Our good friends Bruno and Astrid are bringing over tomorrow night a couple of dishes–an ox-tail dinner and a bacalao dish as well. Me? It’s doing the sides and…dessert.

Now, I have never made this dessert before, which calls for three essential components:

1) meringue mixed with ground almonds and hazelnuts and sugar, then baked for 90 minutes…left in the oven to rest for 90 more minutes

2) buttercream frosting…which is the bane of my baking existence: every attempt I’ve made has come out too runny, so Lord Adria be with me tonight. So far the pastry cream has come out fine and is in the fridge, cooling and waiting for later tonight’s assembling

3) ganache–no problem, done it a dozen times before so I’m confident

Here is the pastry cream, later to be combined with amaretto liqueur, espresso powder, and a whole lot of butter.

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These are the almond meringues–I think despite the timing indicated, they may be overdone. I tasted the trimmings and they are almondy and sweet, but pretty crisp. Problem later?

Also close examination might reveal that the two interior layers are about a half inch less wide than the top and bottom–the entire sheet of meringue cracked in half during handling, but I think I managed to rescue it…to a degree, anyway.

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Then there is the ganache, which will be on each layer and also smothering the entire kit and kaboodle. JEEZIS, I can see that the second or third time would be more charming.

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Here is a shot of the assembled but uncovered Dacquoise.

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And here is the finished product…

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And right after we cut into it! It tasted just fine, the meringue wasn’t overdone, and it was incredibly rich and tasty! Despite all my consternation…it was a successful dessert!

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