Delfina Romanengo, of the famed confections shop in Genoa, makes this dessert at home using meringues and marrons glaces from the shop.
- 20 marrons glacés
- 1 cup superfine sugar
- 1⁄8 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 2 egg whites, at room temperature
- 4 cups heavy cream, chilled
- 3 Tbsp. confectioners' sugar
- 5 oz. bittersweet chocolate, shaved with a swivel blade peeler (to yield about 2 cups)
Preheat oven to 250°. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Quarter 7 marrons glacés and set aside. Combine superfine sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Beat egg whites in the bowl of a standing mixer on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form. Reduce speed to low and gradually add sugar mixture, beating constantly. Increase speed to high and continue beating until meringue is thick and glossy and holds medium-stiff peaks, about 15 minutes.
Transfer meringue to a pastry bag fitted with a1⁄2" plain pastry tip. Holding pastry tip perpendicular to parchment paper, pipe meringue into 40 1 1⁄4" mounds about 1⁄2" apart. Using a small knife, drag pointed meringue "tail" at top of each mound along middle to make a raised crease like the indented one on a peeled chestnut. Bake meringues until dry, 20–25 minutes. Set aside to let cool completely.
Whisk cream and confectioners' sugar together in a large bowl until stiff peaks form. Transfer whipped cream to a clean dry pastry bag fitted with a large plain pastry tip and pipe one-third of the cream into a 10" disk onto a large cake plate. Scatter 10 of the meringues, then half the quartered marrons glacés, then 3⁄4 cup of the chocolate, over cream, in that order, then cover with half the remaining whipped cream. Repeat layering once more, ending with remaining whipped cream. Decorate perimeter of cake with whole marrons glaces and sides of cake with remaining meringues. Sprinkle top with remaining chocolate. Serve immediately.
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