Dacquoise sweetie, dacquoise!
This week I got to make the TWD pick. I decided on Coconut-Roasted Pineapple Dacquoise on pages 293-295 of Baking From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan. I have been baking with the TWD crew for the last year and have had a great time. Thanks for letting me be part of such a fun group.
This recipe seemed a good fit as a tropical baker from Australia. Matthew (my good husband) wasn’t terribly excited but all that changed as spoon hit mouth. I had to ask him to repeat him saying this was his favorite Dorie thing yet (joining the French Pear Tart and Lemon Tart on his personal winners podium).
This is 3 meringue layers (with almonds and coconut ground finely folded through) filled with white chocolate ganache (or for those who know the limits of their families sweet tooth whipped cream with about 5 oz of firm ganache whipped in). And to bring balance to this creation pineapple that has been placed under the grill until it just begins to caramalise. I did try to mess around with my blow torch but it was taking forever. Perhaps maybe just use the torch to touch up the top layer for maximum visual impact.
There are a few steps and a bit of waiting around for this recipe. I would suggest making the components the day before and then a quick assembly line in the morning or after work and you are good to go.
I am having a Slow Food planning meeting at my house on Wednesday so I made 6 x 6 inch squares to let me make a second one up fresh for the meeting.
For the Dacquoise
1 cup (65g) unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup (60g) slivered almonds
1/2 cup (75g) plus 1 1/2 cups (175g) confectioners (icing) sugar
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
8 large egg whites (240g) at room temperature
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
For the pineapple
1 large (4 1/2 pound) ripe pineapple , peeled, quartered lengthwise, cored and each quater cut crosswise into 1/8 inch thick wedges
For the ganache
14 oz premium quality white chocolate finely chopped
3 cups heavy cream
For the final garnish
About 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut, lightly toasted, for decorating
Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 225 degrees F. Using two pieces of parchment paper, draw 3 rectangles (two on one sheet, one of the other) each 12 x 6). Turn the sheets over (making sure the outlines show) and use them to line the 2 baking sheets.
To make the dacquoise
Put the coconut, almonds, 2/3 cups of the confectioners’ sugar and the cornstarch in a food processor and pulse until finely ground.
Working with a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar at medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Beat in the remaining 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, then beat until the meringue is thick and glossy and holds firm peaks. Using a large rubber spatula, very gently fold in the coconut mixture. Spoon one third of the meringue (about 2 1/2) onto each outlined rectangle. Using a long metal icing spatula, spread the meringue into the meringue into smooth, even layers.
Bake the meringues for 3 hours, rotating the sheets from top to bottom and front to back after 1 1/2 hours. The meringues should be golden and crisp to the touch. Let cool completely on the baking sheets on racks. (The meringues can be made 1 day ahead and kept lightly covered with wax paper at room temp- as long as the room is dry).
For the pineapple
Preheat the broiler and place the place the rack about 4 inches beneath the heat. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with foil. Place the pineapple wedges between a double thickness of paper towels and pat dry.
Arrange the pineapple wedges on the baking sheets in a single layer and sift just enough confectioner’s sugar over to coat them lightly. Broil the fruit, one sheet at a time, for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the pineapple is slightly charred in spots- turn the sheets as needed for even cooking. Cool the sheets.
For the ganache
Put the white chocolate in a large bowl. Bring the cream to a boil, then pour it over the chocolate. Let it rest for 1 minute, then whisk until the ganache is smooth. Press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface to create an airtight seal and chill, stirring occasionally, until it is very cold, about 3 hours.
When the ganache is throughly chilled and you are ready to assemble the dacquoise, beat the ganache with a mixer (use the whisk attachment or a hand mixer) until it is light and fluffy, but don’t overbeat- it should be just on the verge of mounding.
To assemble the dacquoise
Set out a serving plate or cut a 12 x 6 inch piece of cardboard. Place 1 meringue rectangle flat side down on the plate or cardboard and, using a long metal icing spatula, spread 3/4 cup of the ganache thinly over it. Cover the ganache with a single layer of pineapple wedges (about 24 wedges in 3 rows of 8). Repeat with another meringue, more ganache and more pineapple. Top with the third meringue, and cover the sides and top the sides of the cake with the remaining ganache. Press the toasted coconut onto the sides of the cake. Arrange the remaining pineapple decoratively over the top of the cake.
Refrigerate the dacquoise for at least 4 hours, or up to 6 hours, before serving.