Almond meringues with chocolate, and raspberries, and cream. Oh, my!

14 Aug

When I was 15 my aunt had the pastry chef at her restaurant make me a cake for my birthday.  When it was unveiled at our family celebration that evening it was unlike anything I had seen before.  Layers of cream and berries, meringue and chocolate,  a riot of white chocolate shavings on top.   Every bite, a carnival of textures, the airy crunch of meringue, toasted nuts, soft berries, whipped cream.   It was a Dacquoise.  It kind of blew my mind.

For some reason, I have been thinking about that cake a lot lately.  When I decided to make something special for my family, a dessert to round out one of our porch parties, I decided to pay homage to the dacquoise.  Little towers of meringue, chocolate, raspberries and cream.  A wonderful summer dessert.

Almond Meringues

3 large egg whites at room temperature

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup of blanched almonds, toasted, cooled and finely chopped

Pre-heat oven to 225°

Beat the egg whites until soft peaks begin to form.  Gradually add the sugar and beat until glossy, stiff peaks form.  You know it is done when you can hold the bowl upside down, over your head, and the meringue does not end up in your hair.  Gently fold in toasted almonds, reserving some to sprinkle on top of the finished dessert.

On a piece of parchment paper trace circles the size of the desired meringues.  I used a tea cup to outline meringues for individual sized meringues.  Flip the parchment so that the ink/pencil face down. (You don’t need lead or ink in your finished meringue).  Using the circles as a guide, pipe meringue onto the parchment. If you don’t have a pastry bag you can  fill a zip-lock bag and cut off one of the corners.

Bake for about an hour.  Turn the pans 1/2 way through.  Let cool completely.

Chocolate-Raspberry Ganache

6 oz dark chocolate, I prefer 68% cocoa or above

3/4 cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons raspberry jam (more or less to taste)

In a heat proof bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water combine the chocolate and cream.  Gently melt chocolate, stirring frequently, until thick and shiny.  Stir in jam.  Remove from heat and let come to room temperature.  (This can be made ahead, refrigerated, and brought to room temperature when you are ready to assemble.

1 cup of heavy cream + 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar, whipped to soft peaks.

Put it all together

Smear a layer of ganache on top of the meringue.  Top with whipped cream, left over toasted almonds and fresh berries. Enjoy!

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2 Responses to “Almond meringues with chocolate, and raspberries, and cream. Oh, my!”

  1. Claire Rohleder March 13, 2012 at 8:11 pm #

    I am sincerely jealous you had the luxury of this discovery at 15. Looks like heaven!

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  1. Teeny, Tiny Tarts | Heavy Cake - November 23, 2011

    […] Chocolate-Raspberry Ganache […]

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