I like challenges, whether regular cooking or baking opportunities. When it comes to baking, it’s mostly numbers, precision, and of course technique. A Dacquoise is a cake made of meringue layers mixed with whipped cream or buttercream. The Dacquoise meringue, though, includes ground and toasted hazelnuts and almonds as well as the expected egg whites and sugar.

Once you’ve mixed those ingredients together, they are spread over a piece of parchment paper and baked at low temperatures for about 90 minutes, then rest in the cooling oven for another 90 minutes. You’re left with a fantastic, big square meringue cookie.

20131231-222557.jpg

When the big ol’ meringue cookie comes out, you need to trim it square. The edge pieces are sweet and could make a snack later.

20131231-222947.jpg

If you’re creating a chocolate espresso Dacquoise as I made, you’ll need to cut the sheet into four equal rectangular shapes for each layer. This is kinda a bitch as you must proceed quite slowly with a serrated knife, bring careful not to break the meringue–its fragile. And of course, I broke it. Dang!

20131231-222754.jpg

There’s more than the cookie…you need to make a buttercream with espresso, as well as a chocolate ganache. Timing is a bit critical as the pastry cream needs to be cooled, the ganache needs to be cooled, and each time the layers are applied the cake needs to be cooled so that it doesn’t turn to mush.

Be patient, don’t notice that this particular cake got layered a tad lopsided, and make it yourself at home.

20131231-223916.jpg

Do bear in mind that what with cooling, chilling, and all, this cake got started at 8AM and wasn’t finished till about 3PM. It got eaten to crumbs in less than ten minutes.

Advertisements