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Thursday, October 1, 2015

Mont Blanc cookies (French-Italian)

A classic dessert both the Italian and French tradition share. It can be shaped as individual cookies (like we did here) or a large single cake. The composition is pretty easy: pillow-like fluffy meringue, topped with chestnut puree and a dollop of snowy white whipped cream on top. And voila. :)
Delicious and very much like Mont Blanc (with its high snow-covered snow peaks) that goes well into both Italy and France :)

Last year: Kastaniencremesuppe (Chestnut cream soup) (German).
Two years ago: Autumn chestnut and beetroot salad. (October seems to set me in a mood for chestnuts).
Three years ago: Fig, rosemary and mascarpone tartlets.
Four years ago: Spicy Guinness mustard (Irish).

Ingredients (makes 14-15 cakes):
  • (150 C, 1 hour and 15 minutes)
  • 4 egg whites
  • 220 g sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • about 350 g chestnut cream 
  • 100 ml liquid cream (33% fat)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-3 tablespoons of sugar (to taste)

Note: if you can't find chestnut cream/puree already in the jar in supermarkets, make it by pureeing boiled chestnuts (about 150-200 g) with 100-150 ml cream and 3-4 tablespoons sugar in a blender.

Now to the recipe. Beat the egg whites with the salt, vinegar and 220 g sugar (gradually incorporated) until holding stiff peaks:

Preheat oven to 150 degrees C. Arrange 1-2 tablespoons of meringue at a time on a baking sheet (lined with baking paper). Give it a round, cake shape, with a slight depression (valley) in the middle, by pressing it with the back of the spoon:

Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Take out and allow to cool a bit.

Fill with chestnut puree:

Beat the cream with the vanilla and the rest of the sugar until well whipped. Top the cookies with cream. It's done, dig in! :)

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