Thomas Schauer
Contemporary Chestnut Mont-Blanc, adapted from Daniel: My French Cuisine by Daniel Boulud & Sylvie Bigar with essays by Bill Buford.
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Contemporary Chestnut Mont-Blanc

Daniel: My French Cuisine, Daniel Boulud & Sylvie Bigar with essays by Bill Buford - December 30th, 2013

This recipe has been adapted from Daniel: My French Cuisine by Daniel Boulud & Sylvie Bigar with essays by Bill Buford―a book featured in Word-to-Table Cooking, Food Arts' yearly roundup of chef-authored cookbooks.

Serves 6 (requires advance preparation)

Chestnut biscuit:

  • 3/4 cup plus 2 1/2 Tbsps. sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup chestnut flour
  • 3/4 Tbsp. baking soda
  • 1/3 tsp. salt
  • 1 egg
  • 5 1/2 Tbsps. clarified butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup chestnut puree
  • 10 candied chestnuts, drained and finely chopped
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Line 9” by 13” rimmed baking sheet with a Silpat or parchment paper; spray with nonstick cooking spray.

  2. Sift sugar, flours, baking soda, and salt into bowl of electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment; on medium speed, add egg and stream in melted butter; mix until well combined; add chestnut puree; add candied chestnuts; mix to incorporate well.

  3. Spread batter evenly over baking sheet; bake 10 minutes, or until golden brown; cool at room temperature, then chill in refrigerator.

  4. With ring cutter, cut at least 6 circles slightly smaller than the circumference of 6 individual dome molds; reserve.

Mandarin jam:

  • 3 Tbsps. plus 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. apple pectin
  • 1 cup fresh mandarin orange juice
  • 1 Tbsp. glucose syrup
  1. In small bowl, mix sugar with pectin.

  2. In small saucepan, bring mandarin juice and glucose to simmer; add sugar mixture; simmer 2 minutes, while whisking; remove from heat; pour into at least 6 small Flexipan dome molds; freeze.

Vanilla bavarois:

  • 3 Tbsps. plus 1 tsp. sugar
  • 4 lg. egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 Tahitian vanilla bean, halved and seeds scraped
  • 4 sheets gelatin, bloomed in cold water
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream, whipped to medium peak

Note: Mandarin jam domes must be frozen solid before preparing bavarois.

  1. In medium heatproof bowl, whip sugar and yolks to combine.

  2. In small saucepan, combine milk, vanilla seeds, and vanilla pod; bring to simmer; temper into egg yolk mixture; return yolk mixture to saucepan; cook, while whisking, until mixture reaches 185°F; remove from heat; mix in gelatin to dissolve; strain through chinois into medium bowl; cool to room temperature; fold in whipped cream until no streaks remain.

  3. Scoop bavarois into a piping bag with a large tip; fill 6 dome molds 1/3 full; unmold mandarin domes; press 1 frozen mandarin dome onto each bavarois; pipe remaining bavarois on top, to coat; lightly press 1 biscuit into bavarois, until flush with the rim of the mold; smooth tops with offset spatula; freeze until set, about 1 hour.

Chestnut mousse:

  • 1 cup chestnut puree
  • 1 1/3 cups heavy cream, 1 cup whipped to soft peak
  • 2 sheets gelatin, bloomed in cold water
  • 2 Tbsps. Bourbon
  • 2 1/2 Tbsps. unsalted butter, at room temperature

Note: Bavarois domes must be frozen solid before preparing mousse.

  1. In medium saucepan over medium heat, combine chestnut puree with the 1/3 cup heavy cream; stir until combined; bring to simmer; remove from heat; stir in gelatin, Bourbon, and butter; cool to room temperature; transfer mixture to large bowl; fold in whipped cream until no streaks remain.

  2. Transfer mousse to a piping bag; fill 6 large dome molds 1/3 full; press 1 frozen bavarois dome into center of each until biscuit is level with the top of the mold; pipe more mousse around the edges, if needed; spread mousse with an offset spatula until flush with the rim; freeze until solid.

White chocolate glaze:

  • 6 oz. chopped white chocolate, chopped (we recommend Valrhona Ivoire 35 percent)
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 7 Tbsps. glucose syrup
  • 1/3 cup condensed milk
  • 5 1/2 sheets gelatin, bloomed in cold water
  • 1 drop white food coloring, optional

Note: Bombs must be frozen solid before preparing glaze.

  1. Place chocolate in double boiler set over low heat; melt.

  2. In small saucepan set over medium heat, combine sugar, glucose, and 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsps. water; heat, stirring, until mixture reaches 221°F; remove from heat; stir in condensed milk and gelatin.

  3. Remove chocolate from heat; stir in liquid until well combined; add white food coloring, if using; cool to 95°F.

  4. Unmold the frozen bombes; place on rack set over baking sheet; using large ladle, pour chocolate glaze over bombes, fully coating sides; reserve in refrigerator 4 hours to thaw before serving.


  • dark chocolate glaze, for drizzling
  • 6 candied chestnuts, strained and halved
  • 12 sticks pulled sugar, to garnish

To serve, slice 1 bombe in half; set on chilled dessert plate; drizzle chocolate over bomb; garnish with chestnut halves and pulled sugar sticks.

Recipe from DANIEL: My French Cuisine by Daniel Boulud. Copyright © 2013 by Daniel Boulud. Used with permission by Grand Central Publishing. All rights reserved.