Chocolate Délice

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Nutty dacquoise layers are interspersed with dark chocolate and whipped cream and covered with sweetened toasted almonds. This attractive dome-shaped dessert must be made ahead and frozen before serving.

Ingredients

Ganache Cream

  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate
  • cup (3 ounces) cup heavy cream

Filling and Frosting

  • cups (12 ounces) heavy cream
  • cup (65 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Decorating Equipment

8-inch stiff cardboard round, cake decorating turntable

Method

Advance Preparations

Prepare Classic Dacquoise. Prepare Decorator’s Sliced Almonds. Store in an airtight metal container until ready to use.

Making Ganache Cream and Frosting

When ready to assemble the dessert, prepare Ganache Cream by chopping the chocolate into matchstick-size pieces, then placing them in a 1-quart mixing bowl. Pour the cup heavy cream into a 1-quart saucepan and heat just to boiling. Pour the cream over the chocolate and stir with a whisk until the mixture is glossy and smooth. Set aside to cool.

Whip the cups heavy cream with the sugar and vanilla in a 3-quart bowl or the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer until soft peaks form and the beaters make tracks in the bowl that stay in place but do not move to close (piping stage). Store the whipped cream in the refrigerator until the ganache is cooler and has a spreading consistency.

Assembling the Dessert

Using the 8-inch cardboard round as a guide, trim any uneven edges from one of the dacquoise disks with a small paring knife. Rest the knife against the cardboard as you cut.

For the second disk, use a 7-inch saucepan lid as a guide to reduce its 8-inch diameter. (This reduction is merely for the sake of drama; it creates a natural curve which, when frosted with whipped cream, will form a dome shape.)

Now check if each disk is level; trim with the knife if necessary. Place the 8-inch dacquoise disk on the cardboard round.

Decorating the Cake

Spread the surface of both dacquoise disks with ganache, using a rubber spatula. Remove the whipped cream from the refrigerator; since it has been in the refrigerator for a while, whisk it briefly to unify the whipped mass again. Spread the larger disk with some of the cream, about ¾ cup. Place the 7-inch dacquoise layer on top, pressing gently to level it.

Place the dessert on the turntable. Spread the remaining cream over the top and sides with a flexible metal icing spatula. To finish the dome shape, rotate the turntable with one hand, while moving the spatula from the bottom of the dessert upward along its contour to the center top. Continue this procedure, forming the dome.

Place Decorator’s Sliced Almonds on a baking sheet. Hold the cake in one hand directly over the pan filled with almonds. Tilt the cake slightly, and with the other hand, gently press the nuts into the cream. Rotate the dessert until it is almost covered. Sprinkle the top to cover it completely. Press lightly with the clean blade of a metal icing spatula to ensure that the nuts adhere neatly.

Place on a baking sheet in the freezer for an hour to firm the cream. Then, to ensure the dessert is protected in the freezer, place it with its cardboard round in the top of a metal container. Now invert the bottom of the metal container and place it over the dessert. (To avoid disaster and to remind yourself of this different type of storage, mark “Top” on the inverted tin’s bottom.)

Serving the Dessert

Remove from the freezer to the refrigerator up to 2 hours before serving.