I absolutely adore any dessert made in the style of a Mont Blanc. A traditional French dessert which pops up in patisseries at Christmas time, it is classically made with a creamy chestnut purée or mousse that is piped in thin strands like vermicelli noodles to be shaped like a mound.
It is topped with a cloud of whipped cream with or without crushed meringues to finish, in the spirit of the snowy mountain that is the namesake of this pudding. Chocolate will feature somewhere too. Classic French patisserie is perhaps best left to the professionals when nerves are fraught from the seemingly never-ending to-do lists and dare I say it, battling the shops for festive food and last minute gifts.
Luckily, a baked cheesecake takes no special skill beyond having the patience to let it chill thoroughly before serving. My Mont Blanc Cheesecake is an achievable showstopper to wow your guests with this Yuletide.
Much like a mountain, you build up strata upon strata of deliciousness with this cheesecake. Starting with the “soil” – here, a layer of bourbon biscuits (or Oreos if you can’t find them where you are). A nice chocolatey foundation to layer up the silkiest smooth chestnut cheesecake layer which, seeing as it’s Christmas, has a splash of rum in.
My taste testers said it gave the cheesecake a Bailey’s vibe and you could use that if you prefer or Frangelico if you have a bottle of that collecting dust in the liqueur cabinet as it’s hazelnut taste, would pair beautifully against the nuttiness of the chestnut.
To finish the edible Mont we are building, pipe rosettes of vanilla seed studded whipped cream as if they were snowy peaks atop the mountain peaks. Top each slice with a little nugget of that very seasonal, very extravagant treat – marron glacé. The way they glisten like amber jewels finishes this party-ready treat perfectly. The chocolate chips give a little texture to this luxurious and silky smooth dessert and if you can’t manage marron glacé, extra chocolate is hardly a bad thing.
My preference for cheesecake is always to bake it and preferably, in a water bath. I think I could write a whole book just about my love for cheesecake though and the various ways to make it! The silky texture is just sublime, luxurious is definitely the word to describe it.
It’s not a difficult thing to do but you must check before you start that you have a deep roasting tin or casserole which will take the 9 inch spring form pan. See my Cherry Bakewell Cheesecake for more photos on how to make a baked cheesecake (and of course, for another delicious cheesecake recipe – Hungry Hubby and I can’t have Christmas without cheesecake!).