It's only now that I have gotten around to making some of the recipes from the book and I'm wondering why I left it so long! The book is full of fabulous bakes including a Gianduja Dacquoise Cake. 'Gianduja is a hazelnut and chocolate confection from Turin' says Edd, and the cake is his version of a layered ice cream cake with hazelnuts and chocolate.
As I didn't have any hazelnuts to hand, I used pecans instead and the result was very good - hence 'pecan' dacquoise cake. I've also made it again using a home-made coffee ice cream and all I can say is it was gone in one sitting (not just by me I hasten to add!!)
This is an easy show stopping dessert that you can make ahead of time, just put it in the freezer until you need it. The chocolate sauce only takes 2 minutes to make and your guests will think you slaved away all day.
Pecan Dacquoise Cake
Adapted from The Boy Who Bakes
Notes: I used pecans instead of hazelnuts and roasted them first for extra flavour. I also made this again with coffee ice cream and it was really good.
3 large egg whites
150g caster sugar
124g roasted pecans, finely chopped
350g vanilla or coffee ice cream, softened
100g good plain chocolate
140ml double cream
Pre-heat the oven to 110º C. Line two baking trays with baking parchment and draw a circle on the pieces of parchment, use a 23cm round plate or tin as a template. Turn the paper over so the circle marks are underneath.
Roast the pecans under the grill, keeping an eye on them as they will burn easily, finely chop them when they have cooled down.
To make the dacquoise, put the egg whites into a clean, grease-free bowl and whisk until soft peaks are formed. Add the sugar slowly, about a couple of tablespoons at a time and beat until the meringue is stiff and glossy,
Gently fold in 100g of the chopped pecans. Put a large plain nozzle into a piping bag and fill the bag with the meringue mixture. Starting in the middle, pipe a spiral onto each parchment tray, finishing just inside the circle. Bake for 2 hours or until pale and crisp, then remove from the oven and leave to cool on wire racks.
To assemble the cake, place one of the meringues into a cake tin and spread the softened ice cream on top, right to the edges. Place the other meringue on top and press down gently. Cover and freeze for about 2 hours, until the ice cream has firmed up.
When ready to serve, remove the cake from the freezer and leave while you make the chocolate sauce. Put the chocolate and cream into a small microwavable bowl and heat for 30 seconds. Stir the cream into the chocolate until smooth - you may need to microwave for another 15-30 seconds. Alternatively, you can do this in a small pan on the hob.
Put the cake onto a serving plate and pour the sauce over, spreading it so it drips down the sides of the cake. Sprinkle with the remaining chopped pecans and serve immediately.
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