A delicious sweet little treat with everybody loves: Mont Blanc Petits Fours made with chestnuts and chocolate.
For the cake base:
3 medium eggs, divided
3 tbsp. cold water
1/2 cup (100g) sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2.6 oz. (75g) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1.8 oz. (50g) ground almonds
For the chestnut cream:
10.6 oz. (300g) chestnuts, cooked
2.5 oz. (70g) confectioners’ sugar
3 tbsp. water
1 1/2 tsp. cherry schnaps (Kirschwasser)
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
For the filling:
3-4 tbsp. jam (e.g. blueberry)
3.5 oz. (100g) heavy cream
(250g) chestnut cream (see above)
some meringue, crushed
For the decoration:
3.5 oz. (100g) white chocolate glaze
3.5 oz. (100g) semi-sweet chocolate glaze
1-2 tsp. coconut oil
1. Preheat the oven to 390°F (200°C). Line a baking sheet with baking parchment and set aside. Place a kitchen towel on your work surface.
2. Divide the eggs, add the egg whites to a large bowl, set the egg yolks aside. Whisk the egg whites until foamy, add the cold water and keep whisking. Add the sugar gradually until stiff peaks form. Whisk the egg yolks a bit, add together with the vanilla extract to the bowl with the egg whites and mix in. Sift the flour, baking powder, and ground almonds over the egg mixture and carefully fold in. Try to keep as much volume as possible. Pour the batter on the prepared baking sheet and spread evenly. Bake for about 8 minutes. Take out of the oven and pull the cake with the baking parchment onto the kitchen towel. Flip upside down and pull off the paper immediately. Let cool down completely.
3. For the chestnut cream add the chestnuts, confectioners’ sugar, water, cherry schnapps, and vanilla extract to a blender and mix until you get a nice smooth cream. Press through a sieve to remove larger pieces. Place in the fridge until needed.
4. For the filling press the jam through a fine sieve to remove larger pieces or seeds. Set aside. Whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Add about 9 ounces of the chestnut cream to a bowl and gradually fold in the whipped cream until you get a nice smooth chestnut cream filling. Break the meringue into small pieces.
5. Cut the cooled cake layer into three strips (cut parallel to the short side of the cake rectangle) – the strips should be at least 4.7 inches wide. Place one strip on a piece of baking parchment and spread half of the jam evenly on top of that cake strip. Add half of the chestnut cream filling on top and spread evenly, sprinkle with some of the meringue pieces. Place a cake strip on top and repeat the layering – jam, cream filling, and meringue – finish with the third cake layer. Pull the whole thing on a board and place a second board on top to press everything a bit together (just a bit, so don’t sit on it!). Place in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
6. Chop the chocolate glaze coarsely and melt separately – either in the microwave or over a pot with simmering water. If the chocolate glaze is too thick, add some coconut oil to thin it out a bit. You want the glaze not to be too thick. Cut the cake layers with a very sharp knife into cubes with about 1.4×1.4 inches (3,5×3,5cm). Place the cubes on a wire rack and place a piece of paper underneath. Glaze the cubes with the melted chocolate – the Petits Four don’t have to be covered completely, you still want to see the cake layers and filling here and there. Let dry.
7. Fill the remaining chestnut cream into a piping bag with a grass tip (has several small holes) and decorate the Petits Four with it. Store the finished Petits Four in a dry and cool place. The remaining chestnut cream is nice as a spread on some bread.