Saturday, February 26, 2011

Lemon Hazelnut Dacquoise Torte

This was one of the first recipes I made when I took my first class at the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts several years ago. Every now and then I think about how delicious it was and wanted to try to make it again. The dacquoise torte is nutty and sweet and the whipped cream filling is light and lemony. Something about the combination of flavors and textures never left me and it was as good as I remembered! Next time I make it I will try whipping the egg whites to a stiffer peak because I felt that my dacquoise discs were a bit flat. But really, who cares since they tasted so delicious!

Recipes are from an Advanced Baking Class at Cambridge School of Culinary Arts.

Ingredients, Dacquoise
6 egg whites
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1 c. sugar
1 Tbls. vanilla extract
2 c. toasted and finely ground hazelnuts, mixed with 2 Tbls. cornstarch
zest of 2 lemons

toasted hazelnuts - smells divine!

I learned a great trick in my class to remove the nut skins. After they are toasted, while they are still warm, wrap up a handful in a clean kitchen towel and rub the toasted nuts vigorously between your hands...and, voila!

skins removed

nuts and cornstarch

pulsed into a fine grind

mise en place for the dacquoise

sugar and vanilla added, definitely should have whipped my egg whites to a stiffer peak though

fold in nuts and lemon zest

At this point I could tell that my dacquoise - which is basically a meringue with ground nuts - was too soft. The mixture was more like a soft whipped cream, rather than a stiff meringue. Oh well, I'll keep going!

all folded together

filling the pastry bag, fitted with a large plain tip

piped into rounds; I made them smaller than the recommended 8"

The dacquoise gets baked in a low temp oven so they get dried out. Mine ended up sadly flat and a little chewy. I can't remember whether the texture was exactly the same as when I made them in class...should they have been chewy or crisp? I tend to think that they should be chewy, due to the nuts.

In an effort to get them to crisp up, I considered whether or not I should have continued to bake the dacquoise - maybe at a lower temperature - but since they were browning on the top at this point, I took them out to cool.

they smell fabulous!

Ingredients, Light Lemon Cream (lemon curd lightened with whipped cream)
5 lemons, zest and juice
4 whole eggs
4 egg yolks
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. butter (1 stick), cold, cut into small pieces
2 c. heavy cream, whipped

mise en place for the light lemon cream

lemon curd ingredients into a saucepan (although, eek, I should have whisked the
ingredients - sans butter - together first! oops.)

finished lemon curd, strained and cooling in an ice bath

folding in the whipped cream

all done - delicious!

Now it's time to assemble everything. I added some fresh raspberries. I think layering the lemon cream with a raspberry puree would be wonderful as well.

lemon cream, ready to be piped

the middle layer...kind of messy

a star tip creates a pretty top layer

all done!

a mini one

the chewy nutty dacquoise with the smooth lemon cream is a delicious combination!

Bye for now...

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