Chestnut Mont Blanc

Whimsical, wobbly and grand, Mont Blanc is a traditional French holiday dessert that widens eyes and elicits “Que c’est beau!”s from around the table.

Do as the French do and buy Clement Faugier chestnut spread rather than making your own chestnut purée. Bake your meringue the night before and all that’s left is to whip the cream, pipe the chestnut spread (through a hole in a Ziploc bag) and dust powdered sugar to create your very own Alpine peak. Please note: this is one seriously sweet dessert. Balance with strong after-dinner coffee.

By / Photography By Frances Cannon | September 01, 2016

Ingredients

  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup cold whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2–3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar, divided
  • 1 can Chestnut Spread Purée de Marrons by Clement Faugier (see illustration)

Preparation

Preheat oven to 175°. Place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and whisk on low speed until frothy, 2–3 minutes. Add the cream of tartar and continue whisking, raising the speed to medium-high. When the whites thicken and form soft peaks (they will look like softly whipped cream), begin to slowly add in the sugar, letting it fall down the side of the bowl, adding slowly and continuously as the whites beat up into glossy, firm peaks. Sear the meringue: Beat on high speed for 10 seconds to stabilize.

Use a pencil and a cake pan or plate to trace a nine-inch round circle on parchment paper. Place the paper marked side-down on a sheet tray and spoon the meringue into the circle. Use the back of a large spoon to slightly indent the center of the mound, forming a large, shallow nest. Bake for 1½ hours then turn off the oven, keeping the door closed to allow the meringue to cool and dry completely. Let rest in the closed oven for at least 1 hour and up to overnight.

Whip the cream in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment or use a hand mixer. When it starts to thicken, add the vanilla extract and 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar. Continue to beat until just firm.

Spoon the sweetened whipped cream into the meringue nest and all over the top of the meringue. Fill a Ziploc bag with chestnut purée. Cut a small hole in one corner of the Ziploc bag, if using, and pipe the purée in stripes on top of the whipped cream, leaving a border of cream about 1-inch thick all around. Pipe high as this is your mountain rising from snowy ground. Dust with powdered sugar “snow” and serve immediately.

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup cold whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2–3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar, divided
  • 1 can Chestnut Spread Purée de Marrons by Clement Faugier (see illustration)
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