Strawberry and Almond Dacquoise
This is a really delightful dinner party dessert. So light but totally luscious. It's so very easy to prepare and can be made well in advance of your event. It's sure to be a massive hit with your guests. It's also gluten-free...such a bonus for the wheat intolerant.
Dacquoise is simply a meringue baked with ground-nuts. This recipe has used ground almonds but it is equally as good with hazelnuts, pecans, walnuts or even pistachios. Just choose the appropriate filling to match the nuts...Hazelnuts are great with raspberries and lemon curd, pecans with banana & toffee, walnuts, with chocolate & coffee cream, pistachios with pomegranate & peaches, I regularly make this almond recipe with apricots as the accompanying fruit...delicious.
The Dacquoise halves can be prepared in advance wrapped in foil, they will keep for at least 48 hours this way, (do not refrigerate though) Fill and decorate up to 2 hours before serving.
This recipe will serve 6-8 portions
If you need a Conversion Chart click onto this link Easy Conversion Chart
You will need 2 9"/23cms x 1¾"/4.5cms deep Victoria Sandwich Tins greased and lined with baking parchment
Set the oven to 150c/300f/gas mark 2
13 oz/400 gms of ripe strawberries
1 pint/600 ml double (heavy) cream
5 large egg whites at room temperature
9oz/275gms caster sugar (superfine)
5oz/100gms almonds ground (if you can't buy ready ground just whizz skinned almonds in your food processor)
Whisk the egg whites in a clean bowl until it forms peaks but don't whisk to they dry
Whisk in the sugar a tablespoon at a time until a thick glossy meringue is formed
Carefully, quickly and lightly fold in the almonds using a metal spoon
Divide the mixture equally between the two lined tins, spread & smooth the surface
Bake in the centre of the oven for around 1¼ hours...check to make sure they are fully dry and crisp...if not continue to bake, mine actually took 1½ hrs.. turn the oven off, open the door and leave the meringues in there to cool.
You can either use them immediately once thoroughly cooled or wrap carefully in aluminium foil using within 48 hours.
You can fill and decorate the Dacquoise up to 2 hours before serving
Whip the cream till the soft peak stage
Reserve around 8 strawberries to decorate and hull and slice the remainder
Fill a piping bag with around 1/3rd of the whipped cream
Place a dollop of the remaining cream onto your serving dish and place the least attractive Dacquoise (base side down) on top to secure it
Spread the 2/3rds of cream over it
Then the sliced strawberries
Place the remaining Dacquoise on top (topside uppermost)
Decorate with rosettes of cream
Leave on strawberry whole for the centre
Cut the others in half ensuring that you cut neatly through the leaves as I have done in the picture.
You can dust with a little icing (confectioners) sugar if you want to or just leave it plain as I did.
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