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Want a closer look at the finished product? Watch international food critic Bartholomew Soarez dissect and demolish Adriano's salty sticky wheelie cake here.

Print out the recipe and listen to the audio as he talks you step-by-step through the process of creating dacquoise – a meringue with a spongy texture that’s crisp and meringue-like on the outside, and soft and moist on the inside.



Average: 4.6 (4 votes)


Hazelnut dacquoise
160g whole hazelnuts
150g pure icing sugar
200g egg whites
50g caster sugar

Caramel maison
150g caster sugar
60ml water
30g glucose
110ml cream
1g gelatin leaves
6ml water
Pinch of sea salt

Caramel crème
5g iota (a vegan alternative to gelatin)
300ml milk
400g eggs
380g caster sugar
600g butter

Caramel crunch
900g caster sugar
300ml water
150g hazelnut meal, toasted

Cook's notes

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.


For the hazelnut dacquoise

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.

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.

For the caramel maison

Place the sugar, 60ml of water and glucose in a saucepan over high heat and bring to the boil. Continue cooking until the mixture is a dark amber colour.

Meanwhile, place the cream in a bowl and heat in microwave, and soak the gelatin in 6ml of water.

Once the sugar mixture becomes a dark caramel, deglaze the bottom of the saucepan by adding cream in small amounts. (Do so carefully, as it will spit and bubble.) When the mixture is well combined, cool to 70°C, and add gelatin and sea salt. Set aside to cool.

For the caramel crème

Mix the iota with the milk using a hand blender. Add to a saucepan over high heat and bring to the boil. Add the eggs and caster sugar, and cook, using a cooking thermometer, to 85°C. Allow to cool to 50°C, and add butter. Mix well. Then let set aside to cool.

Using the 8cm ring (from the recipe for the hazelnut dacquoise), part the caramel crème, roughly halfway up the ring. Then spoon in a small amount of caramel mason into the centre. Top with more caramel crème all the way up to the top of the ring. Place in the freezer to set.

For the caramel crunch

Cook sugar and water until a dark amber colour is reached. Add toasted hazelnut meal and mix well. Pour onto a lined tray and then set aside to cool. When cool, place in the bowl of a food processor and blitz until a rough powder is achieved.


Sandwich the caramel between two lawyers of the dacquoise. Roll the outer wheel in dark chocolate, then roll in the caramel crunch. Refrigerate.