On Saturday we had my Parents and my Brother and Sister in Law over for lunch, so a real family get-together. We had Lamb for the main course, but naturally I had to push the boat out for pudding and I found a Great British Bake Off recipe for Hazelnut Dacquoise.
Originally the recipe came from the doyen of cookery writing Mary Berry. Her original recipe called for a layer of Chocolate Ganache, by the look of the recipe this is a step too far. The Chocolate would also mean that Mother of Mine could not eat it… so it had to go. I have also added a Hazelnut Brittle for decoration; its slight bitter taste compliments the rich cream.
Ms Berry’s recipe asks you to pipe the meringue, but some of my friends have asked me for recipes that they can make without so much equipment, the only real essential is a mixer for the whisking. This looks like a lot of work, but trust me it is simple if you break it down into manageable segments.
By design this pudding is Gluten Free, Cornflour is the only flour used… please do not substitute for any other flour as that way madness lies!
To make my version of Hazelnut Dacquoise you will need
- 250g Skinned whole Hazelnuts
- 300g Golden Caster Sugar
- 25g Cornflour
- 6 Large Egg Whites
- Pinch Of Salt
You need to prepare the Hazelnuts, those of you without access to a food processor may need to buy Ground Hazelnuts, but do your best to borrow a processor as the toasted whole nuts taste so good!
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Empty the blanched whole Hazelnuts onto a baking tray and bake for 9 mins, giving the tray a good shake every 3 mins. The resulting golden nuts will smell fantastic! Pop the roasted nuts into a food processor and blitz until fine(ish) not to powder stage as a little texture is nice. Empty the ground nuts onto a bowl and allow to cool.
Split the 300g of sugar up into 200g and 100g (roughly will do for this). Add the 100g of Sugar to the cooled nuts, add the Cornflour and mix well, put aside. Turn your oven down to 150C/300F/Gas 2
Put the 6 Egg Whites along with a Pinch Of Salt into your mixer and whisk until white and frothy. Then with the mixer still on full power add the 200g of sugar a spoon at a time. Do not just chuck all the sugar in as all will collapse. Go slowly and you will end up with a stiff glossy cloud.
Tip all the Nut/Sugar/Cornflour mixture into the bowl of meringue and fold in with a metal spoon, using a cutting motion. Take care to retain as much air as possible.
Divide the mix into 3 and spread out 23cm discs of meringue on baking trays lined with baking parchment. I have drawn a pencil line on my paper using a plate as a template. Top Tip – add a dot of merangue to eache corner of the baking tray, stick your baking parchment to that and it will hold in place.
Bake for one hour, turning if required – at such a low temperature we are more drying out than cooking. Once the hour has elapsed turn the oven off, crack the door open and leave the cooked discs in the cooling oven for an hour.
- 600ml Full Fat milk
- 3 Large Egg Yolks
- 125g Caster Sugar
- 2 Tbsp Camp Coffee Essence
- 50g Cornflour
- 400ml Whipping Cream
Hold back the cream, first we need to make a thick Coffee Custard and let it cool completely.
In a large bowl whisk together the Egg Yolks, Caster Sugar and Coffee Essence. Once combined add the Cornflour a Tablespoon at a time as it tends to clump if thrown in all at once.
Pour the Milk into a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Pour the hot Milk over the Coffee mixture and whisk thoroughly. Empty the whole thing back into the saucepan and bring back to the boil – whisking all the time. I really mean it whisk all the time, don’t answer the phone or open the door… just stay and whisk.
Once your custard reaches the boil turn it down to a simmer and continue to whisk for 3 mins to fully thicken and cook out the Cornflour. Once cooked empty the thick custard into a clean bowl to cool, do not leave it in the pan as the residual heat will continue to cook the custard. Allow this to go stone cold.
- 150g Chopped Hazelnuts
- 100g Golden Caster Sugar
- 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
Tip the Sugar into a saucepan or better still a frying pan and gently heat until a toffee coloured molten mass is achieved. A couple of hints here, do not use a non-stick pan as this tends to crystallise the sugar, swirl the pan to mix the unmelted bits but do not stir as that way madness lies!
Take the pan off the heat and quickly stir in the chopped nuts and lemon juice. Take care as this will spit and sizzle. As soon as it is mixed empty the praline out into a baking tray lined with parchment and spread it thinly. Do not be tempted to touch it, this is still lava hot.
Once cooled slice into finger shapes ready for decoration.
Finish the coffee cream filling. Empty the whipping cream into your mixer bowl. Whisk on high speed until it is light and airy, but do not keep whisking for too long as it becomes dry. We want luscious here!
Spoon in half of the cold coffee custard into the cream and whisk until combined. Add as much of the cold coffee as you like, its an individual taste thing, I used about three quarters of mine.
Assemble the desert, start off with some cream on the serving plate to anchor it in place. Push one of the cooled meringue disks into the surface of the cream. Build up the whole thing with alternate layers of cream and meringue finishing off with a final layer of cream. Decorate the top with fingers of praline and serve immediately.
Top Tip: You could make the Custard, make the Meringues (keeping them in an airtight tin) and make the Brittle in advance (also keeping in an airtight tin). Then when you want to serve mix together the whisked cream custard, assemble, decorate and serve immediately.