Monte Blanc Cupcakes
Ok, so the whole reason I became a pastry chef was because of the obsession I developed with French pastries when I went on my first and only trip to Paris. I came back and applied to work in a pastry shop straight away. So these cupcakes are inspired by a really gorgeous French pastries! Look them up!
Vanilla bean cupcakes with chestnut cream frosting, Classic French dessert, re-imagined into a cupcake.
Monte Blanc Cupcakes
- 1 1/4 cups plain flour all-purpose
- 3/4 cup caster sugar superfine
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp fine salt
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter softened
- 1 large egg
- 3/4 cups full-cream milk whole
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp Greek yoghurt or sour cream
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract vanilla bean paste
- 1/2 cup chestnut cream recipe below
- 1 cup chestnut spread I used the St Dalfour brand
- 4 egg whites room temperature
- 1 cup caster sugar superfine sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp cream of tartare can use freshly squeezed lemon juice or apple cider vinegar in it’s place
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 4 cups chestnuts
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Add sugar and water to a medium sized saucepan. Bring to a boil. Take off heat and set aside to cool down.
- Start off by using a large sharp knife to cut the fresh chestnuts in half.
- Place in a microwave safe bowl with a little bowl of water in the centre. Microwave for 5 min and allow to cool for 5 min.
- Peel away the chestnut skin.
- Place in a medium sized saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil. Reduce to medium heat and simmer for 12 minutes until chestnuts are tender. Drain, but keep water
- Add to a food processor and process until smooth. You may need to use some water to help loosen the mixture. You want to it to be a smooth thick paste.
- Add 2 tbsp simple syrup along with vanilla extract to the chestnut paste and mix until well combined. You want to loosen the paste up enough with the syrup to the point where it’s thick enough to pipe and still hold it’s shape so go slow with the simple syrup.
- Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to cool.
- Place about an inch of water to a medium sized pot and bring it to the boil.
- Add your egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar to a large, clean metal bowl. Mix using a whisk or handheld mixer to help combine all the ingredients.
- Place the bowl with the egg mixture on top of your pot of boiling water making sure the bottom of the mixing bowl doesn’t touch the bottom of the pot. Mix on high speed for 5 min or until the sugar in the mixture completely dissolves. You can check this by dipping two (clean) fingers into the mixture and if you can’t feel any grains of sugar it’s ready to take off the pot. Mix on high speed once you’ve taken it off the heat (about 5-6 min) until the mixture cools down and gets thick and glossy. You want to reach stiff peaks so that the frosting holds it’s shape well.
- This frosting can be refrigerated and stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days but is best when used right away.
- Preheat a fan-forced oven to 160C (320F) or 180C (356F) for a conventional oven. Line a cupcake tin with cupcake liners.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the flour, baking powder, caster sugar and salt. Turn mixer on low speed and allow it to mix for a couple minutes to help everything combine well (alternatively you may do this by sifting the ingredients together). Add the softened butter and let it mix until it resembles a fine sand like texture.
- Next, add milk, eggs, yogurt, oil and vanilla extract in a large jug and whisk well.
- Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients in a slow and steady stream until no dry ingredients are visible. Scrape down the bowl, add chestnut cream and mix for another 20 seconds.
- Fill each cupcake liner 3/4 of the way (using an ice cream scoop to transfer the batter into the cupcake liners makes this a quick and easy process otherwise you can use two tablespoons).
- Bake for 20-25 min or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow them to cool completely on a wire cooling rack before frosting.
- Core the centre of each cupcake and fill with chestnut spread. Fit the end of a piping tip with a medium round tip and frost in a high swirl.
- Fit another piping bag with a small round tip (about 5mm in width) and frost a long snail around the meringue.