MONT BLANC

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I have to say that it was worth it: after years and years I tried my hand at Mont Blanc or MonteBianco, a legendary pastry dessert based on chestnut cream, meringue and cream. Named this way because of its cone shape which recalls a snow-capped mountain. The dessert has three different consistencies: the crunchiness of the meringue, the cloud of the cream and the creaminess of the chestnut cream, in short, a structured and perfect bite. So what are you waiting for to dive in?
In this article I will tell you, step by step, how to make your first MontBlanc and amaze your relatives and friends. Let’s see step by step how to proceed

Ingredients for 6-8 people:

  • 1 kg of good quality chestnuts
  • sugar (1/3 of the weight of the chestnuts once cooked and pureed)
  • water (1/3 of the sugar you calculated)
  • vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon of bitter cocoa
  • 500 ml of fresh cream
  • 4 egg whites + 340 g of fine granulated sugar for the meringue
  • some marron glacèe or some candied violets to decorate

Tools

  • vegetable mill with large holes or potato mill or meat grinder
  • large fine mesh sieve/sieve
  • a sharp knife

Meringues

The day before, prepare the meringues. Beat the egg whites with a whisk or a planetary mixer and when they are slightly whipped, add the sugar a little at a time, continuing to whisk, until you obtain a very white, shiny and very compact mixture that does not run (eagle’s beak). ). On a baking tray lined with baking paper, use a spoon or a piping bag with a smooth nozzle (diameter 0.8 mm or 1 cm) to create a disc with a diameter of approximately 20-22 cm, drawing a spiral with the piping bag. it enlarges outwards by hand, without leaving empty spaces between one round and another. With the leftover meringue, create small meringues with a diameter of 1-2 cm, a height of approximately 2 cm (smooth or ribbed nozzle as you prefer) and bake at 90-100°C for about 3-4 hours so that the meringue dries out and becomes crunchy and very dry. Do not raise the oven temperature too much otherwise they will tend to turn yellow. Remove from the oven and keep in a dry place.

Chestnut paste

Rinse the chestnuts and cut them slightly with the knife.

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Immerse them in water and boil them for about 1 hour (until they are soft inside (test with a toothpick/fork with the incision made). Drain them well, wait until they stop boiling and shell them well (eliminate any bad fruit) when they are still warm/warm, taking care to remove as much of the brown skin as possible. Pass the shelled chestnuts through a meat grinder or potato mill (or food mill with large holes).

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At this point, pass a little mixture at a time through the sieve, crushing it well with your fingers on the sieve and obtaining a very fine crumble. You will see that in this last step the residual cuticles will remain trapped in the sieve.

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Once completed, weigh the chestnuts and make two small accounts. For example if you get 300g of chestnuts

take 1/3 of the weight of the chestnuts in sugar = 100 g of sugar

take 1/3 of the weight of sugar in water = 33.3 g of water

At this point, put the water on the heat with the sugar and bring to the boil, stirring well. Using a sugar thermometer, bring the syrup to 110°C and then pour slowly over the crumbled chestnut mixture. you will get a soft dough. Add a little vanilla scraped from the pod and a teaspoon of bitter cocoa to make it a little more colourful. If it is too soft (think that you will then have to pass it through a potato mill or a meat grinder to obtain the fateful spaghetti), put it back on a low heat and, stirring, let it dry and compact a little. Finally, place it in a closed container in the refrigerator to cool.

Cream:

Separately, whip 500 ml of very firm cream without sugar (or at most with just one spoonful of icing sugar).

Assembly:

Place the meringue disc on a serving plate. Using a spoon or a piping bag, fill the disc with cream and distribute a few pieces of crumbled marron glacèe. Take the chestnut paste from the fridge and with the potato mill, meat grinder or vegetable mill with slightly large holes, obtain spaghetti which you will delicately place (and with a minimum of aesthetic taste) on the cream until the entire cake is covered. Decorate with tufts of leftover cream (obtained with a piping bag with a star nozzle), small meringues, marron glacèe and candied violets. Assemble at the end and keep in a cool place (preferably out of the fridge) and then serve immediately. Refrigerate covered for a short time 1-2 hours maximum, after this time the meringue begins to turn into a marshmellow.

And here is this cake paradise… my Mont Blanc

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And as Nanni Moretti said in 1983 in the film “Bianca”… MontBlanc is based on a delicate balance…

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