Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Le parfait Mont-Blanc {recipe}

Hello everyone!

Two many days have passed by since my last post, as I was busy preparing for the Mini Me doll workshop, decorating my house for Christmas and entertaining my little ones over the weekend. The workshop went really well, we had such a good time! I am hoping to share some pictures with you all later this week.

Last October I had promised to share the recipe of the Mont-Blanc dessert I served at the Halloween workshops. This dessert takes many steps to make, but it isn't really difficult. To make it even easier, you can buy ready-baked tartelettes (pastry base) and I also used chestnut puree in a can - from France.

A bit of history to start ...

I've always thought Mont-Blanc was a French dessert, but I have ultimately discovered that it was first described in an Italian cookbook in 1475. It then became popular in France in the 17th century, around 1620. The pastry has five components: the pastry, the meringue, the almond paste, the chantilly (whipped cream) and sweetened chestnut purée. It's one of my favourite desserts, so I'm happy to share my recipe on the blog today!


Ingredients (serves 6 people)
  • 6 tartelettes (already cooked pastry base)

  • Meringues (the size of a cotton ball):
4 egg whites (to get out of the fridge 15mins before beating)
250g sugar
1 pinch of salt

  • Almond paste:
50g almond powder
50g icing sugar
50g plain flour
50g soft butter
1 egg

  • Chantilly (whipped cream)
250g whipping cream
25g white sugar

  • Chestnut cream:
100g sweet chestnut cream
100g chestnut purée 


STEP 1 // the mini meringues


You can bake your meringues a couple of days ahead if necessary. Keep them in an air-tight container  to avoid them to soften.

Tip: chill out your glass or metal bowl in the fridge before whipping up the egg whites

  1. Preheat the oven to 100 degree celsius
  2. In a glass or metal bowl, beat your egg whites with an electric mixer until foamy, adding a pinch of salt right at the start. 
  3. Sprinkle in sugar, a little at a time, while continuing to whip at medium speed. When the mixture becomes stiff and shiny like satin (after about 15mins), stop mixing and transfer the mixture in a pipping bag with a large round or star nozzle.
  4. Pipe the meringue out on the baking sheet (see the above photo) and bake in the oven for about 1 and 1/2 hours.
  5. Allow the meringues to cool completely before removing them from the pan.

STEP 2 // the almond paste


the almond paste I scooped in the tartelettes before baking...

  1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees celsius.
  2. Combine 50g of almond powder with the icing sugar, plain flour and soften butter. Add 1 egg and mix well. 
  3. Transfer the almond cream to a piping bag and pipe it on to the tartelettes (pre-made pastry).
  4. Bake in the oven for 3-5mins. 

... and this is how it looks like when it comes out of the oven.


STEP 3 // assembling


Top each tartelette with a small meringue. You can spread a bit of jam under the meringue to "glue" it  to the tartelette.



STEP 4 // the chantilly or whipped cream

I highly recommend you to make your own whipped cream for this recipe. The bottled one simply doesn't hold very long and it will flatten quickly if you don't serve it immediately after making it.



Whip the cream with sugar until stiff peaks form. Transfer the chantilly into a pipping bag and pipe it over the top of the meringue to form a dome shape (see photo below). Refrigerate for an hour.



STEP 5 // the chestnut paste

Mix well 100g of sweet chestnut cream with 100g of chestnut purée. The chestnut cream is already sweetened, while the purée is only made of chestnuts. It's important to mix both to avoid an overly sweet dessert. 


STEP 6 // the assembling

Transfer the chestnut paste to a pipping bag fitted with a special vermicelli nozzle and pipe the chestnut mixture on top of the chantilly, attempting to cover it heavenly. 

TipThis is by far the most difficult part of this recipe, so it may be a good idea to practice a little bit until you feel comfortable with the result.

At this stage, you can top your dessert with a bit of chantilly, which represents the image of a  snow-capped mountain.

Bon Appétit!





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