For this week’s technical challenge (a little GBBO reference for all you fans out there), I decided to commit to trying something I’ve never made before. A dacquoise. Not unlike many of the technical challenges I’ve seen, I’ve had experience with particular elements of the dacquoise, but I’ve never put them all together. To say this was challenging would be an understatement, but honestly, the end result (both in looks and taste) was well worth it in the end. I learned a few things along the way, so while the recipe is brought to you by Cooks Illustrated, the hints in italics are brought to you by me. Enjoy!
Chocolate Espresso Dacquoise (courtesy of Cooks Illustrated)
For the meringue:
Using stand mixer fitted with whisk, whip egg whites and cream of tartar on medium-low speed until foamy, about 1 minute. Increase speed to medium-high and whip whites to soft, billowy mounds, about 1 minute. With mixer running at medium-high speed, slowly add remaining 1/2 cup sugar and continue to whip until glossy, stiff peaks form, 2 to 3 minutes. Fold nut mixture into egg whites in 2 batches.
With offset spatula, spread meringue evenly into 13 by 10 1/2-inch rectangle on parchment, using lines on parchment as guide. Using spray bottle, evenly mist surface of meringue with water until glistening. Bake for 1 1/2 hours. Turn off oven and allow meringue to cool in oven for 1 1/2 hours. (Do not open oven during baking and cooling.) Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature, about 10 minutes. (Cooled meringue can be kept at room temperature, tightly wrapped in plastic wrap, for up to 2 days.)
For the buttercream:
For the ganache: