A dacquoise is a meringue with ground nuts folded through it before baking. It is similar to a macaron shell, but not beaten as vigorously, so that it doesn’t form a smooth shell, but more of a rustic meringue. The finished result is very cakelike, but also very light because of the lack of fat in the finished cake.
Dacquoise is a curious term as it can be used to describe the cake layer itself, or the finished dessert, which is usually a layered cake filled with mousse or creme patissiere.
This recipe was taken from William Curley’s book Couture Chocolate, I didn’t actually change a thing about the recipe. It was an interesting recipe and I wanted to see how it would turn out, the finished cakes are so delicious and the filling is like a grown up Nutella.
I’ve made a lot of dacquoise on the blog and I’ve had issues in the past where they cracked or stuck to the baking sheet completely. I’ve now discovered that this happened because I wasn’t cooking the dacquoise enough, they should be easy to remove from the greaseproof paper or silicone mat.
This recipe uses a lot of egg whites, if you don’t have them stored in the freezer, then it will leave you with a lot of leftover egg yolks. I used mine to make a delicious Spanish omelette, but you can make creme patissiere, curd or mayonnaise with them.
If you want to try making these, the recipe is below. The filling is made with a hazelnut praline paste, you can make your own and it will taste delicious, but the last time I tried to make my own I burnt out the motor on my stick blender! The process involves making a hazelnut praline and then blending it in a food processor for so long that it becomes a liquid, then melted chocolate can be added to the paste to become gianduja.
The paste is also used in the filling of a Paris-Brest and it tastes fantastic, but I now prefer to buy my own (it’s cheaper than buying a new stick blender every time). Valrhona make a delicious hazelnut and almond praline paste and so do Callebaut.
Chocolate & Praline Dacquoise
- 150 g Icing Sugar
- 75 g Ground Almonds
- 75 g Ground Hazelnuts
- 45 g Plain Flour
- 225 g Egg whites approx 7 eggs
- 90 g Caster Sugar
- 75 g Flaked Almonds
- ***Praline Ganache***
- 215 ml Whipping Cream
- 125 g 70% Cocoa Chocolate chopped into small pieces
- 125 g 35% Cocoa Chocolate chopped into small pieces
- 40 g Unsalted Butter room temperature, cubed
- 175 g Hazelnut Praline Paste
- To make the ganache, bring the cream to a boil, place the chopped chocolate in a bowl and pour the cream over the chocolate.
- Stir until the chocolate has melted, then stir in the butter until it has melted, finally add the hazelnut praline paste and stir until combined. Leave the ganache somewhere to cool - but do not refrigerate it, as it will be too hard to pipe.
- Preheat the oven to 160C Fan, line two baking trays with non-stick baking mat or greaseproof paper.
- Grease a 6cm cookie cutter or pastry with with a flavourless oil, unless you have more than one cookie ring this size, you'll need to keep cleaning it and oiling it between piping the cakes out.
- To make the dacquoise mix the icing sugar, ground almonds, ground hazelnuts and flour in a bowl.
- In an electric mixer slowly whisk the egg whites, gradually adding the sugar and increasing the speed. Mix until the meringue forms stiff peaks.
- Gradually fold in the dry ingredients using a spatula, be careful to combine the mixture without knocking out a lot of the air, but making sure it's evenly mixed and there are no pockets of dry mixture.
- Spoon the mix into a piping bag, cut a hole in the end and using the rings, pipe 12 circles on each of the sheets, ensuring you have 24 in total. You will find that some of the mixture sticks to the ring, use a palette knife to shape and level the dacquoise into discs.
- Sprinkle the top of each disc with flaked almonds and dust lightly with icing sugar. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes and then leave to cool.
- To assemble the dacquoise, spoon the ganache into a piping bag, snip of the end and pipe spirals onto half of the discs, top each swirl with another disc. These last up to two days stored in an airtight container at room temperature.
If you can't get ground hazelnuts, use 80g of whole blanched hazelnuts and grind them in a food processor or mini chopper until they are a very fine texture, then weigh out 75g of them and continue with the recipe.
If your ganache has set too hard, give it 30 seconds in the microwave on a low temperature to soften it.
Thanks for reading.