The dacquoise is a dainty little cake layer that is sadly under used by home bakers. It is a light meringue that has nuts folded into it and baked in a thin layer. The dacquoise is crisp and used to add a sweet, nuttiness to your cakes. I love the contrast of a dacquoise with a soft sponge cake and a fruit mousse in the summer or with layers of rich chocolate in cooler weather.
This recipe comes from my 1992 edition of The Simple Art of Perfect Baking . The pages are falling out and covered in butter and chocolate stains. It is a must have for anyone who loves baking. Flo Braker writes as though she is teaching a class, everything is well thought out and explained so that the recipes are nearly fool proof.
2/3 cups almond meal (1/3 cup whole almonds, finely ground) Skin on or off, you decide. I used almond meal that I found at Trader Joe’s with the skins on.
1/4 cup sugar
2/3 egg whites (about 5 large)
2/3 cups + 2 tablespoons sugar
Prepare parchment paper by drawing circles that match the size of the cake you are going to bake. I’ve done 3 9-inch circles.
Preheat the oven to 225°.
I used the cardboard round that would eventually be used under the cake as my template. You can also use the bottom of your cake pan.
Mix the almond meal and 1/4 cup sugar together in a small bowl and set aside.
Whip the egg whites on low speed in a mixer until they start to foam, about 45 seconds. Add the 2 tablespoons sugar to the whites and continue to whip on medium speed until soft peaks form. Once the whites form soft peaks slowly add the 2/3 cup sugar and continue whipping until stiff peaks are formed and the sugar, about 2 minutes.
Add the almond meal in two batches, folding them in gently after each addition.
Fold in only until almond meal is well distributed.
Place the dacquoise in to a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip. Pipe in a large spiral until you have filled in the circles drawn on the parchment. it should be about an 1/8″ thick.
Bake the dacquoise at 225° until dry, about 65-85 minutes.
Unlike Flo I like my dacquoise to have a bit of color, so I turned up the oven to 350 for the last 10 minutes and toasted the dacquoise. It gives it a slightly richer flavor. Be careful not to go to far or it will burn.