Time 1h 40m
These single-serving mont blanc tarts are a creamy dessert to prepare for a special occasion or during the festivities.
The Mont Blanc is a popular recipe in Italy and France and owes its name to its shape, which resembles a mountain covered with snow.
This delicious dessert is prepared with tartlet cases filled with whipped cream and crumbled meringues and then topped with mashed sweetened chestnuts. Simply mouthwatering!
To make the sweet chestnut puree, we'll give you the option to use either the ready-cooked and peeled chestnuts or raw skin-on chestnuts, depending on what you can find.
Once you have chestnut mash, use a piping bag fitted with a small round nozzle to make the characteristic nest of chestnut pureé "vermicelli" in the mont blanc.
As preparing these mont blanc tarts is not an easy task, we have broken the recipe down into small easy-to-follow steps to help you out. So, let's get started!
- Plain Flour
- Baking Powder
- Caster Sugar
- Vegetable Oil
- Double Cream (regular or plant-based)
- Icing Sugar
- Meringue Nests
- Peeled Chestnuts
- Milk (regular or plant-based)
- Icing Sugar
- Vanilla Extract
If you're using unpeeled raw chestnuts, we'll explain how to peel them in this step, but if you're using ready-peeled chestnuts, then skip right to step 2.
Use about 220g (7.8 oz) of skin-on chestnuts for every 180g (6.4 oz) of peeled ones.
Rinse them well, score the skin deeply with a knife, and add them to a pot of boiling water.
Let them simmer covered for 15-20 minutes.
Then, peel off the chestnuts outer skin and inner brown peel while they're still hot, as it will be easier.
For these mont blanc tarts, let's prepare the chestnut paste first.
Add the peeled chestnuts to a pot, pour in the milk, and bring to a boil.
Cook them for 15-20 minutes or until almost all the milk has evaporated and you have a chunky chestnut mash, as shown in the picture.
Transfer the chestnuts to a food processor, followed by icing sugar, cocoa powder, and vanilla extract.
Blitz all for a few minutes into a smooth chestnut paste.
Then, cover it with cling film and let it chill in the fridge while you prepare the mont blanc tart bases.
For the tart bases, mix flour, baking powder, caster sugar, oil, water, and a pinch of salt in a bowl.
Knead the ingredients onto a worktop into a smooth and pliable dough.
Then, roll it into a ball, cover it with cling film and refrigerate it for 10 minutes.
Grease 10cm (4 inches) tart tins and portion the dough into as many balls as the number of servings.
Now, roll out each ball into a 3mm-thick disc and ease it into one tart tin, pressing the dough into the tin and up the sides.
Trim off any dough overhanging from the edges of the tin.
Line the dough with a disc of baking paper and fill the tart with baking beads to ensure the base will stay flat while cooking (you can also use raw beans or rice if you don't have baking beads).
Bake the tartlets at 180°C (355°F) for 20-25 minutes until hard and golden.
Remove the baking beads, pop the tarts out of their tins and let them cool down completely on a wire rack while you make the mont blanc filling cream.
Pour the double cream into a bowl and whip it using an electric whisker until it's slightly fluffy and forms soft peaks.
Then, tip in the icing sugar and keep whipping the cream until it forms stiff peaks.
Now, use a spatula to fold one-third of the whipped cream into the refrigerated chestnut paste until you have a smooth and soft cream (1).
Then, crumble the meringues into the bowl with the remaining whipped cream and mix well (2).
You can use store-bought meringues or make them from scratch. And if you want to try a tasty alternative to meringues made with white sugar, check out our honey meringues recipe.
To assemble the mont blanc tarts, divide the cream-meringue mix among the tart bases, shaping it into a dome with the help of a spatula (1).
Then, fit a piping bag with a small round nozzle and fill it with the prepared chestnut cream.
Pipe the chestnut cream over the meringue filling, starting at the outer edge of the dome and circling toward its centre, forming the characteristic bird-nest shape (2).
Repeat the piping pattern two more times, and your mont blanc dessert tarts are ready.
You can optionally dust them with icing sugar, garnish them with a puff of whipped cream, and top them with a cooked chestnut, marron glacé, or dark chocolate shards.
For perfectly shaped tartlets, press down the dough flattening it with your fingertips toward the bottom and the edges of the tart tins.
You can add almond extract or rum to the chestnut cream for extra flavour.
Although better consumed fresh, you can store these mont blanc tarts in an airtight container in the fridge for 1 day.