Dacquoise is a French dessert made of two hazelnut meringue layers and coffee cream in between. Hazelnut meringue reminisces macarons like structure because is made of egg whites and hazelnuts meal (you can use almond meal as well). They are crunchy outside and chewy inside. Coffee cream is traditional prepared as ‘creme patisserie’ (homemade custard like) with whipped cream. I decided to make it a little easier and replaced custard with mascarpone cheese which did not decrease neither texture nor taste. The whole dessert is very delicious. Enjoy!
two baking sheets
Ingredients for meringue layers:
- 250 g hazelnuts
- ½ cup + 2 tablespoons icing sugar
- 6 egg whites
- 200 g caster sugar
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
- pinch of salt
- 8 dried dates
- 250 g mascarpone cheese*
- 350 ml whipping cream
- 3-4 tablespoons icing sugar
- 1 tablespoon instant coffee (powder)
- 2 tablespoons coffee liquor (I used Kahlua)
* use real Italian mascarpone cheese without corn starch
Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C) and line a baking tray.
Spread nuts on the baking tray. Roast for 10-12 minutes until starts to smell pretty. Remove nuts from the oven and place them in a sheet of paper towel. Peel their skin off by scratching one by another throw the towel. Process in a food processor until meal. In a medium bowl mix them with icing sugar and corn starch.
Preheat oven to 300°F (150°C). On two sheets of parchment paper draw two circles using dinner plate as a stencil (the diameter about 9 inch). Place paper sheets onto baking trays.
Beat egg whites and salt with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Gradually add sugar (1 tablespoon at the time) and beat on high speed until stiff glossy mixture and all sugar consumed. Turn off the mixer and fold in nuts with icing sugar. Mix gently with rubber spatula. Divide mixture into half and spread each portion on baking sheets on drawn circles. Bake for 45 minutes. Check the meringues after 15 minutes, if they get brown to quickly decrease oven temperature to 285°F. Meringues are ready if they are dry to the touch and could be easy removed from paper. Turn off the oven and leave them inside to cool for at least 3 hours or overnight.
Make cream: blend dates until thick paste. Add some water to have thick but liquid mixture. Whip the cream until stiff peaks. Gradually add (1 tablespoon at the time): mascarpone cheese, 2 tablespoons dates’ paste, icing sugar, coffee powder and liquor.
Gently remove meringues off the paper. Place one on the serving plate. Fill the piping bag ended with star (1M) nozzle with the coffee cream. Pipe large rosettes on the meringue layer, one by one. If some cream left pipe the second layer on made rosettes. Cover with the second meringue layer and dust with cocoa powder. This dessert is the best on the next day as the meringues get slightly moist and are easy to slice.
Tags: coffee, dates, glutenfree, hazelnut, mascarpone.