Dacquoise with Peaches and Cream – a perfect dessert for our 20th Anniversary!

Toasted Almond Dacquoise | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Yesterday was my 20th wedding anniversary. I asked my husband what he wanted to have for dessert on our special day. After being together for 25 years I could predict what he would pick; either Madeleines or the nut cake his mom used to make him when he was young. The nut cake won instantly. My mother-in-law used to make the cake with ground hazelnuts, Cool Whip and canned peaches. She gave me the recipe for the cake once, but it read like something out of a fairy tale, “a thimble full of this” and “a jigger of that,” nothing was ever written down and she did the entire thing by feel. I have been meaning to spend a day in the kitchen with her to get the recipe written down, but for our anniversary I used one of my all time favorites, toasted almond dacquoise. It is light, which is perfect for the last days of August, and both chewy and crunchy at the same time. I toast the nuts first to give it a richer flavor and add an extra dash of salt to contrast the sweetness. Combined with chocolate ganache, freshly whipped cream, the summer’s juiciest peaches and candied almonds, it was not exactly my MIL’s recipe, but my husband declared it “perfection!” This, my friends, is why we are still married after 20 years. 😉

Toasted Almond Dacquoise with Peaches and Cream:

Toasted Almond Dacquoise

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

1/4 teaspoon salt

Chocolate Ganache:

8 ounces Bittersweet Chocolate, finely chopped

1 cup heavy cream

Sauteed Peaches:

4 large ripe peaches

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 vanilla bean

pinch salt

Whipping cream:

1 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

Candied nuts:

1 cup raw sliced almonds

¼ cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt

Click here for directions on making the dacquoise. Instead of making large rounds, I piped them into 3-inch circles.

Cooling ganache | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

To make the ganache: Bring the cream to a simmer. Remove from heat and add the chopped chocolate. Swirl the pot so that all the chocolate is covered by the cream. Let sit for 3 minutes, then gently whisk to combine. Allow to cool to nearly room temperature.

Spread one tablespoon of the ganache over the cooled dacquoise. Set aside to allow the chocolate to set up slightly.

Mixing almonds and sugar | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

To make the candied almonds: click here for directions. Just replace the peanuts with the almonds. Set aside and allow the nuts to cool completely.

Peaches in water to remove skin | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

To prepare the peaches: You can leave the skins on if you like, but these had thick, fuzzy skins and it would have distracted from the dessert to leave them on.

To remove the skins: Bring a pot of water to a boil. Mark a small “X” in the bottom side (oposite to the stem) of the peach. Submerge the peaches and cook for about 1 minute. Remove with a Wire Skimmers or slotted spoon.

Peaches in ice bath | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Immediately plunge them into a ice bath, which will allow the peach skins to fall off easily.

Peeling skin off peaches | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

The skins should come off by just pulling on them. If not, stick them back in the boiling water for another 30 seconds.

Cooking peaches in brown sugar | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

After peeling the peaches, cut them into thin slices. Cook the peaches in the brown sugar, vanilla and pinch of salt.

Toasted Almond Dacquoise with Peaches and Cream | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Whip the heavy cream with the vanilla and confectioners’ sugar until stiff peaks form.

Set the chocolate covered dacquoise on the dessert plates. Cover with 2 tablespoons of the whipped cream and a few slices of peaches. Repeat with another layer of each.

Toasted Almond Dacquoise | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Sprinkle with the candied almonds and serve immediately. We ate it with Champagne after coming home from a romantic evening spent with our sons at their back to school open house. Seemed like exactly the right way to celebrate all the years we have spent together.

Happy Anniversary Graham. I love you even more today, than I did all those years ago. Just keeps getting better!

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Here is a cake I baked with my friend Sarah using the dacquoise and layering it with cream and berries. We left the nuts much chunkier and the results were fantastic. The recipe is on her blog The Vanilla Bean Blog!

26 thoughts to “Dacquoise with Peaches and Cream – a perfect dessert for our 20th Anniversary!”

  1. Oh, now you did it again! Made me cry reading this – you two are perfection! This dessert and all the photos/stories behind it are a perfect compliment and end to your evening. I can just imagine you sitting under the pergola, enjoying another day together! Congrats again! xo J

  2. Zoe, you did it again for me too! I am smiling and crying and screaming your praises as I sit on my desk and write this.
    You are in one word – INCREDIBLE!
    Wish Graham and you many scores of years of shared magic.
    Thanks for this recipe and the stories.
    Wish you a great future – full of all the epic successes you deserve and more.
    Suvir

    1. Dearest Suvir,

      I have been thinking of you and how you too love dacquoise. I PROMISE next time we are together I will make it for you!

      xo Zoë

  3. Beautiful Zoe! Is this recipe gluten free then? I have both a mother and a good friend with celiacs and love to find delicious things they can enjoy?

    Thank you!

  4. Happy, happy 20th, Zoe! And here’s to 20+ more 🙂 Gorgeous way to celebrate with this elegant dessert. And I’m smiling over the “fairy tale” version. Wonderful…

  5. Gorgeous! I have not had a dacquoise in such a long time, your peaches and cream version are making my tummy grumble.

    Happy 20th and here’s to many more sinfully delicious anniversaries!

    1. Thank you all for the lovely notes! What a wild and wonderful ride the past 20 years have been. I look forward to what the next 20 will bring!

      Cheers, Zoë

  6. I love the mini dacquoise cakes layered on top of each other! I’m planning on doing this for our Thanksgiving dessert, as this is my mom’s favorite. I did want to know though when you make the 3″ circles, does it take the same amount of time to bake as the 9″ circles in your other post (65-85 minutes)? Thanks for the great recipes, keep them coming!

    1. Hi Kate,

      So glad you will be making this, it is one of my favorites as well. The smaller version will bake a bit faster, but this can also depend on how thick they are. I would check them after about 40 minutes, but they may require more time.

      Thanks, Zoe

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