I first made this dessert for our family Christmas dinner several years ago. I wanted something just a little bit different from the usual pies and cakes normally served. By chance I had come just across a recipe for Mont Blanc while reading a food magazine. Why not! I decided to give it a try.
With its stunning combination of meringue, chestnut puree, and chocolate this dessert really is decadence on a plate. And because it is gluten free, it makes a really good choice for those who need to omit wheat or gluten from their diet for whatever reason.
6 large egg whites, at room temperature
350 grams sugar
2 teaspoons cornflour
pinch cream of tartar
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
4 drops vanilla essence
300 ml double cream (whipping cream), firmly whipped
400 grams canned chestnut puree (much less hassle than making it yourself)
chopped pistachio nuts (or substitute slivered almonds)
Make the meringues the day before
Whisking the meringue
1. Preheat the oven to 180c/gas mark 4.
2. Line two baking trays with greaseproof paper. Draw two X 20cm (8 inch) circles on the paper.
3. Whisk the egg whites with salt and half the caster sugar in a clean, dry bowl until soft peaks form.
4.Slowly add the remaining sugar, beating constantly until the egg whites are stiff and shiny.
5. Sprinkle over the cornflour, cream of tartar, white wine vinegar, and vanilla essence. Fold in gently with a metal spoon.
Baking the meringue
1. Spoon the meringue mixture onto the greaseproof papers, keeping within the drawn circles.
2. Flatten the top and smooth the sides.
3. Place in the oven and immediately reduce the heat to 150c/Gas mark 2.
4. Cook for 1.5 hours.
5. Turn the oven off, leave the door slightly ajar and allow the meringue to cool completely. It’s best to leave them overnight so that they can completely cool and dry.
Quick and Easy Chocolate Sauce
4 squares dark chocolate
2 tablespoons double cream/ whipping cream
Melt the dark chocolate in a bowl over a pan of boiling water.
Add the double cream.
Gently whisk until combined.
Chestnut Puree – 15.5 oz
Assembling the Mont Blanc
Place 1 meringue disc on a serving plate and spread with chestnut purée.
Top with the whipped cream
Sandwich the second meringue disc on top.
Drizzle with chocolate sauce. Garnish with nuts.
The recipe says serves 4 – 6, but this dessert is so rich you could easily serve 8 – 10.
For more recipes, check out my new blog Kitchen Witch Cookery
- Jacob Kenedy’s chestnut recipes (theguardian.com)
- All Things Meringue (thecakelair.wordpress.com)
- Hazelnut Meringue (basketdelights.org)
- A Frozen Mont Blanc (ice-cream-magazine.com)