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Nesselrode Pudding

Monte Bianco

½ stick (2 oz; 50g) unsalted butter
4 oz. 100g dark chocolate
1 oz. 30ml dark rum
200g chestnut purée
1 cup (250ml) heavy cream (double cream)

For classic Nesselrode pudding, mix 200g of chestnut purée into a crème anglaise made with five egg yolks and two cups of milk. Add glacé fruits, previously macerated in brandy. Sweeten to taste. Beat the five egg whites to stiff peaks, and fold in the chestnut custard. Steam the pudding in a buttered mold, until set. Serve hot.

Melt chocolate and butter in a bain marie. Mix in the chestnut purée, rum and about ¼ of the cream. Let this ganache cool. Beat the remaining cream until almost stiff, then fold in the chestnut ganache. Chill. Garnish with grated chocolate and marrons glacés.

You can make your own chestnut purée. Boil and peel fresh chestnuts. Place them in a pan with barely enough milk to cover, and boil for about 15 minutes, until the milk is almost absorbed. Sweeten to taste, and pass through a mouli-legumes.

Monte Bianco is an Italian variation. Pass the ganache through a coarse mouli-legumes, directly onto a serving platter, to make a chocolate-chestnut mountain. Cover this mountain with whipped cream to give an alpine effect. Chill and serve, accompanied by further whipped cream for those who want more.

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