It’s getting very festive around here, there was last week’s mincemeat Danish pinwheels and now there are these chocolate and amaretto mont blancs. I’ve never tried a mont blanc, but I thought they looked really cute and I like the fact they are named after the famous mountain in the alps.
The other reason I made these is because I had some chestnut puree leftover from another recipe I’ve been trying and I hate things going to waste. I’d been planning to make a mont blanc ever since I started this blog, back in 2014, but I kept putting it off because I thought the piping would be really fiddly and I wasn’t sure if I actually liked chestnut.
I was right to be worried about piping the chestnut cream, it is really fiddly, but after tasting my first bite of these, I didn’t need to worry about the flavour. I looked at quite a few different recipes and then I decided, I didn’t really like any of them and I wanted to come up with something of my own. So I chose a chocolate sable breton for the base, and I wanted an amaretto cream, because it is my absolute favourite liqueur.
Don’t be too worried how your piping looks on the chestnut cream as they get a very liberal dusting of icing sugar, which I definitely used to hide any piping flaws. These are a beautiful little treat, they keep really well in the fridge for a couple of days, just dust them again with icing sugar if you need to just before serving.
- ***Chocolate Sable Breton***
- 90g Plain Flour
- Pinch of fleur de sel
- ½ Tsp Baking Powder
- 20g Cocoa Powder
- 60g Caster Sugar
- 2 Egg Yolks
- 75g Unsalted Butter, Softened
- ***Chestnut Paste***
- 120g Unsalted Butter, Softened
- 300g Chestnut Puree, at room temperature
- 6 Tbsp Icing Sugar, sifted
- ***Amaretto Cream***
- 250ml Whipping Cream
- 2 Tsp Amaretto
- ***To decorate***
- Icing Sugar
- Gold Leaf
- To make the chocolate sable breton, put the plain flour, fleur de sel, baking powder and cocoa powder in a bowl and mix together. Put this to one side.
- Put the sugar and egg yolks in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until light and pale. Add the softened butter and mix, the mixture may look curdled, but this is fine.
- Then add the flour mixture and mix on a low speed until combined. The dough will not completely come together, tip the dough out onto a sheet of baking parchment and knead it into a ball.
- Place another sheet of baking parchment on top and roll the pastry out to a thickness of 5mm. Place the dough in the freezer for 20 mins to rest.
- Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and take the pastry from the freezer, peel off the top layer of baking parchment. Place the pastry in one piece on a baking tray and bake in the oven for 12 minutes, don't allow the pastry to colour at all at the edges, you want it to remain chocolate coloured.
- As soon as the pastry is baked, take a 6cm round pastry cutter and stamp out 12 circles from the pastry. Transfer the circles to a rack and leave to cool.
- To make the chestnut cream, take the chestnut puree and beat it with the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer. The two ingredients need to be the same temperature so they mix together, then add the icing sugar and bring it all together. You should end up with a smooth buttercream, place it in the fridge a little to firm up if it's too soft.
- Place the cream in a bowl along with the amaretto and whip until it forms stiff peaks, put the cream in a disposable piping bag and leave in the fridge to stay cool.
- When the sables are cooled, pipe blobs of amaretto cream on top of the sable, pipe upwards and leave a gap of around half a centimetre for the chestnut cream.
- Beat the chestnut cream to make sure it's fully combined and place the cream in a piping bag fited with a small straight nozzle. Pipe the chestnut cream around and over the whipped cream, making sure you cover it entirely.
- Dust the Mont Blancs with icing sugar and decorate the top with gold leaf.
If like me you’ve never really eaten chestnut before, I can reassure you that these taste absolutely delicious, they are sweet and not at all savoury. They would be great for a New Year’s eve party or for part of a Christmas eve buffet as a sweet canapé. Check out the rest of my recipes for this time of year in the seasonal section of my blog.
If you have any suggestions for any festive recipes you’d like to see me make, please let me know in the comments. I’m thinking mince pies with a twist, a sort of plaited stollen and some festive confectionery.
Thanks for reading.