Get more of Kim’s holiday recipes in the online article Tarts, Trifles & Cookies From Northern Michigan’s Bella e Dolce.
3-4 dozen boat-shaped tart shells (Kim orders hers from Chef Source, chef-source.com.)
1/4 cup butter, room temperature 1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons powdered almonds (almond flour)
2 teaspoons rum
1 teaspoon vanilla 1 egg
1 cup water 1 cup granulated sugar 1 tablespoon liqueur (cassis, kirsch or framboise)
2 teaspoons rum Remaining simple syrup
1 35-ounce can of sweetened chestnut purée (Find it at specialty stores or online at pastrychef.com.) 12 tablespoons butter, softened
8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter 3 tablespoons corn syrup
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar with the paddle attachment until fluffy. Add powdered almonds and mix to incorporate. Add rum and vanilla and mix. Add egg and mix until very fluffy.
Using a piping bag, pipe almond cream mixture into each tart shell. Fill full. Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown, about 10 to 12 minutes.
In a small saucepan, bring water and sugar to a boil and stir until sugar is dissolved. Cool in refrigerator. Pour half of syrup and liqueur into a separate bowl and stir. May add more liqueur to taste. Brush the tops of each baked-and-filled tart with syrup.
Add rum to remaining half of simple syrup.
Using the paddle attachment of a mixer, mix together the chestnut purée and butter until thoroughly incorporated. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of simple syrup to the chestnut cream and beat with paddle until smooth. Fill a piping bag with the chestnut cream and using a St. Honoré tip (Ateco brand #A880), pipe 3 diagonal lines along the top of each tart. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. (Leftover chestnut cream can be frozen for up to 6 months). While chestnut cream is chilling, make chocolate glaze for dipping.
Add all three ingredients to a small microwavable bowl and heat at half power in 1-minute intervals, stirring at each interval, until melted. Whisk until completely smooth. Glaze is best used when it is lightly warm to the touch of a finger.
Put chocolate glaze in a small deep bowl. Take chestnut cream–piped tarts from refrigerator, holding them by the sides of the tart shell, turn upside down and dip into the chocolate glaze up to the top edge of the shell. Allow excess to drip off and make sure entire top of tart shell, almond cream and chestnut cream are coated. Let set until the glaze hardens. May be stored at room temp or in the refrigerator.