The combination of chocolate and hazelnut is another of those insanely good things that melt my heart and make me go weak at the knees – particularly when combined with meringue and filled with cream in the form of a âteau.
Chocolate hazelnut dacquoise is another of my kedvenc cakes, my friends. In other words, it's among my absolute favourites, On our recent travels, I've enjoyed versions of these at a few venues – including the Porterhouse Bistro in Moss Vale, NSW and the award-winning ONA Coffee House in Fyshwick, ACT.
Now, allow me to be completely honest with you. I try NOT to bake dacquoise too often, as I find that I morph into Miss Piggy and devour the entire gâteau to myself. I just can't help it. I love these so much! ❤ That said, I thought it was time to make one and share my recipe with you. So, this is my take on a recipe from Steven Wheeler's Sweet Success – a cookbook that has graced my shelves for many years, and brought me much culinary pleasure too.
Note, the fresher the eggs and the hazelnuts, the better your dacquoise will be!
CHOCOLATE HAZELNUT DACQUOISE
50g hazelnuts, lightly toasted, finely ground
4 free range egg whites, room temperature
200g vanilla infused caster sugar
1 level tablespoon cocoa powder, sifted
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
For the cream filling:
275 ml mascarpone
2 tablespoons vanilla infused caster sugar
100 ml double cream
2 teaspoons Sailor Jerry spiced rum, optional
hazelnuts or shaved chocolate, to decorate
a little of the cream filling
Preheat your oven to 140 degrees C. Line three baking trays with parchment on which you have drawn an 18-cm/7-inch circle. (Or, use those pre-cut rounds of baking paper).
To make the meringue, place the egg whites into a clean Pyrex bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer) and whisk until the whites are thick. Gradually add the caster sugar, a little at a time. Continue to whisk until the egg whites are stiff and the sugar is incorporated. Sprinkle the finely ground hazelnuts, cocoa and cinnamon over the egg whites and fold in gently, using a spatula.
Spoon equal quantities of the chocolate hazelnut meringue onto the three prepared trays. Using a palette knife, spread the mixture evenly around the circles on the parchment, taking care that the meringue is level and nicely shaped. Bake in the preheated oven at 140 degree C for 15 minutes, then lower the heat to 120 degrees C and bake for a further 45 minutes or so. Cool completely, then gently peel off the baking paper.
Meanwhile, whip the mascarpone with the cream, sugar and rum. Using a palette knife, spread the cream between the layers and sandwich them together. For a richer dacquoise, you can grate some dark chocolate over the cream (if desired), or spread with some melted chocolate! As my jeans are already tightly fitting, I use only the mascarpone cream. Reserve a little of the cream to pipe decorations onto the top of the cake. Decorate with toasted hazelnuts, chocolate curls or chocolate latticework if desired.
Now, the secret to a truly delicious result is to let the cream to 'soften' the meringue ever so slightly. To achieve this, allow the dacquoise to rest in the refrigerator for an hour or so before serving. This quantity serves 6. Or one Miss Piggy!
Tell me dear readers and fellow cooks, do you enjoy the combination of chocolate and hazelnuts? Do you ever morph into Miss (or Mister) Piggy? Do tell! (^_-)
Cooking and writing have been a lifelong passion.
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- Liz Posmyk
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NB: I use Australian standard measuring cups and spoons in my recipes.