|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
|Servings: 10 Portions (10 Servings)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 15g||19%|
|Saturated Fat 9g||43%|
|Total Carbohydrate 103g||37%|
|Dietary Fiber 4g||14%|
|*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.|
Appropriately shaped like the beautiful Mont Blanc, this French pastry features chestnut purée piled on top of meringue rounds, topped with whipped cream for a classic and 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.
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 takes just about 50 minutes to be ready.
This delicious recipe comes courtesy of the "Best of Bon Appetit" (Knapp Press).
- For the Meringue:
- 4 large egg whites (room temperature)
- 1/8 teaspoon 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 1 31-ounce can chestnut purée)
- 1 vanilla bean (if using fresh chestnuts)
- 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 pasteurized egg white (room temperature)
- Garnish: 2 squares grated semisweet chocolate
- Garnish: Powdered sugar
Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, it is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and cooking.
Make the Meringues
Preheat the oven to 250 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
With the help of a pencil, trace 1 (9-inch) circle or 10 (3 1/2-inch) circles on the parchment paper. You might need more than one baking sheet if making small circles.
In a large bowl, beat the egg whites with the salt until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form.
Beat in 2 tablespoons sugar until mixture holds long, stiff peaks when beater is lifted. Carefully fold in remaining sugar and vanilla.
Place the meringue in a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain tube. Pipe 1 large round or 10 small ones onto the prepared baking sheet.
Bake 1 hour or until meringue is firm to the touch. If meringues brown during baking, reduce heat. Transfer meringues to a rack and let cool.
Make the Chestnut Purée
Preheat oven to 375 F.
Peel the chestnuts using a small, sharp knife and leave the inner skin on.
Place the chestnuts in a shallow ovenproof dish and 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 the inner skins.
Place peeled and skinned nuts in a saucepan. Cover with water and add the vanilla bean. 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.
Drain chestnuts well and put them through a food mill or food processor. Purée until smooth.
Boil 3/4 cup water and 1/3 cup sugar in a small saucepan to make a thin sugar syrup. Set aside to cool.
When the syrup is cool, add 1/4 cup of syrup at a time into the 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.
Fit a pastry bag with a 1/8-inch plain tube and fill with purée.
Make the Whipped Cream
In a medium bowl, beat the cream with 1 to 2 tablespoons of sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla until stiff.
In a separate small bowl, beat pasteurized egg white until it forms a stiff peak.
Fold the egg white onto the cream and place the cream mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a star tip.
Assemble the Mont Blancs
Arrange meringues on a serving platter and pipe chestnut purée into a birds-nest shape around the edge of each meringue.
Pipe cream mixture in the center, piling it high so it resembles a mountain. Sprinkle grated chocolate over whipped cream and chill until serving time.
If using, dust with powdered sugar right before serving so it looks like a snowy mountain.