The Great Australian Bake Off



  • Shortcrust pastry

  • 250g plain flour

  • 65g pure icing sugar

  • 150g chilled unsalted butter, diced

  • 1 egg

  • Frangipane

  • 100g unsalted butter, chopped

  • 100g almond meal

  • 100g pure icing sugar, sifted

  • 2 eggs

  • Caramel crumble

  • 100g caster sugar

  • 2 tablespoons water

  • Chocolate mousse

  • 60g dark chocolate (55%)

  • 3 teaspoons light extra virgin olive oil

  • 100ml pure cream

  • Pinch Australian pink sea salt flakes

  • Stabilised cream

  • 1 gold gelatine leaf, softened in cold water for 5 minutes

  • 200ml thickened cream

  • 50g pure icing sugar, sifted

  • Chestnut puree

  • 260g chestnut puree, chopped

  • 200g chestnut spread (sweetened)

  • Decorations

  • Dusting sugar 

  • 4 glacé chestnuts

  • 2 sheets gold leaf


  • 1.

    Preheat oven to 180°C fan-forced.

  • 2.

    For the shortcrust pastry, process flour, icing sugar and butter in a food processor until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add egg and pulse until a dough forms. Press into a flat disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

  • 3.

    For the frangipane, melt butter in a small saucepan, cool.

  • 4.

    Mix almond meal and sugar briefly in a stand mixer to combine. Add eggs, one at a time and beat until combined. Gradually add the cooled, melted butter until mixed through. Transfer frangipane into a piping bag and set aside.

  • 5.

    For the caramel crumble, line an aluminium baking tray with baking paper.

  • 6.

    Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan, stirring over low heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil over high heat. Boil, without stirring, for 3-4 minutes or until light golden. Remove from the heat and quickly pour onto prepared tray, tilting tray to get a thin layer. Set aside to cool. Break caramel into rough pieces, place into a small chopper attachment and blend with a stick blender to a fine crumb.

  • 7.

    For the chocolate mousse, place chocolate and olive oil in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water. Stir occasionally with a metal spoon until melted. Cool slightly.

  • 8.

    Meanwhile, whisk cream in a large bowl with a hand whisk to soft peaks. Gradually add chocolate mixture and salt to the cream, whisking to combine. Pour mousse into 15 hole (4cm wide) silicon sphere mould, level with a cranked spatula and freeze for 40 minutes or until set. Turn out onto a baking paper-lined tray, set aside in freezer until ready to use.

  • 9.

    Meanwhile, line an aluminium oven tray with a non-stick baking mat. Place 8 ring moulds (7.5cm x 2.5cm-high) on prepared tray. Roll about 40g of pastry on a lightly floured surface to 3mm-thick. Line the base and sides of each mould, pushing into edges. Trim excess pastry from the top edge. Refrigerate for 10-15 minutes.

  • 10.

    Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of caramel crumble into a raw pastry shell, spreading evenly over the base. Pipe a layer of frangipane halfway on top of caramel crumb, (about 1 ½ tablespoon, 12mm from the top edge. You may have a little left over). Repeat process with remaining raw pastry shells.

  • 11.

    Bake for 18-22 minutes or until pastry and frangipane are golden and bases are cooked.

  • 12.

    Carefully remove ring moulds and place tarts on a wire cake rack. Refrigerate for 15-20 minutes or until cool.

  • 13.

    For the stabilised cream, place gelatine in cold water to soften. Heat 50ml of the cream on high in the microwave for 30 seconds. Remove from microwave. Squeeze gelatine to remove excess water then add to the cream. Stir to dissolve. Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer. Add remaining cream and icing sugar and whisk to soft peaks. Transfer into a piping bag fitted with a size 10-round nozzle. Set aside at room temperature.

  • 14.

    For the chestnut puree, place chestnut puree in a food processor and blend until smooth. Add chestnut spread and pulse to a smooth paste. Place in a piping bag fitted with a Mont blanc nozzle. (grass tip nozzle)

  • 15.

    To assemble, place a tart in the centre of a turn table, pipe a small 5cm circle of cream in the centre and top with a single chocolate mousse, flat side down.

  • 16.

    Whilst slowly spinning the turn table, pipe cream in a spiral from the top edge of the tart shell up to the top of the mousse. The cream should come to a peak, completely cover the mousse and have evenly sloped edges. Place in the fridge. Repeat with remaining tarts, mousse and cream.

  • 17.

    Remove tarts one at a time from the fridge and place on turntable. Slowly spinning the turn table continuously pipe chestnut puree over the cream in a spiral from the top edge of the tart shell to the tip of the cream, to completely cover. Repeat with remaining tarts.

  • 18.

    To decorate, sprinkle a little dusting sugar over each Mont Blanc like a snow-capped mountain. Place a quarter wedge of glacé chestnut on top and using a paring knife lift a small piece of gold leaf off the sheet and onto the glacé chestnut.

  • 19.

    Serve on a cake stand.

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