Friday, December 17, 2010

Mont Blanc- Cream of Chestnut on Almond Tart

For some of you who might be following on the Aspiring Bakers #2, you know that the theme for this month is CHRISTMAS.. we can bake, cook, roast anything related to Christmas.In the latest issue of the magazine, "My nourishment', there are actually quite a number of christmas recipes in there but there this picture that actually caught my eye, they call it ' Mont Blanc-Cream of Chestnut on Almond Tart '. Google ' Mont Blanc' and it will tell you that it is the highest mountain in the Alps, Western Europe and The European Unions. So somebody named this tart as Mont Blanc as it was baked and assembled in such a way that it looks like a mountain.

My mont blanc looks ugly actually , well it's a very cheat version of mont read then you know why..I will post the original recipe from the magazine here but i actually made a little changes, not that i purposely made but out of accidents..2 accidents. Sorry friends, if you wanna try this, i would suggest to stick to the original recipe. These tarts are divided into 4 parts ie base of the tart, the almond cream to pipe onto the base, then the mascarpone filling to pipe on to form mountains and lastly some chestnut cream as finishing touch around the "mountains". The 1st mistake i did was on the chestnut cream, i thought of just making a chestnut puree and then just blend in some whipping cream..i did that but i added too much whipping cream..well the cream did actually have the taste of chestnut ..infact i can still get to taste the nutty feeling of the chestnut paste but not so much as it should be..and the colour of this cream should be a little on the brown side but because of the volume of whipped cream that i poured in, it actually turned white. From the picture, you can see that it's brown..oh, it's because i cheated! So disappointed with the cream, i added a little brown colouring to restore its brown colour, ha!

The 2nd mistake which i did was the mascarpone filling..this is one thing that we should take note check our ingredients before baking. I never checked and when i opened my remaining half tub of mascarpone cheese, i found out that it has turned bad. So i just replaced that with cream cheese which i have in my fridge. But i found that it's not really a good combination where the strong flavour of the cream cheese have actually covered the supposedly lovely taste of the nutty chestnut cream. But the tart base was delicious.If i serve this to my friends, i still think they would love this but it's just that it doesnt seem to bring out the flavours of the chestnut here..and also on the mascarpone filling, otherwise it would really be a divine! Nevertheless of all these  mistakes i made, i would still be submitting my entry to the Aspiring Bakers Challenge#2 -Christmas (Dec2010). One day, i shall try making a better looking mont blanc!!

Original Recipe (from My nourishment mag)
Ingredients for Base
100gm Plain Flour
75gm ground hazelnuts
30gm icing sugar, sifted
25gm margarine ( i have to use 40gm softened butter to form a dough) 
1/2 egg yolk ( i used 1 egg yolk)
4tbsp marmalade
3tbsp Grand Marnier( optional)

Almond Cream
2 tbsp margarine
2tbsp icing sugar, sifted
2 egg yolks
4tbsp ground almond
1/2 Monin almond syrup ( almond essence)

Chestnut Cream
400gm ready to eat packaged chestnut
150gm margarine
120gm granulated sugar
150gm red wine
100gm whipping cream
1tbsp fine granulated sugar

Mascarpone filling
250gm mascarpone cheese
1/4 tsp vanilla seed from 1 vanilla pod

Method to make the almond base
1.Preheat oven to 180C.Sieve the flour into a large bowl, pour in ground hazelnuts and iing sugar to mix. Rub in margarine then add egg yolk and stir to combine.
2.Roll the dough out until 1/2 cm thick. Using a small 1.5inch round cutter, cut out a circle of dough and transfer to a baking sheet. Repeat until all the dough is used up, around 10 pieces.
3. To make almond cream, cream margarine and sugar together with a wooden spatula, add egg yolk, ground almond and almond essence.Mix well and make into a paste. Transfer the almond paste into a piping bag and pipe onto base.
4.Bake in preheated oven for 15-20mins or until cooked. Cool on rack.
5.Mix together the marmalade and grand marnier, brush generously over almond base to coat, keep aside.

To make chestnut cream
1.In a saucepan, melt margarine and sugar over medium heat. Stir until sugar starts to caramelise, add in chestnuts and keep stirring until chestnuts evenly coated with melted sugar.
2.Pour in red wine, turn heat to low and simmer until liquid  is reduced and turns syrupy, while the chestnuts are fork tender.
3.Mash chestnuts well and strain thru a strainer to get a smooth and creamy paste. Whisk together whipping cream and sugar until stiff, fold into chestnut paste to form chestnut cream. Transfer the cream into piping bag. Keep aside until ready to use.

To assemble
1.Mix together the mascarpone cheese and vanilla seeds.Transfer the mascarpone mixture to a piping bag fitted with nozzle to pipe 'mountains'
2.Pipe an upright mound of mascarpone onto the almond base, then pipe chestnut cream over the mascarpone cheese in spiral patter, piling it high until the mascarpone is well covered. Refrigerate overnight. Serve chilled.

