I had a chance encounter with a Swiss pastry chef over the weekend. Being both highly educated and from a mountainous European country, he of course knew quite a lot about mont blanc. He described what he considered to be the “new conventional” approach to the pastry: a tartlet crust filled with frangipane, chocolate mousse or whipped ganache; a meringue center, and; a “chestnut cream” vermicelli on top made from chestnut paste folded together with buttercream.
I’m not sure I’m convinced of the approach, since this version now has too little chestnut paste for my taste. I’d also like to incorporate whipped cream since that’s foundational to the, shall we say, “classic” version of the dessert. So at this moment I’m thinking I’ll go with the tartlet crust which I’ll fill with sweetened chestnut paste. I’ll use the meringue center idea (basically a meringue cookie placed on top of that) and top it with a chestnut cream made from chestnut paste folded together with stabilized whipped cream. I’m not sure if that last bit will work, but there’s no reason it shouldn’t.
This way I’ll have the chestnut flavor, a foundation that won’t collapse and all the essential flavors and textures in one package. In theory. Comments? Changes?