Mont Blanc Dessert

12 Mar 2018

Baking has become one of my favorite creative outlets; I love watching what some of the major pastry chefs come up with and share on Instagram. My favorites right are Cedric Grolet, Amaury Guichon and anything from The French Pastry School. I would not attempt most of what they do, but I learned of one dessert that seemed to bring together some very basic pastry recipes, so I thought I would give it a shot - the Mont Blanc. It caught my eye because we were on a roasted chestnut kick this winter and chestnuts are a main component of this dessert.

In my research, I found it is supposed to be reminiscent of Le Mont Blanc (white mountain) which is the highest mountain in the Alps. It first became popular in Italy and then France and beyond. There are MANY variations, but overall, there is some sort of tart as a base, then the top has a hard meringue or whipped cream dome/cone surrounded in a piped chestnut puree that resembles a nest. This left some room for my own interpretation, so I decided to go with a frangipane tart as the base, with a whipped cream and black cherry jam center, surrounded in the classic chestnut puree.

I purchased already steamed and peeled chestnuts, as the fresh ones are only here around the holidays, but I do know they also sell the puree. If you decided to purchase the puree, it would just need to be thinned and sweetened. Not as good as freshly roasted chestnuts, but definitely saves some time. This dessert is not complicated just several components; I made the tarts one day then finished it the next and this worked well. The most challenging part was decorating it, but that is only because I wanted it to look a particular way. The directions are a bit long winded, so I apologize, it is not as complicated as it appears - just being thorough!

Mont Blanc Dessert

Recipe for Mont Blanc Dessert

Mont Blanc Dessert

Prep time: - Cook time: - Total time:
Yield: 6 tarts


Special Equipment
- 3.5 inch tart ring
- 5 inch circle cutter
- slipmat or parchment lined cookie sheet
- food processor
- 2 piping bags (ziploc works too)
- #233 Wilton "multi opening" tip - optional
- cake decorating turntable (or record player) - optional

Pate Sucree (Tart Dough)
- 7 T unsalted butter, softened
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1/8 t salt
- 1/2 t lemon zest
- 1/2 t vanilla
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1.5 cups pastry flour, spooned into measuring cup

Almond Cream (Tart Filling)
- 8oz almond paste
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 2/3 cup pastry or cake flour
- 2 eggs

Stabilized Whipping Cream
- 6 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 2 packets or 6 sheets of gelatin
- 1/2 cup water

Chestnut Puree
- 3 1/4 cup (26oz) shelled chestnuts
- 1 vanilla bean
- 1 cup maple syryp
- 1 cup water (start here - may need more)

- 1 cup Black Cherry jam (or baker's choice)
- Garnish or choice - carmelized chestnut, gold leave, etc.
- 1 cup powdered sugar for dusting


Pate Sucree (Tart Dough)
Preheat oven to 350F, and place 6 tart rings on lined cookie sheet.

Beat butter, powdered sugar, salt, lemon and vanilla together until smooth and pale in color.

Add egg and mix in fully.

With a spatula, gently mix in flour until just incorporated (don't overmix).

Form dough with hands into round disk, cover in plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours.

Remove dough from fridge, let rest about 15 minutes, then roll out until about 1/8" thick.

Using your 5" circle cutter, cut out 6 circles.

Place circles over 3.5" rings and gently press into, then trim overhang.

If you haven't already, prepare almond cream, then fill tarts 3/4 way full (it will rise/expand as it bakes)

Bake for about 25 minutes of until tester comes out clean.

Set aside to cool completely.

Almond Cream (Tart Filling)
Beat almond paste and sugar until completely combined, then beat in butter and flour. Add eggs and beat until smooth.

Stabilized Whipping Cream
Bloom gelatin in about 2 T of cold water, then add to small pot over medium heat with 1/2 cup of water. Heat until gelatin has dissolved, then remove from heat and let cool slightly.

Beat heavy whipping cream with whisk attachment until soft peaks form, mix in powdered sugar, then pour gelatin in a thin stream with mixer on low until fully incorporated.

Cover and place in refrigerator until final assembly.

Chestnut Puree
If you bought chestnut puree, you can skip the next three steps

Place chestnuts and vanilla bean in a medium-large pot and cover with water.

Bring to boil, then reduce to simmer and continue heating for 25 - 30 minutes.

Drain water and pour chestnuts into food processor and grind until the consistency is something like playdoh.

Then in food processor or mixer, add maple syrup an water to thin - you need a consistency that will allow you to pipe the mixture, so feel free to test a small amount before adding more water.

Final Assembly
Decorating can be as complicated as you want, but here is what I did.

Using a pastry bag or ziploc bag, cut a small hole and/or fit with a large circle tip like a Wilton 2A, then fill with whipped cream.

Fit the other pastry bag with the Mont Blanc tip (#233) or a smaller circle tip, then fill with chestnut puree.

Take one cooled tart and pipe a circle around the outer edge and then fill the center of the circle with a dollop of jam (see photo).

Then pipe a cone shape or dome shape of whipped cream to cover.

Take your pastry bag of chestnut puree and pipe a layer over the whipped cream. It is easiest to use a decorators turntable, but I did not have one and used a record player.

I also did not really like the way the traditional tip looked, so I took a serated knife and formed the chestnut puree pictured (see video).

A simple dome works too, no need to be as percise as I did.

Then top with garnish and dust with powdered sugar.

You can make the tarts a day ahead and then prepare the whipped cream and chestnut puree the day you will assemble.

Best to serve within a few hours and do the final garnish and dusting right before serving.




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