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6.3.14

MONT BLANC LAYER CAKE


I fondly remember the occasional Mont Blanc I made from chestnut purée piled up in the middle of a crunchy meringue ring with a large bowl of whipped cream back in the days when Safeway still carried chestnut purée. Even though “fresh” chestnuts make a brief appearance before Christmas, most of the chestnuts are rotten and 2-3 pounds seldom produce enough nuts for a purée. After several years of chestnut depravation I finally found good quality chestnuts at the Italian deli last December and I promptly bought two one pound bags. This snowy Mont Blanc Cake I made from the first bag was inspired by Dan Lepard.[The Guardian, Saturday 18 December 2010] It looks great, but fussing with the chocolate drizzle seemed superfluous. I wasn’t sure how the graininess of ricotta would play out either so the ricotta was replaced with mascarpone.

Make the Mont Blanc Layer Cake on the same day you intend to serve it. The leftovers loose their crunch overnight, even though it is still be enjoyable as a trifle. But by day three it turns into a soggy pile – so make only as much as you can consume within a day or two. Unequivocally, this cake was the piece de resistance on Christmas Eve!

Meringue Layers
5 egg whites at room temperature
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
 3/4 cup sugar

Chestnut Cream
2 cups pureed chestnuts
1 cup whipping cream
1-1/2 cups mascarpone
3 Tbsp dark rum
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract

Whipping Cream Layer
1-1/2 cup whipping cream
3 Tbsp icing sugar
1 Tbsp pure vanilla Extract

Note: The standard fat content of whipping cream in North America is 33%. For stable whipping cream layer it is best to use whipping cream with at least 35% fat content.

To make the meringue layers: 

• Preheat the oven to 250 F. 
• Trace 3 circles [8 inch] on parchment paper. 
• Place the parchment paper face down on baking sheets. 

Note: If your baking sheet is dark, line it first with aluminum foil. If you use foil, put a dab of butter in the corner of the parchment paper to adhere to the foil. One of the baking sheets I used was dark and the meringue almost burned on it. You cannot see on the finished cake, but the middle cracked and fell out. The rest of my baking sheets were aluminum and the meringues baked on those were fine. 

• Whip the egg whites on low speed and slowly add in the sugar, gradually increasing speed to high and whipping until they hold a stiff peak when the beaters are lifted. 
• Scrape the meringue into a piping bag fitted with a large plain tip and pipe a spiral of meringue to fill each of the traced circles. 
• Bake the meringues for about 90 minutes, until dry [crack the oven door if the meringues begin to colour] and let them cool on the parchment paper. To make the chestnut cream: If you have canned chestnut purée, place the chestnut puree in a large bowl. Add 1 cup whipping cream, 1-1/2 cups mascarpone, 3 Tbsp dark rum and 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract. Beat to combine. 

 To make Chestnut Cream from roasted chestnuts: 

• Roast 1 pound of fresh chestnuts. Click on OVEN ROASTED CHESTNUTS. It tells you in detail how to roast and clean the roasted chestnuts. 

• Place the peeled chestnuts in a medium pot. 
• Add about 3/4 cup milk and 3/4 cup water. Make sure every chestnut is covered with liquid. 
• On low heat cook the chestnuts for 30-45 minutes or until soft. Make sure it does not burn. 
• Pour the cooked chestnuts through a sieve and discard the liquid. 
• Let the chestnuts cool to room temperature. 
• Transfer the cooled chestnuts to a food processor. 
• Add the 1 cup whipping cream, 1-1/2 cups mascarpone, 3 Tbsp dark rum and 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract. • Puree until very smooth. 

 Next make the Whipping Cream Layer: 

• Whip the whipping cream to soft peeks and gradually add the icing sugar. 
• When stiff peaks form beat in the vanilla extract. 

To assemble the Mont Blanc Cake: 

• Peel one cold meringue from the parchment paper and place on a serving plate. 
• Spread with a half of the chestnut cream. 
• Top the chestnut cream with 1/3 of the whipped cream. 
• Lay the second meringue on top. 
• Spread with the remaining chestnut cream. 
• Top the chestnut cream with half of the remaining whipped cream. 
• Lay the third meringue on top and spread with the remaining whipped cream.





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It began with posting a few recipes on line for my family. "zsuzsa is in the kitchen" has more than 1000 Hungarian and International recipes. What started out as a private project turned into a well visited blog. The number of visitors long passed the two million mark. I organized my recipes into an on-line cookbook. On top of the page click on the cookbook to access the recipes. I am not profiting from my blog, so my visitors will not be harassed with advertising or flashy gadgets. Feel free to cut and paste my recipes for your own use. Publication is permitted as long as it is in your own words and with your own photographs. However, I would ask you for an acknowledgement and link-back to my blog. This is to my old on-line friends and visitors: policing the comment section for spam and answering questions has become a chore. Good wishes to you all, happy cooking and keep on feeding your people with good food.

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