So, when I first read Carrie’s list of culinary goals for 2011 one of the things on her list was dacquoise. Moments later I was googling, cause what the heck is dacquoise?? I just wasn’t sure. I’d never heard of it before, had no clue how to pronounce it and was pretty sure I’d never eaten it before. This was one of the few things on her list that wasn’t on my own list but after doing a little research, I couldn’t wait to get to that part of the list.
Dacquoise (pronounced da-kwaz) is a dessert cake made with layers of nut meringue, whipped cream or butter cream and sometimes accompanied by fruit. Making the dacquoise wasn’t difficult at all. I found a recipe on the site Zoe Bakes. Having no prior experience making dacquoise, I didn’t alter anything and I let Zoe lead the way with her recipe.
A mixture of beaten egg whites, almond meal and sugar gets piped into large 9″ circles and then baked at a low temperature until dry. These become your “cake” layers. The dacquoise came out perfectly!
In addition to layers of buttercream you can also add layers sponge cake. Really, your imagination is the limit. I chose to layer my dacquoise with homemade almond buttercream, ripe red raspberries and ganache. The taste of the almonds with the rich chocolate and the tart raspberries was amazing.
This was such a tasty dessert! It’s easy to make and will definitely make another appearance in the future. I also think the dacquoise layers would be great if you made small ones and sandwiched them with some buttercream or ganache to make cookies.
Dacquoise with Almond Buttercream and Raspberries
Adapted from portions of Saveur
3 (9″) dacquoise layers (I used this recipe)
1 cup heavy cream
8 ounces high-quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 cups granulated sugar
5 egg whites, room temperature
1 lb. unsalted butter, cut into pieces and softened
2 Tablespoons almond extract
Make the Ganache:
– Heat the cream in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove from heat and add the chocolate. Let it sit for 1 minute then whisk until smooth. Set aside until it is thick enough to spread.
Make the Buttercream:
– Combine 1/3 cup water and 1 1/2 cups of the sugar in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until it reaches 250 degrees on a candy thermometer.
– Put egg whites in the clean bowl of a stand mixer and whisk on medium-low speed for 2 minutes. Increase the speed to medium and whisk the whites to soft peaks, about 1 1/2 minutes.
– Gradually add the remaining 1/2 cup sugar while continuing to whisk, then increase speed to medium-high and whisk until whites form stiff peaks, about 2 minutes.
– Carefully pour the syrup into the whites, whisking until cool, about 10 minutes.
– Add the butter bit by bit, whisking constantly until the buttercream is shiny and fluffy, about 8 minutes. The mixture may curdle but will come back together.
– Whisk in the almond extract.
– Place the first dacquoise layer on work surface, spread with buttercream and a layer of halved raspberries.
– Place the next dacquoise layer on top and spread with ganache. (My ganache wasn’t setting up as quickly as I would have liked so I did a border of buttercream as well. This actually served well and provided a buffer between the next layer. The ganache fully set in the fridge before serving.)
– Place the final dacquoise layer on top. Dollop or pipe buttercream decoratively on top layer and top with more raspberries.
– Chill in the refrigerator at least 5 hours.