So, what exactly is dacquoise? Well, some people say it’s French for 'takes all day to make' and it’s true, there’s a bit of work in getting dacquoise right. But what you end up with is truly delicious.
Basically, dacquoise is a meringue with a spongy texture – it’s crisp and meringue-like on the outside, and soft and moist on the inside. The main ingredients are nuts and egg whites.
Dacquoise can be used as a layer of a cake, or two layers can be sandwiched together with a filling. For the salty sticky wheelie, we’re going to make hazelnut dacquoise.
Print out the recipe and listen to the audio as he talks you step-by-step through the process.
160g whole hazelnuts
150g pure icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
200g egg whites
50g caster sugar
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Preheat oven to 180°C.
Line a large tray with baking paper. Using an 8cm-diameter tart ring, trace around the base to draw two 8cm-diameter circles on the tray. Set aside.
Arrange the hazelnuts on another tray and bake, in pre-heated oven, for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
Finely grind 135g of hazelnuts with the icing sugar. Roughly chop the remaining hazelnuts. Set aside for later.
To make the meringue, place the egg whites and a pinch of caster sugar in the bowl of a food mixer. Beat, on medium speed, until frothy. Gradually add the remaining sugar, one-third at a time. Let each amount clear before adding the next. Continue mixing on medium speed for a stronger and more developed meringue.
Remove the bowl from the mixer, and gently fold in the nuts and sugar mixture until just combined.
Attach a plain tip to a piping bag and transfer the dacquoise mixture to the piping bag.
Retrieve the tray with circles drawn on the baking paper. Pipe the meringue around the circumference of each circle, then spiral inward, filling the circles. Sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts. Dust the circles twice with pure icing sugar. This will create a better crust on the surface.
Place the tray in the oven and bake for 15 minutes, or until golden. Your dacquoise must be crisp on the outside, and soft and moist on the inside.
Remove from the oven, and set aside to cool completely. Gently remove each of the meringues from the baking paper.