Fall Tart: Pumpkin, Coconut, and California Walnuts Gianduja

Adapted by StarChefs.com
October 2014
Yield: 24 tarts


Tart Shell
710 grams all-purpose flour
400 grams brown sugar
80 grams cocoa powder
12 grams baking powder
4 grams salt
120 grams molasses
400 grams diced cold butter
100 grams eggs, room temperature
30 grams milk, room temperature
Melted cocoa butter
Caramelized Pumpkin Cream
150 grams sugar
1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
500 grams cooked and puréed candy roaster pumpkin flesh
3 grams powdered gelatin, bloomed in 18 grams water
Lightened Coconut Ganache
375 grams coconut purée, warmed to 55ºC
15 grams powdered gelatin, bloomed in 90 grams water
1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
750 grams Valrhona Opalys white chocolate, melted
750 grams heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks
Valrhona Opalys white chocolate spray (70:30 chocolate and cocoa butter)
California Walnut and Coconut Praline Crémeux
700 grams California walnut praline
100 grams heavy cream
4 grams powdered gelatin, bloomed in 24 grams water
350 grams cold coconut milk
Pumpkin Glass
300 grams cooked and puréed candy roaster pumpkin flesh
40 grams powdered sugar
50 grams isomalt
10 grams glucose syrup
California Walnut Gianduja
350 grams Valrhona Opalys white chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
150 grams California walnut praline, warmed to 26ºC
1 gram fine sea salt
To Assemble and Serve
Toasted walnut pieces tossed with coconut oil and sea salt
Small Nasturtium leaves


Tart Shell

Heat oven to 325ºF. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, mix flour, brown sugar, cocoa, baking powder, salt, molasses, and butter until the texture of a crumble. Add milk and eggs and mix until dough comes together. Sheet between two silicone mats until dough is 2 millimeters thick; cover and freeze. Cut dough into 3-inch x 2-inch rectangles and arrange in a Demarle silform 5-channel sub roll pan. Set silform on perforated sheet tray and bake 6 to 8 minutes, until Tart Shells are golden brown. Remove from oven and cool. Lightly coat Tart Shells with cocoa butter.

Caramelized Pumpkin Cream

In a heavy pan, combine sugar and vanilla seeds and heat to 155ºC, making a caramel. Deglaze with pumpkin, reduce heat, and cook until mixture is consistency of a tight paste. Remove from heat, cool slightly, add gelatin, and blend with hand blender until smooth. Line a sheet tray with parchment paper. Transfer Caramelized Pumpkin Cream to a piping bag with plain tip, pipe into small dome molds (smaller than the dome mold for the Lightened Coconut Ganache) and freeze.

Lightened Coconut Ganache

In a bowl, combine coconut purée, bloomed gelatin, and vanilla seeds, stirring to dissolve gelatin. Add melted white chocolate and emulsify with hand blender; cool to 35ºC. Fold in whipped cream and pour ganache into Demarle dome molds. Insert Caramelized Pumpkin Cream domes into center of ganache and freeze. Unmold, lightly coat domes with chocolate spray and return to freezer.

California Walnut and Coconut Praline Crémeux

Place walnut praline in a food processor. In a heavy saucepan, heat cream and stir in bloomed gelatin. When gelatin dissolves into cream, pour a small amount into a food processor with praline. Pulse until center of mixture is shiny and elastic, showing the start of an emulsion. Continue processing while adding cold coconut milk. Process until smooth and shiny. Chill in refrigerator.

Pumpkin Glass

In a Thermomix, combine all ingredients and blend until mixture reaches 80ºC. Thinly spread on a silicone mat and dry in dehydrator overnight. Crack Pumpkin Glass into small pieces and store in an airtight container.

California Walnut Gianduja

Over a double boiler, melt one-third of the white chocolate, warming it to 45ºC. Stirring constantly, add remaining chocolate in several batches, carefully monitoring temperature. When temperature reaches 26ºC, stir in vanilla, followed by praline and salt. Heat gianduja to 28ºC and hold. On an acetate sheet, place 24 pieces of Pumpkin Glass and completely cover each piece with gianduja, creating organic shapes. Allow to crystallize and leave attached to acetate until needed.

To Assemble and Serve

On a serving plate, place a Lightened Coconut Ganache dome on a Tart Shell, slightly off center. Pipe a small ball of California Walnut and Coconut Praline Crémeux next to the dome and cover with a few pieces of toasted walnuts and a piece of California Walnut Gianduja-Pumpkin Glass. Finish tart with cornflowers and nasturtium.