Mont Blanc, a chestnut dessert
There you will say to yourself, but chestnuts are super expensive, the lady smoked her thong! If chestnuts (their real name, since chestnuts, the fruit of the chestnut tree, are toxic), are expensive, chestnut cream can be found at very reasonable prices. It allows you to bring some of the flavor and texture of this exceptional product, without breaking the wallet too much!
I took a completely classic brand from the jam department, with a hint of vanilla, it was perfect for this dessert!
But what is Mont Blanc? Apart from a mountain!
It is a dessert traditionally composed of meringue, whipped cream and chestnuts passed through a sieve. I had made some at work, we added a little tangy touch with rosehip compote, it was incredible! I never saw anything to eat rosehip again, but I have an unforgettable memory of it.
To make things easier, I chose to make a dessert without whipped cream, with a little plain yoghurt, for a fresh and slightly acid side, with a little blueberry jam, chestnut cream, and small meringues.
We obtain a simple and light dessert for the end of a meal that is a little too garnished.
Make vegan meringues
Several people have asked me if the meringues that make up this dessert are really vegan. They are! The aquafaba, pompous name given to the simple juice of the cans of chickpeas, allows this marvel of science. Its composition quite close to egg white, allows it to abound.
It reacts a bit differently than egg white in that you have to whip the aquafaba longer before you get a nice meringue, but the results are nearly identical.
We will take great care to follow the steps indicated in the recipe, and I advise you to really insist on the whisk, especially if you only have an electric hand whisk and not a robot: it is less easy to obtain the right result because the power is not the same.
A very important part in meringues is cooking: the latter is moreover more drying than cooking. It operates at 100 degrees, no more, and it must last as long as it takes to obtain very hard and crunchy meringues.
If you ever have big questions about meringue, I also devoted a whole section to it in my vegan baking ebookwhich I obviously strongly encourage you to obtain.
If it’s nice to have pretty fluted meringues, you can also make them by depositing small heaps, with a spoon or by filling a freezer bag (I warn you, it’s not very practical, I advise you to buy a reusable or disposable piping bag, you will have an easier time).
One thing for sure: in this dessert, even if your meringues are a bit sloppy (that’s usually the worst that can happen to you in this recipe), they don’t need to be perfect here as they might be. of a pavlova.
Preparation of the verrines
In principle, it’s simple: you can prepare the meringues well in advance, as long as they are kept dry in a metal box! We can therefore prepare them quietly, far from the rush of the holiday meal!
Regarding the yogurt, I encourage you to take a brand that does not taste too marked, very fresh: here I remain faithful to Sojade and its plain or Greek version (this second option will have a more “cottage cheese” finish). ).
You can add a little almond puree to sweeten it, but normally with the jam and the chestnut cream, there will be enough sugar to compensate for the slight acidity of the yogurt.
If you can prepare the verrines with yogurt, jam and chestnut cream beforehand, you will have to add the meringues at the last moment: otherwise, they tend to melt. We then lose all their crunchy potential!
Finally, do not hesitate to have fun and serve this dessert in stemmed glasses or original containers. I chose here pretty glasses intended rather for the aperitif, which I like very much. They are immediately given a festive and special side.
Finally, if you wish, and it doesn’t blow your Christmas budget, you can add a few broken candied chestnuts to this dessert: the natural yoghurt has a wide back to compensate for the sugar dose!
Finally, if this dessert does not speak to you or if you have other projects, do not forget to consult my holiday recipe page ; you will find inspiration for your Christmas meal here!
Verrines Mont Blanc style
- 400 g soy yogurt classic or Greek style
- 200 g aquafaba reduced to 120 g
- 270 g Granulated sugar
- 120 g icing sugar
- 1 trait lemon
- 1/2 vs. coffee vanilla flavor
- 4 vs. soup jam blueberries
- 4 vs. soup Chestnut cream
Make the meringues. This step can be done well in advance of the day of the service, provided that the meringues are kept in a dry place (like a metal box). Note that it is more practical to make a double meringue recipe, because it will overflow more easily. The one presented can therefore be divided by two, but I do not recommend it. Instead, take the opportunity to make small gourmet gifts with the excess, by partially dipping them in chocolate for example!
Reduce the aquafaba by heating it over medium heat in a saucepan. It must reduce to obtain a weight of 130 (here I reduced it a little too much, I noted for you what was left as weight for the sake of accuracy).
Put to abound in the bowl of your mixer (yes yes, hot, we don’t care about its temperature at the aquafaba), with the powdered sugar directly in the bowl, and the dash of lemon juice. This will allow the grains of sugar to melt while the meringue abounds.
Once you get a glossy, firm meringue that makes the “bird’s beak” sound, increase the speed to tighten the meringue.
Lower the speed, then add the icing sugar and a little vanilla flavoring. Do not whisk too long or too hard, the goal is just to incorporate the icing sugar, but if you insist too much you risk causing the meringue to fall back. By the way: yes, it’s a lot of sugar, a little more than traditional (where it’s double the weight), but that’s how the meringue holds up best.
Poach or place on a plate: here the shape does not matter, you can even spread it on a plate and then break into pieces as you wish. Don’t go goat no matter what!
Dry for 1h45 in the oven at 100°C. Do not hesitate to control the cooking and open from time to time to let the steam escape.
Check the cooking very simply, by putting your finger, and biting into one: the center must be very dry, otherwise the meringue will re-wet afterwards.
Get your prettiest containers ready. Keep in mind that this dessert will end a meal that is certainly hearty. I put smaller quantities than the volume of the photo as an indication (I had to have 150 g of yogurt per verrine), but I find that it’s a lot after eating. It’s up to you to see for your portions!
Put the yogurt, blueberry jam, chestnut cream, and just before serving and not before, coarsely crush the meringue (there should be some good chunks left!).
Serve, leaving chestnut cream and jam available for the greediest guests! You can also add some sugar decorations, the ones we always keep for events, and which give a little joy.