I come to you cap in hand and pleading sweetly for a favour of a non-food related nature. Nick Cave (who as some of you may know I am quite partial to) is playing Dublin Castle in May with his band the Bad Seeds and I am ticketless. It would seem that getting a ticket at this late stage is on a par with climbing Mount Everest (unless you are prepared to pay four times the face value which is not an option I'm afraid), so I was hoping that if I brought you Mont Blanc on a plate you could help me conquer Everest. If anyone hears of a spare ticket for sale please e-mail me at the link above and I promise there will be a chocolate bonus in it for you.
If bribery is your thing please dive into this variation on the classic French dessert Mont Blanc. Typically a meringue base topped with sweetened chestnut puree and perhaps a layer of cream, it may not appeal to those with a less than sweet tooth but should give a good energy burst while doing a spot of mountain climbing. I have been to Angelina's in Paris but I didn't make it past the spoonable hot chocolate to the desserts, of which the Mont Blanc is one of their most famous. I had never got around to making it at home until this month's Olive Magazine threw up a recipe that only needed a meringue base to make a mountain out of a chocolate-chestnut mousse. If you buy in your meringue nests then this becomes an assembly job at most.
If the meringue is a step too far for you just pile everything else into a glass and serve in it's original incarnation as a decadent mousse.
This recipe is adapted from the chocolate supplement in this months Olive Magazine.
CHOCOLATE CHESTNUT MONT BLANC
- 200g 60-70% cocoa chocolate, melted and left to cool slightly
- 250g sweetened chestnut puree
- 2 tbsp dark rum
- 285ml double cream, very softly whipped plus an extra 150 ml for serving
- chocolate curls or shavings, just use a vegetable peeler to pare strips off a chunk of dark chocolate
- 8 meringue nests, shop bought or find a recipe here just leave out the elderflowers.
- Fold the chocolate into the chestnut puree, then fold in the rum and the 285ml of whipped cream.
- Put the mousse into a piping bag with a plain or star-shaped nozzle and pipe a mound of chestnut mousse on top of a meringue nest. Whip the remaining cream and dollop on a creamy snow-capped peak and shave over some dark chocolate curls.
- Alternatively you can omit the meringue and just pipe the mousse into six wine glasses topping with the cream and chocolate curls as before and refrigerating until ready to serve.
Makes 8 Mont Blancs or 6 chestnut mooses.