This elegant dessert looks complicated, but it is actually quite simple to make. It consists of a meringue "bowl" topped with a rich yet fluffy chestnut cream. It is named, of course, after the mountain. I made it based on this recipe.
Ingredients (for six portions):
For the Meringue:
- 4 egg whites (I had trouble using boxed egg whites for this. They wouldn't fluff up.)
- 1 cup of sugar
For the cream:
- 150 grams (about 5-6 oz) peeled and cooked chestnuts (you can buy them in jars or vacuum sealed)
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup milk
- 250 ml (about 8 oz) whipping/heavy cream
- Crushed nuts or cocoa nibs, to decorate (optional)
1. Make the meringue: in a mixer, beat the egg whites until they form a soft foam. While beating, gradually add the sugar and continue beating until you get a very stiff foam with a nice glossy sheen to it.
2. Heat oven to 120 C/220 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a piping tool or just a spoon, create at least six small meringue "bowls" on the baking sheet. (I found that the easiest way to do this was to dump a heaping spoonful of meringue on the sheet, and then carefully use clean fingers in order to push the meringue open to create a bowl-like shape). Bake the meringue in the oven for at least two hours, or until the bowls easily separate from the bottom of the baking parchment. Turn off the oven, and leave the meringues to cool inside it (this will take a few hours). Set aside. (You can put them in an airtight container and keep them outside the fridge for a few days). You can also just create one large meringue bowl.
3. Meanwhile, prepare the cream. In a medium pot, place the chestnuts, sugar and milk. Bring to a low boil, turn the heat down to a low heat, and simmer for about five minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and allow to cool a bit. Transfer to a blender or food processor and process until smooth. (You can try using an immersion/stick blender for this, but I couldn't get the desired smoothness that way). Refrigerate until completely cool.
4. Whip the heavy cream until you get a stiff whipped cream. Gently fold the chestnut mixture into it. You will get a cream that has a slightly brownish color, but is mostly white. Chill until you are ready to serve.
5. Right before serving, place a meringue bowl on a each plate. Pipe or simply spoon the cream unto the bowl. Decorate with nuts or cocoa nibs and serve immediately.