Saturday, 28 November 2009

Quickly Scaled Mont Blanc

I love creamy desserts. They are a big weakness of mine. Tiramisu, trifle... if it's creamy, I'm there. I also like sweetened chestnut puree, but I never know what to do with it when I buy some. D loves this Coffee and Chocolate Meringue Cake, but that was the only recipe in my delicious collection that used sweetened chestnut puree, and it's quite a complicated process which I don't tend to do unless it's a special occasion.

This may make you think that I had some sweetened chestnut puree that I needed to use, but I actually didn't. I don't know what I was reading that made me think about sweetened chestnut puree. I still don't have any recipes in my delicious collection but I wanted something with sweetened chestnut puree. I thought Nigella's Quickly Scaled Mont Blanc might be an easy way to ease my cravings.

There was a small hurdle when there was no sweetened puree at the local gourmet supermarket. I ended up buying unsweetened and tried to emulate the dark smooth paste of the canned sweetene puree. It kind of worked but the prepared sweetened stuff is much much nicer.

So, for this dessert I sprinkled some chopped Lindt dark chocolate into the base of the glass, followed by some of my home-sweetened chestnut puree, followed by some cream (should be whipped, but I couldn't be bothered. I paid for this when the cream came out of the carton faster than I expected and nearly overflowed the glass). I finished it off with some crushed meringue nests and a sprinkling of malted milk powder. I was so lazy making this that I almost feel guilty passing it off as a Nigella-inspired recipe, because the domestic goddess would not put together something this sloppy.

Despite my sloppiness, it wasn't bad. The lashings of cream and the cocoa-flavoured meringue balanced out my not-quite-as-sweet puree and the malted powder actually added a nice dimension to the dessert. I think I used chocolate with too high a cocoa content though, it was just too bitter and really fought with the creaminess of the rest of the dessert. I don't think I would use dark chocolate again if I repeat the recipe.

Below I'm posting Nigella's recipe rather than my adaptation of it, if you really want to try it my way, I've detailed my changes above.

Now, what to do with a large amount of leftover unsweetened chestnut puree?

Quickly Scaled Mont Blanc
by Nigella Lawson

Makes 6 when made in shallow glasses

100g good quality dark chocolate
500ml oz double cream
2 meringue nests
500g sweetened chestnut purée or spread, from a can

Place the chocolate into the bowl of a food processor and blend until it forms large, broken grains. Divide the chocolate equally among the six glasses.

Place the cream in a large bowl and lightly whip it until soft peaks form. Crumble one of the meringues into the mixture and mix well.

Place the chestnut purée or spread on top of the chocolate in the glasses.

Spoon the cream and meringue mixture into the glasses on top of the chestnut purée.

To serve, crumble the remaining meringue over the top of the cream and meringue mixture.

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