I love chestnut, and I can eat it whatever the shape is (grilled, crystallized, spread, cream, in a dessert…). But when it comes to using it to prepare desserts, it can be very sweet. That’s the reason why I use it in general with a tangy fruit to balance its sweetness, but also to bring out its taste. 

For this tart, I chose to associate it with passion fruit. 

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This cake is made of:

  • cake pastry crust (pâte sucrée)
  • chestnut moelleux
  • passion fruit crémeux
  • chestnut vermicelli

Pastry crust

I always prepare this almond shortcrust with the quantities below, use what I need and freeze the rest of the  dough for a maximum of one month, wrapped properly in a cling wrap and placed in an airtight container. I rarely freeze it once cooked, but it can be done for a few days, especially if you don’t have the time to prepare the whole tart on the same day. You can for instance freeze the crust half-cooked, and when needed you just finish blind-cooking it or fill it with almond cream and cook it, in both cases without unfreezing it.
This dough requires 3 hours of resting time, try to respect it, otherwise it will shrink in the oven. And once lined on the tin, it needs at least one more hour to rest. What I generally do: I prepare the dough in the evening, let it rest overnight, and in the morning I line the mold, and bake after at least one hour.

Print Recipe
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Resting Time 4 hrs
Total Time 4 hrs 35 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine French
Servings 585 grammes
Calories 70 kcal

Equipment

  • Scale
  • Sifter
  • Stand mixer with flat beater
  • Cling wrap
  • 20cm stainless steel tart ring (check picture below)

Ingredients
  

  • 150 g Butter At room temperature
  • 1 g Fleur de sel French sea salt
  • 95 g Icing sugar
  • 1 piece Vanilla pod
  • 30 g Almond powder
  • 60 g Egg One medium egg
  • 250 g Flour All purpose - Cake flour - Type 45

Instructions
 

  • Cut the butter in small cubes and let it soften at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. At the same time take the egg out of the refregirator.
  • Place the soft butter in the bowl of the stand mixer equipped with the flat beater.
  • Mix and combine (in this order) with the salt, icing sugar, vanilla seeds, almond powder and the egg.
  • Sift the flour.
  • Add approximately 1/4 to the dough and combine.
  • Add the rest of the flour and mix quickly, just until combined. Do not overwork the dough otherwise it will become elastic and shrink during the baking. At this stage the dough is "creamy" and that's normal.
  • Place it on a cling wrap and flatten it (approximately 2cm thickness). Wrap it properly and let it rest for 3 hours if possible.
  • Take 220g of dough and roll it out to a thickness of 2mm*.
  • Grease the ring and place it on a tray covered with a silicone mat or baking paper.
  • Line the ring* and place it in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
  • Preheat the oven at 165°C.
  • Line the pastry with parchment paper and add baking beans (ceramic ones), to weigh the pastry down.
  • Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the baking beans and the paper and bake for 10 minutes until getting a nice golden color. Do not hesitate to remove the ring and add a few minutes, to have a uniform color on the sides*.
  • Let it cool on on a cooling rack.

Notes

Please refer to the Montage section below.
* Please refer to the Essentials page.
 
Keyword Almond, Dough, Tart

Chestnut moelleux

This thin cake in the middle of the tart brings another texture (very moist and soft), and balances the tangy  passion fruit cremeux. It’s made with chestnut cream.

Print Recipe
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 8 mins
Resting Time 0 mins
Total Time 18 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine French
Servings 1 circle
Calories 70 kcal

Equipment

  • Scale
  • Saucepan
  • Mixing bowl
  • Whisk
  • Stand mixer with whip
  • Spatula
  • Piping bag with 7mm round nozzle

Ingredients
  

  • 20 g Butter
  • 1 pinch Fleur de sel French sea salt
  • 20 g Egg yolk The yolk of a medium egg
  • 120 g Chestnut cream Or chestnut spread
  • 50 g Almond powder
  • 35 g Egg white The white of a medium egg, at room temperature
  • 1 pinch Table salt

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven at 180°C.
  • Melt the butter in the saucepan, add the fleur de sel and set aside.
  • Place the egg yolk and the chestnut cream in a mixing bowl and combine using the whisk.
  • Add the melted butter just warm (around 45°C) and combine.
  • Add the almond powder and mix.
  • Using the stand mixer, whisk the egg white with the table salt until stiff.
  • Add the egg white to the previous mixture using a spatula.
  • Pour the batter into the piping bag, and pipe a 18cm circle, starting in the centre and spiralling out towards the edge.
  • Bake for 8 minutes. The cake should be very moist and form a thin crust on the top.
  • Let it cool.