Notes: I've replaced all the margarine used with softened butter..the original recipe states "Daisy"margarine, their sponsors for this and also on the 'Monin' almond syrup.


  1. looks very pretty~~!! i also saw many of this recipes but i always skip through because my piping skills are bad hehe!!! great work lena~

  2. I like anything chestnut, Mont Blanc have been sitting on my to-do-list for sooooooooooo long, and the chestnut puree also sitting in my cabinet for soooooooooo long, but just dont dare to try it yet(worry too high expectation will end up with high disappointment)... hehe

  3. I always wanted to make chestnut cream when the chestnut is in season. This will be a great recipe :D

  4. whoa! That is so pretty. Also, today I just asked my friend randomly what her favorite food was and she said Mont Blanc! Thanks for sharing this.

  5. did a great job on this despite you having tweak it by accident :p lovely and I bet it must be delish too :)

    Thanks for sharing the recipe and
    Merry Xmas to you and family,

  6. jess, that's very kind of you but i have to tell you that my piping skills are also terrible

    neyeeloh, yeah..sometimes can understand that but who knows, one day you wake up and something urge you to bake it..

    hi zoe, is chestnut puree available at your place?

    esther, if you search on the net, i believe there might be other recipes available for these cake.

    elin, yeah this is delicious despite all those mistakes i made. enjoy the hoildays.

    sonia, thank you.

  7. Wow Lena. They look so yummy ... It's beautiful too! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  8. Nice job (the brown colouring), haha!!! Sometimes we do need to do something to comfort ourselves.
    Do not worry abt it.

    I find that my chestnut cream is not as brown too, maybe I used those precooked ones sold in packets. Maybe freshly roasted ones might be darker.

  9. Wow, exquisite Mont blanc!!! My favorite chestnut dessert! Even more delicious on almond tart! What delightful recipe! A must try, I have to say!!!
    Love to eat warm tau foo fah and never dared make it myself. Thank you for sharing the recipe! Cheers!!!

  10. Very pretty creations! The mont-blanc is a classic this time of year and I remember every New Year's eve eating it. Time to get back in the habit!

  11. DG, i think my piping looks really horrible but thanks anyway.

    wendy, didnt know that are precooked ones available

    mitk, i would like to make this again in the future..the more proper one.

    hi taste of beirut, yeah i do think that this is also very special to serve during occasions

  12. hi lena (: this is on my MUST TRY LIST! the one you baked looks really YUMMY!! my mummy love chestnut and im sure she's going to love it. plus, im never short of nuts at home (: (: thank you so much! (: (:

  13. My piping skills are so poor, so I like looking at other people beautifully presented sweet bites. This looks impressive.

  14. You did a lovely job! Never tried this before but it sure seems delicious! Thank you for stopping by my blog. You have a lovely site here! Please do visit again! Have a lovely day.

  15. You are very ambitious but I must say you did a wonderful job on the Mont Blanc. It is not easy to make but yours looks lovely. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings...Mary

  16. Wow, Lena, thumbs up! That's quite a lot of work and your hardwork pays. They look so cute and neat and bet they taste fantastic! Hey friend, you sure can bake and spring surprises too!

  17. Lena, nice work. Mont Blanc has been on my to do list for many many many crazy years, I don't know why I still haven't gotten myself to doing it yet.. Lol but maybe I wouldn't use any cheese at all for it.. Hey don't forget to join my christmas giveaway! this would be nice one..

  18. Lena, I'm jumping back in to answer your question as best I can. Savory quick breads bare no resemblance to cake. Most sweet breads do. The difference being they are a bit rougher and have no frosting. I usually think of them as snack cakes in loaf form. I hope that helps. Blessings...Mary

  19. hi sweetylicious, try it one day.

    mangocheeks, that's very kind of you but i think my piping skills are really bad

    kitchen flavours - yes, will drop by your site more often.

    cheah, the original recipe actually takes a lot of work but i made a little short cuts in the chestnut cream.

  20. swee san - yeah, the cream cheese was a bad choice!

  21. Ooo... Lena, everything turns out so beautifully! So, are the pictures! Well done. Wish that I can grab them & wallop straight away. haha.... So very tempting. Thanks for sharing the recipe & hope you're enjoying the day.
    Blessings, Kristy

  22. Err... I tot u used those oredi cooked one in packs? Since it's stated in ur recipe.
    What I refered as the precooked ones are seen here in this post
    The picture of the chestnuts I am refering to is way below the post.
    But then hoh, in KL, freshly roasted chestnuts are easily found at supermarkets.

  23. i didnt follow the chestnut cream from the recipe. i've seen the quite similiar to what i did..mash the chestnut, add some sugar and i added whiping cream instead of's just that i added too much w.cream
    Hey, you can get the fresh roasted chestnut from ipoh jusco food court.I got mine from there.