Mont-Blanc (Meringue and Chestnut Cream)
A classic French dessert of Mont Blanc is easy to make with this recipe.
A perfect dinner party dish.
For the meringues:
• 90g egg whites (roughy 3 medium egg whites
• 75 g icing sugar
• A couple of drops of lemon juice
• A pinch of salt
For the chestnut cream:
• 1 vanilla pod
• 200g cooked chestnuts (from a jar or a tine)
• 250ml double cream
• 30g golden caster sugar
• 1,5 tbsp Cognac (optional)
• 200ml whipping cream
To make the meringues, preheat the oven to 80°C and line a baking tray with baking paper.
Put half the egg whites into a clean glass or metal bowl. Add the sugar, lemon juice and salt and whisk until snow white. Add the rest of the egg whites and continue whisking until the meringue forms stiff peaks.
Spoon 4 heaped peaks of meringue onto the prepared tray (ideally they should look like mini mountains). Bake for 2 hours or until crisp, opening the oven door a few times to release any steam.
Remove them from the paper and leave to cool on a wire rack. (Once cold, the meringues can be kept in an air tight container for a good couple of days.)
To make the chestnut cream, split the vanilla pod in half lengthways and scrape out the grains. Put the pod and grains into a pot with the rest of the ingredients and bring to a simmer on a medium heat. Simmer for 10 minutes or until the chestnuts are soft and slightly mushy. Remove the vanilla pod and whizz the chestnuts to a soft, creamy purée in an electric blender. Chill until needed (it will keep for up to a week in an air tight container).
To assemble, whip the cream to soft peaks. Place the meringues on individual plates, spoon over the whipped cream and pour over the chestnut cream (if it has set too thick, whisk in some double cream).
Serve straight away.