This recipe for Chocolate Dacquoise comes from the King Arthur Flour website. I use it on my Foodie trips to the Dordogne region of France. Thin-crispy meringue layers sandwich a rich Nutella filling with a caramel whipped cream.
The term Dacquoise refers to the thin-crispy meringue discs which have ground almonds or hazelnuts mixed into them and it also refers to the completed cake.
Whip the Meringue:
Place the egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on medium speed until fine bubbles form.
Increase the speed to medium-high and whip until soft peaks form. With the mixer running, gradually add the sugar and whip until the meringue is stiff and shiny but not dry.
In a small bowl, whisk together the nut flour and cocoa powder. Sprinkle half of the mixture over the whipped egg whites and use a spatula to fold into the whites. Repeat with the second half of the cocoa mixture, folding just until the color is uniform and no longer streaky. The mixture should be smooth and thick.
Pipe the Dacquoise:
Trace circles on pieces of parchment. Turn the parchment over on a baking sheet so the ink side is facing down.
Using a piping bag or small spatula, form disks of batter inside the circles on the parchment.
These 21-inch pastry bags make easy work of piping the Dacquoise into perfect circles. They come in a roll of 100 bags which will last a long time, plus, I reuse mine often if they are used for whipped cream or this Nutella filling. If you use them for piping a raw meat filling into a tortellini or ravioli, simply toss them out when you are done using them.
Baking the Dacquoise:
Put two oven racks equidistant from the top and bottom of the oven and preheat to 225°F. Bake the disks for 1 hour. Turn off the oven, and leave the disks inside to dry for at least 3 hours, or as long as overnight.
This extra time in the oven allows the Dacquoise to dry out and become crisp.
Place the caramel in a medium heatproof bowl with 1/2 cup of the heavy cream. Heat in the microwave in 20-second bursts, stirring in between, until the mixture is smooth. Stir in the remaining heavy cream. Place in the bowl of a stand mixer and put the bowl in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
When ready to assemble the cake, beat the mixture until soft peaks form. Add the salt and confectioners’ sugar and beat until the cream holds a medium peak.
Hazelnut (Nutella) Filling:
The filling is very easy to make. In the bowl of your mixer, combine the soft butter, Nutella, vanilla extract and powdered sugar and beat with the whisk attachment until fluffy and smooth.
Another option for this dessert is to turn it into a Pistachio Dacquoise. Simply replace the hazelnut flour with finely ground pistachios and use a Cream of Pistachio in place of the Nutella. Sprinkle the completed dessert with some cracked pistachios.
Place one of the dacquoise disks on a serving plate and pipe marble-sized spheres of the hazelnut filling onto it, leaving some spaces in between for the whipped cream. Spread a third of the caramel whipped cream over the hazelnut filling and top with the second disk. Pipe with the remaining hazelnut filling and another third of the whipped cream. Top with the last disk, piling the remaining whipped cream on top. Sprinkle with chopped nuts.