(This recipe appeared in the Fall 2020 issue of Pastry Arts Magazine)
I love the flavor of chestnut. It’s a festive treat around the holidays in France, and during my childhood my Mom used to make a chestnut style of mashed potatoes for Christmas with a complex, slightly sweet flavor and nutty, buttery texture. Food experience is constantly training our taste buds to recognize new flavors and combinations, so with this dessert I wanted to highlight a French classic – the ‘Mont Blanc’ – and what the chestnut flavor has to offer to our palate.
Yield: 18 individual tarts
Silikomart Kit Tarte Ring Montblanc 80mm, Mold and Perforated Ring
Demarle Flexipan Inspiration Baking Mat, outer dimensions 14″ x 10″ and 3/4″ high
Sweet Tart Dough
- 350 g all-purpose flour
- 190 g unsalted butter
- 120 g confectioners’ sugar
- 45 g almond flour
- 65 g whole eggs
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter and flour on medium speed to obtain a sandy texture. Add the remaining ingredients and mix until just combined. Wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before use.
- Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and roll it to a thickness of 2 mm. Using a 4” pastry cutter, cut out 18 rounds and shape and press each one into a perforated 80mm ring. Remove the excess dough with a paring knife. Freeze the shells for 20 minutes.
- Place the shells on an AirMat and bake at 338˚F (170˚C) for about 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Set aside to cool.
Wild Berry Compote
- 500 g wild blueberries, divided
- 2 g lemon zest
- 1 g lemon juice
- 2 g vanilla bean, split and scraped
- 100 g water
- 90 g granulated sugar
- 300 g blueberry purée
- Combine 250 g of the wild blueberries with the lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla bean, water, sugar and blueberry puree in a small saucepan. Cook over a medium heat for about 10 minutes.
- Add the remaining half of the wild blueberries and cook for 8 minutes more, stirring frequently.
- Fill half sphere silicone molds with the compote and freeze.
- Remove from the molds and keep the Wild Berry Compote frozen until ready to use.
- 375 g unsalted butter
- 375 g granulated sugar
- 600 g chestnut cream
- 375 g almond flour
- 8 whole eggs
- 6 g vanilla extract
- 21 g rum
- 42 g pastry flour
- Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle and cream together. Add the chestnut cream and combine well. Add the almond flour and mix to combine. Add the eggs, vanilla extract and rum, gently beating until all is mixed. Finish by adding the flour and mixing until well combined.
- Spread into a rimmed Flexipan baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes in a convection oven at 340˚F (171˚C). Cool and cut out 2 1/2” (6.35 cm) diameter circles using a round cookie cutter. Set aside.
- 120 g unsalted butter, softened
- 50 g confectioners’ sugar
- 300 g chestnut purée
- 30 g rum
- In a mixing bowl fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and confectioners’ sugar at medium speed until creamy. Add the chestnut paste and rum and mix for 30 seconds, or until well combined. Transfer to a small bowl.
- Using the back of a spoon, spread the chestnut rum cream over the entire interior of the Silikomart Kit Tarte Ring Montblanc 80mm mold. Chill for 15 minutes.
- 2 g vanilla bean, split
- 500 g whole milk
- 140 g egg yolks
- 130 g granulated sugar
- 32 g gelatin sheets, bloomed
- 300 g mascarpone cheese
- 450 g heavy cream, whipped
- Infuse the vanilla pod in the boiling milk (it is preferable to make the infusion 12 hours in advance).
- Bring milk to a simmer. Remove from heat.
- Whisk egg yolks and sugar in medium bowl to blend. Gradually whisk hot milk mixture into yolk mixture. Return custard to saucepan. Stir over low heat until custard thickens and reaches 185˚F (85˚C). Add the drained gelatin to the hot custard sauce, stirring to dissolve. Add the mascarpone and process with hand blender for few seconds. Cool completely.
- Gently fold in the whipped cream.
- Using a pastry bag, pipe into molds on top of the Chestnut Rum Cream, filling them ¾ full.
- Place the frozen half sphere of Wild Berry Compote on top of the Vanilla Bavaroise. Finish with a thin layer of Vanilla Bavaroise. Smooth over the top with an offset spatula. Freeze until set.
- Unmold the Mont Blanc.
- 250 g dark chocolate
- 250 g cocoa butter
- Melt the chocolate and cocoa butter together, stirring until smooth.
- Using a Wagner paint sprayer, spray a fine mist evenly across the surface of the chilled Mont Blanc shape. Set aside.
- 18 candied chestnuts, diced
- 18 caramel dipped marzipan-shaped chestnuts, for garnish
- Sprinkle 1 diced candied chestnut over each tart shell. Place 1 Chestnut Sponge round inside each pastry shell and press down on the cake lightly. Spread over the Chestnut Rum Cream to make an even and level top. Place the frozen Mont-Blanc shape onto the center of the tart shell.
- Garnish the top with a caramel-dipped marzipan shaped chestnut.