Dacquoise is a classic French dessert that originated from the 17th century. The name literally means "takes too long to make" in french and that's not an understatement. The recipe starts off with a meringue that's usually folded with almond or hazelnut before it's baked. The meringue is then layered with cream/frosting, praline, custard, and additional hazelnut or almond.

Dacquoise can be used in a number of ways. It can serve as layers for a cake-like construction, as buns for some macarons or even as a nice variation to pavlova. Give or take, the recipes involving this dessert are endless to one's imagination.

From the sound of it, a dacquoise seems overly complicated. However, this usually applies to a more traditional recipe or at least a deliberately elaborate one. Our dacquoise is less intimidating as it only consists of two components.

The first is the baked meringue with up to three disc layers. And the second is some simple the cream that will sit in between those layers. This dacquoise quite similar to the chocolate meringue tower recipe I covered a long time ago, except the meringue will have ground hazelnut and/or almond folded into it while the cream will be buttercream instead of cream chantilly.

The recipe

Meringue Ingredients:

  • 250 g blanched whole hazelnut, almond, or both
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 250 g superfine sugar
  • 6 egg whites
  • 1 pinch kosher salt

Buttercream Ingredients:

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 4 cups icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp milk or more

Garnish ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup blanched whole hazelnut, almond or both
  • 1 /4 granulated sugar

The directions

Meringue Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 160 °C and make sure the rack is positioned in the center of it. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment and set aside.
  2. Grind together the almonds/hazelnuts, cornstarch and about 100 grams of the sugar in a food processor until well combined. Set the dry mix aside.
  3. Choose two stainless steel bowls for separating the eggs in order to maintain stability for whipping. Crack open the eggs and place the yolks in one bowl and the whites in the other. Seal and refrigerate the yolks for another recipe.
  4. Add the kosher salt to the whites and whip with an electric hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachments on medium speed for 2 minutes or until they form soft, white peaks. Switch to a higher speed and begin adding the remaining sugar to the whites by the tablespoon, pausing for 30 seconds in between additions. Eventually, the peaks will become stiff. Do not overbeat.
  5. Fold the dry mix into the whites by the tablespoon until fully combined.
  6. Transfer the finished raw meringue to a piping bag fitted with a simple tip. Place a 7-inch round plate/cookie cutter in the center of each parchment covered tray and draw a circle around the inner sides with the meringue using the piping bag. Draw smaller circles on the insides of the first ones until the entire space within them is filled with the meringue. Carefully remove the plates/cookie cutters.
  7. Place the trays in the oven and bake for an hour. Turn off the oven and open the door but let the meringue discs stay in to cool for 4 5 minutes to prevent them from cracking.

Buttercream and Garnish Directions:

  1. For the buttercream, beat together the butter, icing sugar and vanilla extract with the electric mixer on medium speed for 3 minutes or until smooth and fluffy.
  2. Add the milk by a tablespoon to adjust the consistency.
  3. For the garnish, grind together the almonds/hazelnuts and the sugar in a food processor until well combined. Set both the buttercream and garnish aside.

Assembly Directions:

  1. Transfer the buttercream to a clean piping bag fitted with a simple attachment. Pipe half the amount of the buttercream in large swirls around the outer and inner regions of the surface of the meringue disc. Stack the second disc and repeat the process with the remaining buttercream.
  2. Stack the third and final disc on top of them to complete the three meringue layers. Dust the final meringue layer's surface with the garnish.
  3. Serve or seal and refrigerate.

Serves: 8