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Quickly Scaled Mont Blanc

This is a pared-down, lazy person's Mont Blanc, the traditional dessert of chestnuts, chocolate, and cream. Think of it as gastro-geography: Crumbled chocolate is the soil; chestnut puree the mountain; cream the snow; the final scattering of meringue, fresh snowfall. Sounds whimsical, but when something tastes like this you don't care about anything else.

I cannot have too much chestnut at this time of year, and please consider doing a variant of the Nutella Pancakes on page 374, replacing the Nutella with sweetened chestnut puree and the Frangelico liqueur with rum. You could substitute some broken pieces of marrons glacés for the chopped hazelnuts, but you could just as easily leave them out altogether.


Chop the chocolate with a mezzaluna, sharp knife, or in a food processor until you have rubbly shards. Divide the chocolate among 6 smallish glasses – with about 1/2-cup capacity.

Lightly whip the cream, and crumble and fold through one of the meringues.

Dollop the chestnut puree or spread, on top of the chocolate rubble. Then spoon over the cream and meringue mixture, crumbling a little more meringue over the top of each one.

Serves 6

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