Hazelnut-Almond Dacquoise

I’m not much of a baker, but I do okay. However, this recipe caused me days of frustration! I read the recipe multiple times. It seemed like a lot of steps to follow, but it should have come together to make a beautiful dessert. My failures were from my lack of baking experience and had nothing to do with how the recipe is written. Normally, I would have walked a away and tried again later, but because of the self-isolation, I became obsessed with trying to get this one right. And I finally did, sort of…

It was that meringue! I don’t make pies with meringue, so I had very little experience here, other than being a fan of the Great British Baking Show where meringue always seems to be one of the show stoppers. Now I know why and I have a much better appreciation for those bakers!

Spoiler alert – it took me four times to get it right, and even then it was just passable, not great.

I used a carton of egg whites and it just did not whip up the same as using fresh eggs. I tried regular eggs, at room temperature, but wavered in my confidence and took them out too soon. That was a total runny mess that I should have gotten on video, but there weren’t enough hands to video and contain the mess. I watched YouTube videos and carefully washed my bowl and whisk attachment. I wiped them off with vinegar before I started beating the whites. I thought I might have had one correct batch and then they all just snapped into pieces later. Ugh!!!

I recruited help from my husband and finally found success.

After that, the recipe went much better. A smooth chocolate ganache on the first try.

Then I made the espresso buttercream that I could have just eaten by the spoonfuls. It was delicious.

Time to assemble. I cracked only one meringue and the rest of it stacked well.

Then I coated the dessert with the chocolate. My final dish did not look like the picture because I had chopped my way through too many hazelnuts during my multiple baking attempts.

You can see some layers in there.

The best part was that my family had “fancy dinner” for this dessert. We dressed up and ate by candlelight. The dessert was a hit and everyone agreed it was a rich, delicious dessert. A memorable experience and a memorable recipe, for sure!

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