Treat of the Week: Almond Joy Dacquoise

This week I had the pleasure of guest posting over at The Pink and Blue Blog.  This blog is a collection of great food,fashion, design, cool stuff, and wonderful graphics.  The author shares her love story to her husband from a His and Hers perspective.  It is a terrific blog that I know you will enjoy.

Apparently, Ms. Pink and Mr. Blue are suckers for the sweets.  I am fairly sure that is what lured her to Today's Nest from the start.  For my guest spot I wanted to be sure to make a treat that also addressed the His and Hers perspective.   I decided on something that is at once light and delicate (pink) and rich and hearty (blue)… a dacquoise.  The dacquoise is a layer cake of sorts made from meringue disks.  As a standard you will find the disks layered with butter-cream, but we have opted for a sinful cream-based truffle frosting instead.

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Because the meringues in a dacquoise typically include ground almonds or hazelnuts, we thought it would be a good idea to take it a step further and bring on the flavor of an Almond Joy bar.  A combination of chocolate, almonds, and coconut simply cannot miss.  The meringues add an extra element by making the treat crispy and a little chewy.

savour… the best of both worlds

Get the rest after the jump...

Almond Joy Dacquoise

Before you start:

Be careful not to grind the almonds too fine or they will become oily and clump.

If you do not have superfine sugar, try whirring some granulated sugar in your food processor for about 30 seconds.  That should do it.

Baking is science. For this recipe, all ingredients should be at room temperature.

Your mixing bowl must be clean and oil-free when you start whipping the egg whites for best results.

The batter will make four 7 inch circles.  I used a drawing compass to make my circles, but you could draw around a plate.  Just keep it close to 7 inches.

If there will be a delay between cooled meringues and assembly, be sure to store the meringues in an airtight container.  Air is the enemy here.

This is best served right away, but could be kept in the refrigerator.  The meringues will soften.

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The ingredients:

  • ¾ cup almonds / 120g
  • ½ cup superfine sugar / 110g
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 4 egg whites
  • ⅓ cup superfine sugar / 75g
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • Batch of truffle frosting (see recipe here)
  • ½ cup shredded coconut
  • ¼ cup of slivered almonds
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The method:

  1. Preheat oven to 200˚.
  2. Draw two 7 inch circles on two separate sheets of parchment paper with at least 1 inch of space all the way around.  Turn over on a baking sheet so circles show through the back side.  Set aside.
  3. Grind almonds, ½ cup sugar, and cornstarch together until you get the consistency of cornmeal.  Set aside.
  4. Whip eggs and cream of tartar on medium speed until you reach the soft peak stage.
  5. Turn mixer to high speed and very gradually sprinkle in the 1/3 cup superfine sugar.  Whip on high speed until very stiff peaks form (see photo).
  6. Gently fold in ground almonds.
  7. Transfer the batter to a piping bag or large freezer bag with tip cut off at about ½ inch.
  8. Starting in the center of a circle, pipe an outward spiral of batter all the way to the edge of the circle outline.  Repeat for the other 3 circles.
  9. Bake for 1 ½ to 2 hours or until completely dry.
  10. Turn the oven off and allow the meringues to cool in the oven.
  11. Make the truffle frosting while you wait for meringues to cool.
  12. When cooled, assemble the dacquoise by alternating meringues and frosting layers starting with meringue and finishing with frosting.
  13. Sprinkle the top with slivered almonds and shredded coconut.
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