup water and 1/3 cup sugar in a small saucepan to make a sugar syrup. Set aside to cool.

    sugar syrup in a small saucepan

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  7. Drain chestnuts well and add to a food mill or food processor. Purée until smooth.

    chestnuts in a food processor

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  8. When syrup is cool, add 1/4 cup of syrup at a time into chestnut pureé to make it thin enough to pipe it through a pastry bag, but still thick enough to hold its shape. If using canned purée, sweeten to taste, making sure it is thin enough to be piped.

    chestnut puree and sugar syrup mixed together

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  9. Fit a pastry bag with a 1/8-inch plain tube and fill with purée.

    chestnut puree mixture in a pastry bag

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

Make the Whipped Cream and Assemble

  1. Gather whipped cream ingredients.

    whipped cream ingredients

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  2. In a medium bowl, beat cold cream with 1 to 2 tablespoons of sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla until stiff.

    cream with sugar and vanilla in a bowl

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  3. In a separate small bowl, beat pasteurized egg white until it forms a stiff peak.

    beat the pasteurized egg white until it forms a stiff peak

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  4. Fold egg white into cream and add mixture to a pastry bag fitted with a star tip

    Fold the egg white into the cream and add the mixture to a pastry bag

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  5. Arrange meringue or meringues on a serving platter and pipe chestnut purée into a birds-nest shape around the edge.

    meringues on a serving platter and pipe the chestnut purée into a birds-nest shape around the edge

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  6. Pipe cream mixture in center, piling it high so it resembles a mountain. Sprinkle grated chocolate over whipped cream and chill until serving time.

    Sprinkle grated chocolate over the whipped cream on top of the chestnut puree

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  7. If using, dust with powdered sugar just before serving so it looks like a snowy mountain.

    Mont Blanc Chestnut Dessert

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

Raw Egg Warning

Consuming raw and lightly-cooked eggs poses a risk of food-borne illness.

Variation

If fresh chestnuts are not available, you can also substitute one, 31-ounce can chestnut purée and skip the step of making your own.