Coffee, Chocolate and Hazelnut Dacquoise

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Serves

    10

Appears in

100 Desserts to Die For

100 Desserts to Die For

By Trish Deseine

Published 2020

  • About

An impressive dessert, made up of layers of meringue, hazelnut praline, chocolate ganache and coffee cream. Delectable!

Ingredients

For the meringue:

  • 250 g (9 oz) blanched hazelnuts
  • 300 g (10½ oz) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 25 g (1 oz) cornflour (cornstarch)
  • 6 egg whites
  • 1 pinch salt

For the chocolate ganache:

  • 150 g ( oz) dark chocolate
  • 125 g ( oz) thin (pouring/whipping) cream

For the coffee cream:

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 50 g ( oz) cornflour (cornstarch)
  • 125 g ( oz) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 600 ml (21 fl oz) full-cream (whole) milk
  • 2 tablespoons very strong espresso coffee
  • 200 ml (7 fl oz) thin (pouring/whipping) cream, well chilled

For the hazelnut praline:

  • 150 g ( oz/ cup) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 150 g ( oz) blanched, toasted hazelnuts

Method

MAKE THE MERINGUE. PREHEAT THE OVEN TO 180°C (350°F/GAS 4). Grind the hazelnuts in a food processor, not too finely. Spread the ground hazelnuts on a baking tray and toast in the oven for 10–12 minutes, stirring once or twice. Let them cool. Combine the ground hazelnuts with 100 g ( oz) of the sugar and the cornstarch.

LOWER THE TEMPERATURE OF THE OVEN TO 150°C (300°F/GAS 2). Beat the egg whites with the salt to soft peaks in a mixing bowl, then add the rest of the sugar and beat for 2 minutes until you have a firm and glossy meringue. Fold in the hazelnut mixture using a large spoon.

MAKE 3 DISCS OF MERINGUE, EACH ABOUT 20 CM (8 INCHES) IN DIAMETER, ON SOME BAKING PAPER. You can use a piping bag to do this if you like. Bake the meringues for 1 hour, rotating the baking trays regularly so the meringues cook evenly. Turn off the oven and let the meringues cool with the oven door ajar.

MAKE THE GANACHE. Break the chocolate into pieces in a mixing bowl. Heat the cream in a saucepan and pour it over the chocolate. Let it stand for 1 minute, then stir to melt the chocolate. Let the mixture cool.

MAKE THE COFFEE CREAM. Whisk the egg yolks with the cornflour and sugar until they are pale and have doubled in volume.

BRING THE MILK TO THE BOIL IN A SAUCEPAN. Pour it over the egg yolks and add the coffee, whisking at the same time. Return the mixture to the saucepan and simmer for 2 minutes on a very gentle heat, stirring at the same time. The custard will thicken. Take it off the heat and cover with plastic wrap in contact with the surface of the custard, and let it cool.

WHIP THE CREAM WITH AN ELECTRIC BEATER UNTIL LIGHT, THEN GRADUALLY FOLD IT INTO THE COFFEE CUSTARD

MAKE THE PRALINE. Melt the sugar in a saucepan to make a caramel. Roughly chop the hazelnuts and spread them over some baking paper or a silicone mat. Pour over the caramel. Let the praline harden and set aside to use for decoration.

TO ASSEMBLE THE DACQUOISE, SPREAD A LAYER OF CHOCOLATE GANACHE ON THE MERINGUES, FOLLOWED BY A LAYER OF THE COFFEE CREAM. Finish with a disc of meringue and decorate with the praline, broken into pieces.