This is one of the most popular desserts in France, especially the one that you can consume in Louvre, in the famous ‘La Mason Angelica’ café prepared by the chef Sebastian Bauer. Interesting and delicious! Here is the recipe:
For the meringue(s):
- 4 egg white, room temperature
- A pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 190 grams (1 cup) sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the chestnut purée:
- 1,4 kg fresh chestnuts or 850 grams’ chestnut puree
- 1 vanilla pot (if using fresh chestnuts)
- 180 ml water
- 65 grams’ sugar
For the cream:
- 350 ml (1 1/ 4 cup) heavy cream, whipped
- 20 grams’ sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 egg white, room temperature
To make the Mont Blanc meringue(s):
- Preheat oven to 130°C/275°F/Gas Mark 1. Grease a baking sheet; mark ten 9 cm circle or one 23 cm circle (you may need more than 1 baking sheet).
- In a bowl, whisk egg whites and salt until foamy.
- Apply cream of tartar and whisk until soft peaks form.
- Add in 30 grams’ sugar and whisk until long stiff peaks form when beater is lifted.
- Apply the remaining sugar and vanilla.
- Next, apply in a pastry bag fitted with plain tube and pipe then small rounds or one large round onto prepared sheet.
- Place in the oven and bake one hour or just until firm to the touch.
- Remember, if you notice that meringue(s) get(s) brown during baking, decrease the heat.
- Remove to a rack and allow cool.
To make the chestnut puree:
- If using fresh chestnuts, peel them with small, sharp knife (leave the inner skin).
- Next, preheat oven to 190°C/375°F/Gas Mark 5.
- In a shallow heatproof dish, place the chestnuts then bake 10-15 minutes, or just until their skin dries and peels easily. Now, rub chestnuts in rough cloth in order to remove the skins.
- In a saucepan, over high heat, heat the peeled nuts and vanilla bean and some water to cover. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover them and simmer for about 25 minutes or just until tender; remove from heat and remove the vanilla bean.
- After that, drain the nuts, put through a sieve or food mill, or in blender/food processor, then purée.
- Boil together sugar and 175 ml water to make thin sugar syrup; set aside to cool.
- Once cool, whisk enough syrup into a chestnut puree in order to make it thin enough so it can pipe through pastry bag but will be thick enough to hold the shape.
- In case you are using can puree, simply sweeten to taste, ensuring it is thin enough so it can be piped.
- Next, fit a pastry bag with plain tube – fill with purée.
To make the cream:
- Using an electric mixer, whisk cream until stiff, then apply vanilla and sugar to taste.
- In a separate bowl, whisk egg white until stiff peaks form, and fold into cream.
- Add cream mixture to a pastry bag fitted with star tip.
- Array meringues on serving dish and pipe puree in bird’s nest shape around the meringue’s edge.
- Sprinkle confectioners’ sugar on the dessertand chill until serving time.
Note: You can also try using hazelnuts or some other nuts to prepare the Mont Blanc dessert (when it’s not the chestnut season).