Monts Blancs

The Monts Blancs Recipe If using sweetened chestnut purée, omit the sugar in the filling.

Special equipment
large metal mixing bowl
4in (10cm) pastry cutter

4 egg whites, at room temperature
about 1 cup sugar
sunflower oil, for greasing
For the filling
14oz (435g) can unsweetened chestnut puree,
or sweetened
½ cup sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups heavy cream
confectioner’s sugar, to dust

1 Preheat the oven to the lowest setting, around 250°F (120°C).

2 Put the egg whites into a large, clean metal bowl and whisk them until they are stiff and leave peaks when the whisk is removed from the egg whites.

3 Gradually add the sugar 2 tablespoons at a time, whisking well between each addition, until you have added at least half.

4 Gently fold the remaining sugar into the egg whites, trying to lose as little air as possible.

5 Lightly grease the pastry cutter. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

6 Place the pastry cutter on the sheets, and spoon the meringue mixture into the ring, to a depth of 1 1⁄4in (3cm). Smooth over the top and gently remove the ring. Repeat until there are 4 meringue bases on each baking sheet.

7 Bake the meringues in the center of the oven for 45 minutes if you like them chewy, otherwise bake for 1 hour.

8 Turn off the oven and leave the meringues to cool inside, to prevent them from cracking. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

9 Put the chestnut purée in a bowl with the sugar (if using), vanilla, and 4 tablespoons of heavy cream, and beat together until smooth. Push through a fine sieve to make a really light, fluffy filling.

10 In a separate bowl whisk the remaining heavy cream until firm. Gently smooth 1 tablespoon chestnut filling over the top of the meringues, using a palette knife to smooth the surface.

11 Top each meringue with a spoonful of whipped cream, smoothed with a palette knife to give the appearance of soft peaks. Dust with confectioner’s sugar and serve.

The meringue bases can be prepared 5 days ahead and stored in an airtight container.

Make sure that the bowl you are using to whisk the egg whites in is completely clean and dry. For absolute accuracy, it is best to weigh the egg whites. You will need precisely double the weight of sugar to egg whites. An electronic scale is best.

Monts Blancs Recipe
Monts Blancs Recipe
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