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How to Make Mont Blancs

How to Make Mont Blancs

Designed to resemble stunning snow-topped mountains, this elegant French ‘Mont Blancs’ dessert is created using pureed sweetened chestnuts, and is topped with your choice of whipped cream, caramelised chestnuts, or other decorative fruits. A popular pudding in Italy, Hong Kong, Japan and Hungary, it’s usually prepared and sold in the autumn as a prelude to the coming winter months.

    Makes 10 mini Mont Blanc desserts

Meringue Ingredients:

  • 4 Egg Whites
  • Pinch of Salt
  • Pinch of Cream of Tartar
  • 185g of Sugar
  • ½ tsp of Vanilla Extract

Chestnut Purée Ingredients:

  • 1.4 kg of Chestnuts
  • 1 Vanilla Pod
  • 175ml of Water
  • 65g of Sugar

Cream Ingredients:

  • 350ml of Whipping Cream 350
  • 19g of Sugar
  • 1 tsp of Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Egg White

Equipment:

Baking

METHOD:

  1. To create the meringues, begin by preheating your oven to 120°C (90°C fan or gas mark 1) and then preparing your baking sheets. Do this by marking out 10 9cm circles on baking parchment, greasing, and sprinkling with flour. You may need more than one baking sheet, but this will enable you to create 10 tasty mini desserts!
  2. Add the egg whites and salt to a large mixing bowl and beat until they’re of a foamy consistency. Add the cream of tartar and beat once again, until soft peaks form. Add 25g of sugar and beat the mixture until it firms up enough to form long, stiff peaks as the whisk is lifted away. Then, fold in the remaining sugar and vanilla extract.
  3. Add the meringue mixture to a piping bag and pipe 10 small rounds onto your pre-marked baking sheet. Bake these for approximately 1 hour, removing them from the oven when the meringue is firm to the touch. Transfer them to a wire rack and allow them to cool.
  4. To create the chestnut puree, begin by preheating your oven to 190°C (170°C fan or gas mark 5) and peeling the chestnuts using a small sharp knife; leave the inner skin in place.
  5. Once peeled, place all the chestnuts in a shallow heatproof dish and bake for approximately 10 minutes. Once the skins are dry and begin to peel, remove the chestnuts from the oven.
  6. Rub the chestnuts in a rough, dry cloth to remove any remaining skin, and then place the chestnuts in a saucepan with the vanilla pod and enough water to cover. Bring this to the boil over a high heat.
  7. Reduce the heat and allow this to simmer for approximately 25 minutes, until the chestnuts are tender, then remove the vanilla bean and drain the chestnuts. Puree the chestnuts using a food mill, sieve, or food processor.
  8. Add 175ml of water to a saucepan along with 65g sugar, and briefly boil together to create thin sugar syrup, then set this aside to cool. Once the syrup has cooled, use it to thin out your chestnut puree. Beat enough of it into the puree to enable you to pipe the mixture using a piping bag, but not too much that the puree won’t hold its shape afterwards. Pipe the chestnut puree in a bird’s nest shape atop each of your 10 mini meringues.
  9. To create the cream, beat the whipping cream until stiff and then add the sugar and vanilla extract. In a separate mixing bowl, beat the egg white until stiff peaks form, and then fold this into the cream.
  10. Add the mixture to a piping bag, and pipe a decorative topping onto each of your mini Mont Blancs, using a star piping tip. Finally, serve up and enjoy!
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