I bought a few cans of pureed chestnut from Paris during my June trip and didn’t get down to using it. Since it is Christmas, I decided to make a simple Mont Blanc, which is really more of a sponge cake with chestnut cream. I use Marc’s (from No Recipes) chestnut cream recipe which was very easy, although straining the chestnut puree was a slight pain. Adding rum to the chestnut cream is a definite must (although not mention in Marc’s recipe) as it really enhances its flavor. Happy new year all!
For the cake
6 eggs, separated
70g melted butter
180g cake flour
30g + 132g sugar
For chestnut puree
15 oz. can of pureed chestnut (this should be just chestnut, no sugar or other additives)
1/2 C cream
1/2 C sugar
1 large egg yolk
1 vanilla bean or 1 tsp vanilla extract
For chestnut cream
3/4 C heavy cream
3 Tbs powdered sugar
1/3 C chestnut puree
1 tsp rum
Making the cake
1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Beat the yolks with 30g of sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the milk and butter, mixing until it is combined.
2. Fold in the sifted flour and set the batter aside.
3. In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks are formed. Add in the remaining sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.
4. Fold the egg whites into yolk batter gently. Pour the mixture into a 8 inch round cake tin (or into muffin tin like what I did) and bake for 30 minutes, or until the cake tester comes out clean when inserted into the cake.
Making the chestnut puree
1. Slice the vanilla bean in half length wise and scrape the seeds into a small saucepan. Add the cream, sugar and whisk in the yolk. Heat over low heat, continually stirring until the mixture begins to thicken. Take the pan off the heat and allow the vanilla bean to steep while the mixture cools.
2. When the mixture is cool, put it in a food processor along with the pureed chestnuts. Blitz until smooth and creamy. Put a spoonful of chestnut puree in the double mesh strainer over a bowl and press through using a spatula. Strain the rest of the chestnut puree, cover and set aside.
Making the chestnut cream
1. In the clean dry bowl of an electric mixer, add 3/4 C of heavy cream. Using the whisk attachment, beat until the cream holds soft peaks. Add the sugar and beat until the sugar is incorporated.
2. Add 1/3 C of the strained chestnut puree and 1 tsp of rum, mix until the cream holds firm peaks being careful not to over mix.
Assemble the cake
1. Put a large round tip on a pastry bag and fill with the chestnut cream (not the puree). Pipe a dollop of chestnut cream in the middle of the cake (see below). Put a small round tip on a separate pastry bag and fill with chestnut puree.
2. Pipe over the cake, cover the cream completely.