Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Mont Blanc 蒙布朗

It is not the fine writing pen you are thinking of (if you Google the term, it is what comes up on the first page). It is the highest mountain in the Alps. A pastry chef (not sure he was French or Italian. Probably French.) was inspired by it to create this famous dessert in the fifteenth century. It has a cake base with Chantilly cream in the middle, topped with a creamy chestnut puree. Since it has a long history, many different versions or variations are available. The Japanese have made it with pumpkin and taro puree. However, I still prefer to make the original with yummy chestnut puree.

can you see the little specks of vanilla seeds ?

Thanks to my sister Priscilla for giving me a few cans of Parisian chestnut puree. They are very precious to me and now I can enjoy them all year round !

Ingredients for 16 bite-sized pieces:

1 10x10 inches cake, it can be any kind (sponge or butter cake, etc)

7oz unsweetened chestnut puree
60g/1/4 cup heavy cream
50g/1/4 cup sugar
1/2 egg yolk
1/2 vanilla bean
2 tbsp rum, optional but highly recommended

1)  Cut open the vanilla bean and scrape the seeds out. Put the pod and the seeds in a small saucepan. Add the cream, sugar, and yolk and put it on medium heat until it simmers. Stir constantly.

2)  Let the vanilla bean steep and remove the pod after it cools to room temperature. (rinse the pod and dry it out if you want to keep it to use for other things)
3)  Add the chestnut puree and rum. Use a handheld mixer to blend it for a few minutes until it is smooth and creamy.

Chantilly Cream:
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 tbsp powdered sugar
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Beat the cream with the powdered sugar until almost stiff peak. Add the vanilla extract and stir until blended. Put in a pastry bag with a small round tip.


1)  Cut the cake into small pieces or use a cookie cutter to cut out the shapes you want.

2)  Pipe a few mounds of Chantilly cream on the cake.

3)  Randomly pipe the chestnut puree on top to make it look like a mountain. Optional: dust with powdered sugar on top to serve.

1)  You can substitute vanilla bean with 1 tsp pure vanilla extract.
2)  I just cut the tip of a piping bag to pipe the chestnut puree.

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