Hazelnut and Pistachio Dacquoise

A classic French dessert, the dacquoise becomes soft and chewy as it absorbs moisture from its fillings as it is refrigerated overnight. The texture is light and slightly crunchy. Packed full of the flavor of the various nuts and layered with pastry cream and whipped cream filling, it is a decadent dessert you will want to serve on special occasions.

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8 egg whites
1 cup almond flour
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1 cup hazelnuts, roasted and cleaned
1 cup pistachios, unsalted and unshelled
2 tablespoons sugar
Pastry cream filling
Whipped cream filling
Simple syrup to drizzle
1/2 cup hazelnuts to decorate

Ingredients – Pastry Cream
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons sugar

Ingredients – Whipped Cream
2 cups 35% cream
1 Whip It stabilizer
2 teaspoons vanilla sugar
1/2 cup confectioners sugar

Ingredients – Simple Syrup
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Prepare your simple syrup ahead of time and store it in a bottle (it will last for one month) to be used for various recipes. Add sugar, water, and lemon juice into a pot and simmer until thickened (no more than 5 minutes). Cool completely.

Prepare your pastry cream by bringing milk to a boil in a small saucepan. While the milk is heating, beat the egg yolks, sugar, and cornstarch. Pour the hot milk into the egg mixture, beating constantly. Return the mixture to the heat and continuously stir until it starts to thicken. This only takes a few minutes so be sure to keep watch. Once it has thickened, strain through a sieve to remove any lumps. Transfer the pastry cream into a piping bag that has not been cut at the bottom tip and seal on both ends. Allow the custard to cool in the bag.

Prepare your baking sheets by spraying with a non-stick spray and lining with parchment paper. You will need two sheets. Preheat your oven to 400°F.

Prepare the dacquoise dough by placing the hazelnuts, pistachios, and flour into a food processor. Pulse until the nuts have been chopped. Add the confectioner’s sugar and pulse until the mixture has the consistency of a thick flour. Place the nut flour into a large bowl and add the almond flour. Mix together thoroughly.

In a separate mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until foamy. Add the 2 tablespoons sugar to the egg whites and continue beating until they form stiff peaks. Fold the nut mixture in thirds into the egg meringue until fully incorporated. Transfer the dacquoise dough to a piping bag (no tip is required). Cut about 1/2” off the bottom of the piping bag, and starting from the center, make an 8” spiral. Repeat four more times. Bake the spirals for 30 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and drizzle with simple syrup. Cool completely before assembly.

While the cake is cooling, prepare the whipped cream topping. Beat the cream until thickened and add the Whip It stabilizer, vanilla sugar, and confectioners sugar. Once combined, transfer to a piping bag (again, no tip is required).

When you are ready to assemble the dacquoise, cut the ends of the piping bags with the pastry cream and whipped cream fillings (about 1/2”). The bigger the hole at the bottom, the wider your strips of filling will be. Starting with the whipped cream filling, outline the outside edge of the first layer of the dacquoise. Change over to the pastry cream and, on the inside, follow the outline of the whipped cream filling. Alternate with the whipped cream and pastry cream until you have created a bullseye pattern. Don’t worry if the edges of the lines do not touch, once another layer is added on, it will push together the pastry cream and whipped cream to fill any gaps.

Add the second layer onto the bullseye pattern and repeat the filling. Repeat with the third layer. For the final layer, transfer some of the whipped cream topping into a pastry bag fitted with a star tip. Place a dot on the layer and pulling upwards, create a star post. Continue until you have covered the entire top surface of the cake. Place hazelnuts around the perimeter for the final decoration.

Makes one 8” layer cake.

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