I have a confession. This cake recipe was originally made for a Japanese man I had a fat crush on wayyy back in Fall 2014. His name is forbidden to say (or even type) but pssst! It’s something-something-something-moto….something. My friend who worked with him told me that he had a late and long shift on an upcoming Friday night. As any impulsive naive baker in love would do, I decided to bake his favorite cake, the Mont Blanc cake, and sneak it to him at his office that night. A week prior to this Friday night deadline, I researched everything about this cake- its roots in France and Japan, the variety of chestnut pastes, and even the chemical and structural composition (in section and elevation) to give him the best.
As the clock ticked on Friday 6:44 PM (a thick layer of creme de marons spread across my strained neckline), I quickly assembled the Mont Blanc cake for him. I prepared the prettiest sponge cake, piped cream chantilly in one tough squeeze, continuously swirled cream chantilly, dusted the top with gold flakes…. boxed the cake, ran, and squeezed through office doors and handed it to him before the security kicked me out by 9PM… That night is forbidden to discuss, but I’ll tell you that he humbly bowed to me and surely enjoyed the cake! Yes, cake always wins.
Little did I know that this little cake was the most challenging cake for me to build. The first round of mont blanc cake tests took a brutal 3 days… Day 1. Sponge cake – overcooked and too sweet. Day 2. Cream chantilly too runny Day 3. Marron chantilly – too soft. Cream chantilly is this sweetened vanilla flavored whipped cream and marron chantilly is the piped paste that swirls around and over all that heavenly goodness. I wish I could tell you that I made these in one smooth process. Yet, I had to repeatedly revise after my disasters, re-bake about a hundred sponge cakes, re-pipe the marron chantilly every morning and night, and force-feed my coworkers for feedback for 5 consecutive days… yet I learned over all of those failed attempts how to properly make this delectable Japanese Mont Blanc cake.
Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you my final models and set instructions for this smooth and creamy Moto Mont Blanc Cake.
- 1 1/4 Cup sugar
- 2 cups Cake flour
- 2 tsp Baking powder
- 4 Large eggs
- 1 tbsp Vanilla
- 1 cup Whole milk
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (170 C) and spray a standard muffin tin with oil.
Sift together 2 cups of cake flour with the 2 teaspoons baking powder into a medium bowl.
Heat one cup of milk in a small saucepan until it almost boils and remove from the heat.
Beat the 4 large eggs in a large metal bowl until foamy, then add the 1 1/2 cup of sugar. Continue to beat on medium-high speed until the batter is thick. Add one teaspoon of vanilla and reduce the mixer speed to medium. Pour the hot milk in a steady stream and quickly beat in the flour mixture.
Fill each muffin cup until 2/3 full and bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes or until a toothpick can be pulled out clean. Remove from oven and let the cakes sit for 1-2 hours until it cools to room temperature.
Level off the tops of the sponge cake by turning each cake to its side and slicing the tops off with a bread knife. Using a melon baller (or spoon), scoop out the center of the sponge cake. Slice a candied chestnut in half and place the halved chestnut on the carved out center.
- 1 cup Heavy whipping cream (47% butterfat, chilled)
- 1 tbsp Confectioner’s sugar
- 1 tbsp Vanilla
- 1 cup creme de marrons
To make the cream chantilly, mix all the 1 cup of 47% heavy whipping cream, 1 tablespoon of confectioner’s sugar, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla in a metal bowl with a stand or electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form.
Attach the pastry bag with a 3mm tip. Fill the pastry bag with the cream chantilly filling and pipe out the cream chantilly over the chestnut center. Cover and set it the cakes in a refrigerator for at least 1 hour until the cream chantilly sets. Remove cakes from fridge when ready to prepare the marrons pastry cream.
- 1 cup Creme de marrons
- 1 cup Pate de marrons
- 1 tsp Rum
- 2 tbsp Heavy whipping cream (35% butterfat, chilled)
- Edible gold flakes (optional)
- Confectioner’s sugar (optional)
To make the marrons chantilly, mix the 1 cup of creme de marrons, 1 cup pate de marrons, 1 teaspoon of rum, and 2 tablespoons of 35% heavy whipping cream in a metal bowl with a stand or electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form. If needed, add more rum or heavy whipping cream in small increments to make the right consistency for piping.
Attach the pastry bag with a Mont Blanc tip. Fill the pastry bag with this marrons chantilly and slowly pipe out the marrons chantilly starting from the center, out clockwise. Garnish with optional toppings like edible gold powder or confectioners sugar. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes until serving.
- Standard sized muffin tin
3 mm pastry tip
Mont Blanc pastry tip
Electric / hand mixer
- If you don’t have a muffin tin, you can bake the sponge cake with a 8″ cake tin and cut out with 2.5″ cookie cutters. It is best to mix with an electric mixer so that the consistency is smooth and the whipping cream is at its right consistency or else it won’t pipe well.
- Creme de marrons and chestnut paste can be found at Tomizawa. You can also find these marron ingredients in specialty ingredients stores or websites like Amazon.
Dish towel from Karin Carlander. All ingredients found at Tomizawa.