I know it’s been ages since I’ve updated this blog with a real recipe. I’ve just been too busy and I kept pushing it back until I forgot about it. But tonight, I could not keep my eyes open. As I scrolled through pages and pages of notes, I was getting nothing out of it and decided that perhaps after I write this blog, I would be refreshed and awake again.
As you may or may not know, a Mont Blanc cake (apparently named after the famous mountain in the Alps) is usually made with chestnut puree. At the time, I did not have any chestnuts but I did have some roasted Korean sweet potatoes which have yellow flesh, purple skin and (what I believe) a very chestnut-y taste.
Looking at the first photo, it may seem like a complicated dish. On the contrary, the cake is pretty simple and has a wow factor like you wouldn’t believe. It starts off with baking a few layers of meringue.
Followed by making a chestnut (or in my case, sweet potato) cream. I also substituted mascarpone for the ricotta cheese. Because that’s what I had on hand and to tell you the truth, I would choose mascarpone over ricotta any day of the week.
Layer the meringue disks with the sweet potato cream and chocolate.
Oh and the taste… how do you describe something that’s crispy and light, yet sweet, rich and smooth at the same time? It’s a juxtaposition of flavors and textures which I can only describe as heavenly.
Mont Blanc Layer Cake
This is the recipe for my version of the cake. The original can be found here.
5 medium egg whites (or 4 large egg whites)
200g caster sugar (make this by grinding granulated sugar in your food processor)
125g powdered sugar
300g pureed korean sweet potato (skin peeled)
350ml heavy cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
75g dark chocolate, melted
1) Cover three baking trays with foil. With a lightly buttered finger, trace the outline of a 7 in. circle on each foil-covered tray. You need room in the oven to bake all three meringues at once, so if your oven has only two shelves, you’ll need to squeeze three smaller circles on to two trays instead.
2) Gently warm the egg whites and the mixing bowl (over a pan of very lightly simmering water, for instance, though take care the bowl doesn’t come into contact with the water, otherwise the egg whites will cook), then, using an electric beater, (or your stand mixer with a wire whisk) beat the whites until foamy.
3) Sprinkle a quarter of the caster sugar at a time over the whites and whisk through on high speed until the grains disappear and the mixture ends up very thick and glossy. Sift and fold in the confectioner’s sugar until the mixture is smooth,
4) Spread a third of the meringue mix on to each prepared foil circle and with a spatula.
5) Bake at 285 F for about 90 minutes, or until crisp, slightly beige coloured and with a firm crust. Remove and set aside to cool.
6) In a bowl, beat the sweet potato puree, 250ml heavy cream, vanilla and enough sugar gently to sweeten it, until very thick. Mix in the mascarpone as the last step, being careful not to over beat. (The mascarpone will curdle if you do.)
7) Peel one cold meringue from the foil and place on a serving plate. Spread with a third of the sweet potato cream and swirl melted chocolate all over. Repeat with a second meringue, sweet potato cream and chocolate, and top with the last meringue. Pipe on the last of the chestnut cream in a swirl. Drizzle with more melted chocolate and serve.