Chocolate Hazelnut Dacquoise
This is the only photo I have of this yummy creation so It’ll have to do!
I was inspired to make a Dacquoise after seeing a pistachio Dacquoise with Raspberries in the Martha Stewart holiday Sweets magazine. I didn’t have any raspberries or pistachios but I did have hazelnuts and chocolate!
A dacquoise is a dessert cake made with layers of almond and hazelnut meringue and whipped cream, pastry cream or buttercream. It is usually served chilled and accompanied by fruit. A particular form of the dacquoise is the marjolaine, which is long and rectangular and combines almond and hazelnut meringue layers with chocolate buttercream. (From Wikipedia. I’m not actually that smart!)
It wasn’t the best day to make a meringue as it was pretty humid but I had a lot of egg yolks left over from my croquembouche filling and thought I should use them up. I had to bake my meringues quite a bit longer than the recipe stated. My middle layer became quite chewy in between the layers of pastry cream but I’ve never had a Dacquoise before so I don’t have anything to compare it to. It did taste mighty yummy!
Chocolate Hazelnut Dacquoise recipe inspired by Martha Stewart
- 1 cup roasted hazelnuts
- 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
- 6 large egg whites
- 1 cup sugar
- pinch of salt
- pinch of cream of tartar
- Pastry cream (recipe follows)
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1/2 cup cugar
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 2 cups milk
- 1/2 cup chocolate ganache
For the Meringue:
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Rub the hazelnuts in a kitchen towel to remove the skins and chop the nuts. Toss the chopped buts with the confectioners sugar and set aside.
On parchment paper, use a pencil to draw 3 – 8″ circles. Place the parchment pencil side down onto baking sheets.
Set a heat proof bowl over a small pot of simmering water and add egg whites, granulated sugar, cream of tartar and salt. Whisk until sugar is dissolved and mixture is hot to the touch.
Remove the bowl from the heat and whisk egg white mixture to form stiff peaks.
Gently fold the nut/sugar mixture into the egg whites.
Using an offset spatula, spread one third of the meringue onto each parchment circle.
Bake for one hour at 200 degrees, rotating the pans after 30 minutes.
Reduce oven to 175 degrees and continue to bake 45 minutes-1 hour, OR until the meringues are dry and can be lifted off the paper. I added an additional 45 minutes to my baking time.
Turn the oven off and let the meringues hang out in the warm oven for another 45 minutes before removing them to cool completely.
You can store the meringues for 1 day in an air tight container.
Now we can make pastry cream!
Whisk together 1/4 cup of the sugar, egg yolks and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk in the cornstarch one tablespoon at a time.
Bring milk and remaining 1/4 cup of sugar to a simmer over medium heat. whisk a little bit of the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture, keep whisking and gradually add the remaining hot milk to the egg yolks mix. Pour everything back into the pan and bring to a boil while whisking.
Cook until the mixture is very thick. About 2-3 minutes. Pass through a fine sieve to get rid of any solids in the cream.
I had some chocolate ganache left over from another recipe so I stirred in about half a cup.
Cover the pastry cream with plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto the top of the cream to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate for at least one hour.
Assembling the Dacquoise
Whip up 1/2 cup of whipped cream to stiff peaks.
Take chilled pastry cream and whip it up until it’s smooth.
Fold the whipped cream into the pastry cream.
Put one meringue down on a baking pan under a sheet of parchment.
Put half of the pastry cream on top of the meringue and spread it leaving a 1″ border around the edge.
(If you have some chocolate sauce you can drizzle a swirl of chocolate sauce on top of the pastry cream and marble it through with a knife)
Place the second meringue on top and top with another layer of pastry cream and chocolate sauce.
Place the final layer of meringue on top and gently press it down to spread the filling almost to the edges.
Freeze 2-3 hours. (You want the filling to be solid but not totally frozen all the way through)
Just before serving, remove from the freezer and whip up the remaining 1 cup of heavy cream. I added a few tbsp of chocolate sauce.
Top the meringue with whipped cream and chocolate shavings or curls.
Serve right away.