Chestnuts don’t always have to be roasting on an open fire at Christmas: they can be sweetened and piled into tiny, mountain-shaped meringues, with cream and chocolate, for a low-FODMAP, gluten-free pudding. You don’t have to make your own meringues. If you do, you can simply shape dollop-y nests, using a dessertspoon instead of piping, although this seems like a missed opportunity to easily impress. You can see from the video that my FODMAP friendly mini Mont Blanc require very little skill!
Most people with IBS can tolerate 60g of whipped cream. Chestnut puree is made with boiled chestnuts, this serving is well within the low-FODMAP safe serving of 168g. Do check the ingredients for any rogue FODMAPs. If you can get ready sweetened puree from Clement Faugier, please do, it’s delicious! Otherwise I have given you a recipe to make your own. Depending on the size of your egg white you may have some cream and chestnut left over - I call these a breakfast bonus.
It is easier to use a stand mixer to whisk the eggs. You can use a handheld electric whisk but it would take a very long time if you were to use a balloon whisk. When you lift the whisk out of the whisked egg white, and it holds its shape in peaks, you have reached the stiff peak stage. When the cream holds its shape briefly before flopping over, you have reached the soft peak stage.
1 medium egg, separated.
1.5 x caster sugar to the weight of egg whites
(My egg white weighed 32g so I used 48g of caster sugar)
150g whipping cream (do not use double cream)
50g plain chocolate
150g of sweetened chestnut puree
150g of unsweetened chestnut puree
½ tsp. vanilla extract
3 tbsp. icing sugar
Preheat a non-fan oven to 120°C - you will need to watch the oven temperature like a hawk. Line a baking sheet with non-stick baking paper. Place a piping bag, fitted with a large rosette nozzle, upright, in a tall glass.
Ensure your bowl is dry and entirely free-from all traces of grease. Whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Add the caster sugar one tablespoon at a time, whisking well inbetween to make sure all the sugar is combined. Stop when the meringue is looking thick, peaky and glossy. Fill the piping bag with the meringue. When piping it is really important you squeeze from the top down and not the middle.
Pipe the meringues onto the lined baking sheet in 5cm nests: it’s easier to start piping from the middle outwards and finish with an extra swirl around the outside edge. Bake in the middle of the oven for 1 hour.
The meringues will be ready when they lift away from the paper. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for half an hour on the baking sheet.
If you are using unsweetened puree, beat all the ingredients together until smooth. Fill a piping bag fitted with a small nozzle (2mm is ideal) with the now-sweetened chestnut puree. Whip the cream until it reaches a soft peak stage, fill a piping bag with the same nozzle you used to pipe the meringues.
Lay the meringues on a platter. Pipe in some chestnut puree in the base of the nests, then cover with piped cream. Top the cream with squiggles of chestnut puree in a haphazard, craggy design. Finally grate the chocolate over the tops. These will get sticky and soft as they stand so try to serve within the hour. Alternatively, make all the elements separately and assemble at the last minute.