This week we roasted the first chestnuts of the season. I have been feeling a bit under the weather and I needed something comforting and nothing says comfort like roasted chestnuts do. Besides, now that my parents are here, any excuse is a good one to cook, bake and snack. We are a bunch of non-stop grazers.
Montblancs are popular in France, but I had never tasted one until my French chef asked me to make some for Christmas brunch a few years ago. I fell in love with the chestnut cream and ever since, I have made them every holiday season. Buttery and not overly sweet cream. I even eat it on bread as a snack when no one is looking.
I built these on sable breton and inserted a mini chocolate mousse bombe in the center. Then the chestnut cream is piped on top with a special tip creating that spaghetti effect. How fun is that right?
100 grams unsweetened chestnut puree
100 grams chestnut paste or chestnut cream
200 grams unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbs dark rum
Cream together the chestnut puree and chestnut paste until smooth. Add the softened butter, vanilla extract and rum and mix. Press the cream through a fine sieve to remove any large chestnut puree chunks. Place the cream in a piping bag with a “spaghetti” tip and pipe the cream on top of the breton and chocolate mousse dome.
This is best served slightly at room temperature so the chestnut cream doesn’t harden too much.