8 3.5 oz. bags of roasted, peeled chestnuts (@4-5 cups). You can also roast and peel the chestnuts yourself if that’s the way you want to go, but the pre-cooked chestnuts are just dandy
1 c. milk
1/2 c. sugar
2 T. Apple Jack (or other apple liqueur)
2 T. butter
2 pints heavy whipping cream
1/4 c. confectioner’s sugar
1/2 t. vanilla extract
extra sugar and butter for assembling the Mont Blanc

Place the chestnuts in a small pan with the milk, sugar, Apple Jack and butter. Bring to a simmer, and cook the nuts in the liquid, stirring, until the liquid has reduced to a thick syrup.

Using a heavy-duty potato ricer, pass the whole chestnuts and the thick syrup through the ricer to make spaghetti-like strands. It’s best to do this over a large bowl, passing the mixture through the ricer at least 3-4 times. With each pass the extrusions become longer, finer, smoother, more pliant.

Butter well a ring mold (a bundt or kugelhopf pan) and then give the inside a thorough dusting of sugar.

Holding the ricer over the mold, push a layer of chestnut strands into the mold. Sprinkle in a tablespoon or so of sugar over the chestnut strand layer. Repeat – chestnut strands, sugar sprinkles – until you’ve used it all up.

Let sit for 20 minutes to settle (or cover with plastic wrap and let sit for up to 2 hours before serving).

To serve, invert the mold onto a cake stand. You’ll get a ring of strands with a big dent in the middle. Here’s where the magic happens.

Whip the cream with the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla until very stiff. Fill the center of the pile of chestnut strands with whipped cream, then use a spatula to create an majestic mountain shape with the whipped cream. Two pints of cream makes a lot of whipped cream so you’ll have plenty to work with.

To serve, use a large spoon to scoop up a mixture of chestnut strands and whipped cream onto a serving plate. At this point it becomes a frothy pile, not a cake-like slice.

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Written by on May 4, 2012 under ALL RECIPES.

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