Notes

Please refer to the Montage section below.
Keyword Batter, Chestnut, Moelleux

Passion fruit cremeux

This cremeux (sort of custard) is meant to be quite sour so that it creates a contrast with the sweet chestnut and will balance each other. You can prepare it in advance and store it in an airtight jar, with a cling wrap directly on the surface. You can freeze it for a couple of weeks, the taste won’t be altered. Whenever you need it, just defreeze it in the refrigerator and then leave it for 10 minutes at room temperature before whisking it to retrieve a creamy texture and be able to pipe it nicely or fill a tart shell.

Print Recipe
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Resting Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine French
Servings 10 slices

Equipment

  • Scale
  • Mixing bowl
  • Whisk
  • Saucepan
  • Strainer
  • Hand blender
  • Cling wrap

Ingredients
  

  • 70 g Butter At room temperature
  • 1 g Gelatin (1/2 sheet) Gold strengh (200 bloom)*
  • 95 g Passion fruit puree Brand Ponthier if possible
  • 5 g Lemon juice Freshly squeezed
  • 100 g Eggs 2 small eggs
  • 50 g White sugar

Instructions
 

  • Soak the gelatin in cold water for 15 minutes.
  • Cut the butter into small cubes and let it soften at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
  • Reheat the passion fruit puree with the lemon juice. Do not boil.
  • Whisk energetically the sugar with the eggs (just for a few seconds).
  • Add 1/3 of the hot liquid to the eggs mix and whisk.
  • Add this mixture to the hot liquid in the saucepan. Simmer over low heat whitout stopping whisking. It should thicken after 2 to 3 minutes and start forming bubbles.
  • Strain into a deep mixing bowl.
  • Wring gently the gelatin and dissolve it in the hot cremeux.
  • Add the butter gradually (in 4 to 5 times) while mixing using the hand blender. Continue blending for 5 minutes to have a soft and light (not buttery) cremeux.
  • Cover with the cling wrap directly on the surface and let it cool in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Notes

Please refer to the Montage section below.
*Please refer to Essentials page.
Keyword Cremeux, Passion fruit

Chestnut vermicelli

This mixture can be prepared in advance and stored in the refrigerator of frozen. You can add a little rhum.

Print Recipe
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 0 mins
Resting Time 0 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Course Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine French
Servings 10 slices
Calories 210 kcal

Equipment

  • Scale
  • Stainless steel mixing bowl
  • Hand blender
  • Piping bag
  • Vermicelli tip

Ingredients
  

  • 150 g Chestnut puree Unsweetened
  • 50 g Chestnut cream
  • 1/2 piece Vanilla pod
  • 35 g Whipping cream 35% milk fat

Instructions
 

  • Scrape the vanilla seeds from the pod by splitting it using a (sharp) knife.
  • Place all the ingredients in the bowl and mix with the hand blender until getting a smooth cream.
  • Pour the cream in the piping bag.

Notes

Please refer to the Montage section below.
Keyword Chestnut

Montage

Once the tart shell properly cooled, melt some white chocolate or (preferably) cocoa butter and paint with a basting brush a thin layer onto the sides and bottom of the tart shell and let it set for a few minutes at room temperature.

Pour some of the passion fruit cremeux (once cool but not yet set) in the tart shell to cover the bottom. Add the chestnut moelleux and press it slightly. Cover with cremeux till the top. Place the tart in a (metallic) airtight box and let it set in the refrigerator for 1 hour. 

Cover with the chestnut vermicelli using the special nozzle if available, otherwise a round 4mm nozzle. This layer should be thin otherwise the tart won’t be balanced.

Bon appétit!

Additional comments

When preparing the dough, try not to overwork it in order to get a light and crumbly pastry. Actually the more you work and beat the batter, the more the gluten will be activated and will form elastic strands, making the dough tough and stretchy and thus will shrink when baked.

It’s important to respect the resting time for the dough, before rolling it out and after lining the ring. This will relax the gluten particles and prevent the shrinkage of the pastry. 

For a more modern look and a nice finishing, I prefer to use the tarts rings especially the perforated ones, they allow a better grip of the dough and more uniform baking. If you cannot find those type of rings, you can simply use any stainless steel ring or tin.