If there is one summit we rarely hesitate to tackle, it is this one. Delightfully wrapped in chestnut puree (crème de marrons), simultaneously intense and light, so creamy and yet so textured, the Mont-Blanc is often considered a winter specialty. Tragic mistake, for Bread & Roses offers a summery version of this dessert, in which a few changes have been made to the original recipe. Will it convince the jury?
This dessert is composed of a crumbly cookie topped with Chantilly cream and red berry compote, both of which are entirely covered in swirls of chestnut cream. The whole is decorated with a few raspberries and blueberries, as well as a minute meringue petal, and dusted with an icing sugar substitute.
The Summer Mont-Blanc by Bread & Roses has a diameter of 79 mm and a height of 48 mm. The specimen we purchased weights 140 grams and costs 7.50€.
This cake does not emit a very pronounced smell, although we do recognize the aroma of the fresh red berries sitting on top. The little decorative meringue is a wink to the traditional Mont-Blanc, as meringue is otherwise absent from this version. It is clever touch, which however does not add much from a gustatory point of view. We start by tasting the chestnut puree, which has a pasty and perfectly smooth texture, is only lightly sweet, and discretely vanilla-scented.
Underneath the chestnut puree, we discover a surprisingly parsimonious layer of Chantilly cream. Its presence seems merely designed to create a separation with the red berry compote hidden within. The compote is in fact a sort of jelly containing pieces of fruit in its center. It’s fresh and tart, and we find in it pieces of cherry. It makes a nice contrast with the mild silkiness of the chestnut puree. Finally, the shortcrust cookie at the base is very crumbly and breaks at the first touch. It seems to have been made from crushed, re-assembled crumbs, and is pleasantly spiced.
To us, a Mont-Blanc should contain meringue, as the texture contrast it normally creates with the chestnut puree is in great part what gives its charm to this dessert. Meringue is absent from the Summer Mont-Blanc by Bread & Roses, but we are willing to forgive this given the freshness brought by the generous berry compote and the lightness of the Chantilly cream – even if the latter is administered in a pediatric dose. These two elements bring out the summery-ness of this dessert, the compote adding an aqueous touch whose acidic notes pierce through the surrounding mildness of the chestnut puree. The shortcrust cookie at the base adds additional texture to the composition, but could gain from being slightly less crumbly so as to create more of a crunch. Overall, this is a pleasant summery re-interpretation of a classic of French pastry-making, assembled with care, and in which the emphasis is placed on contrasting flavors rather than contrasting textures.
Score: 3.9/5 Very good
25 rue Boissy d’Anglas, 75008 Paris, France
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