This airy, snowcapped mountain of chestnuts and chocolate is a fitting end to Christmas dinner.
What to buy: Traditionally, you’d peel the chestnuts yourself, but why should you when there are very good (and very labor-free) jarred roasted chestnuts to be had? The author uses Minerva brand, which worked the best for us too.
Special equipment: Get a potato ricer to make this dish properly. It’s a relatively inexpensive and very useful piece of kitchen equipment to have anyway.
Game plan: You can easily make this a day or two ahead, but save the final ricing until just before you serve.
This recipe was featured as part of our 2006 Neo-Classic Holiday Dinner menu.
Variations: You could make individual mountains, on dessert plates, ricing the chestnuts over a scoop of vanilla or chocolate ice cream. This is called gilding the lily. And if you really want to gild, you could make shatteringly crisp meringue circles as a base for individual mountains, with or without ice cream.
Beverage pairing: Graham’s 10 Years Old Tawny Port, Portugal. A rich dessert, both nutty and chocolaty, must be matched with a wine that can stand up to it on all counts. Tawny port will have nutty characteristics, overtones of dried fruit, toffee, and chocolate, and plenty of intensity. Graham’s is one of the lusher, richer tawnies out there.