Mont Blanc with espresso meringue

By • November 7, 2010 • 13 Comments


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Author Notes: It was on a trip through Europe a few years ago that I first encountered this yummy chestnut dessert, that's supposed to gets it's name from the highest peak in the Alps, Mont Blanc. This is one great dessert combining a chestnut cream purée with a meringue component and is one dessert that I try to make at least once before the Holidays and chestnut season are over. I got the basic recipe from our friend that first served it, but I've tweaked it since then by varying the flavors here and there. For the meringue, I added espresso and to the chestnut purée I added Créme de Cacao. Important to note, the meringue can be made ahead of time, freeing up the oven for other good stuff.TiggyBee

Serves 4

  • For the espresso meringue:
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  • 1 cup egg whites at room temp.
  • 1 cup super fine sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon instant espresso
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • For the chestnut purée:
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  • 1 pound jar of chestnuts (unless you're inclined to roast & peel yourself)
  • a few tablespoons of Créme de Cacao, or alternative to taste
  • 1 ounce melted semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • sugar to taste (optional)
  • For the topping:
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  • whipped cream
  • roasted and chopped pistachio nuts
  • shavings of your best semi-sweet chocolate
  • fleur de sel (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine egg whites, salt and vanilla extract. Mix in the sugar two tablespoons at a time and the espresso and beat until meringue is in stiff peaks and has a glossy sheen.
  3. Spoon (a pastry bag can also be used) the meringue in dollops onto the cookie sheet. A pretty shape isn't necessary, because it gets crumbled into the serving glass later.
  4. Bake for approximately 1 hour, turning the baking sheet 1/2 way through. Remove from oven and let cool. The meringue will harden further as it cools.
  5. Whip up 1/2 cup of cream into a stiff peak and set aside.
  6. Place the chestnuts in a food processor and pulse them until they're a mealy consistency. Add the melted chocolate and liquor and optional sugar and pulse a few more times, until you have a smooth purée.
  7. Fold the 1/2 cup of whipped cream into the chestnut puree and combine well.
  8. In a serving glass (I used a stemless martini) crumble some of the cooled meringue into the bottom of the glass. On top of the meringue, spoon (or if using a pastry bag squeeze) out the purée in a reverse graduating fashion (large to small), add some more crumbled meringue and finish the top off with whipped cream, pistachios, shaved chocolate. Sprinkle with a bit of sea salt on top.

Tags: chestnuts, Desserts, Holidays

Comments (13) Questions (0)

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over 2 years ago Demington

I have a can of sweetened chestnut purée (from France). Could I substitute it? What volume of purée does one have from the jar of chestnuts called for in your recipe?

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over 2 years ago TiggyBee

So sorry for the late reply Demington. I bought my jar and Williams Sonoma and if I remember correctly, I think it was a 16 oz jar. The least amount I would use would be 12 ounces. I hope this helps. You can always adjust the recipe and taste as you go. Sorry I couldn't supply better info, but not sure how big your can of purée is. Hope it works out!

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over 2 years ago TiggyBee

So sorry for the late reply Demington. I bought my jar at Williams Sonoma and if I remember correctly, I think it was a 16 oz jar. The least amount I would use would be 12 ounces. I hope this helps. You can always adjust the recipe and taste as you go. Sorry I couldn't supply better info, but not sure how big your can of purée is. Hope it works out!

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over 2 years ago TiggyBee

oops - typo - should be at WS, not and...

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over 3 years ago vrunka

This has long been a favorite dessert of mine, but I've never tried to make it. I'll certainly give it a try now!

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over 3 years ago BarbaraGale

I first had this Paris and after the first bite knew why I had come to France.

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over 3 years ago luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

reverse graduating fashion? is that a technical term?

this looks so delicious, i am thinking of replacing the missing blade from my food processor and making it, don't thinkit would be the same if i bashed it up in my mortar and pestle.

thanks! i love meringues, love verrines, and am growing fond of chestnuts.

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over 3 years ago TiggyBee

it's my attempt to convey start large to cover the bottom, getting smaller as you go up. Maybe I 'll re-word it. Although, I'm thinking it really doesn't matter how it's placed in the glass, since I was missing my pastry bag, I just spooned it in. It really is delicious, I hope you'll give it a try, I don't think you'll regret it!! : )

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over 3 years ago Lizthechef

This seems well worth all the effort required. I love chestnut desserts - plus, I have learned to "stock up" in November, as bottled chestnuts seem to disappear before December.Nice!

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over 3 years ago TiggyBee

I have to say, the effort really wasn't that much. Once the meringue was finished, the rest came together pretty quickly. Thanks for the stock-up idea, it's a great one!!

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over 3 years ago Midge

Sounds absolutely delicious. Saving.

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over 3 years ago Sagegreen

Absolutely beautiful! I would volunteer to test this recipe. How much expresso do you add to the merinque?

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over 3 years ago TiggyBee

Thank you so much for pointing out my missing ingredient!! I used about 1 1/2 tsp of instant espresso. I really hope you will make this and let me know what you think!! : )