DACQUOISE WITH CHOCOLATE GANACHE is a perfect make – ahead dessert because it freezes well. The nutty meringue layers complement the creamy chocolate filling perfectly. Dacquoise is a French term for a cake made of layers of hazelnut-almond meringue, chocolate ganache, and cream. Ganache is also a French cooking term meaning a glaze, icing, or cream filling made with chocolate and cream. For Christmas DACQUOISE WITH CHOCOLATE GANACHE is a great recipe because it can be tucked in the freezer well ahead of the big event and the taste is divine.

Ingredients for MERINGUES:

  • 6 egg whites 6
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar 1 mL
  • 1 cup powdered fruit sugar 250 mL
  • ½ cup ground toasted almonds 125 mL
  • ½ cup ground toasted hazelnuts 125 mL

Ingredients for CHOCOLATE FILLING:

  • 8 square (8 oz/ 250 g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate 8
  • 1 cup whipping cream 250 mL
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla 5 mL
  • 1 tablespoon Cognac 15 mL
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 25 mL

Ingredients for CREAM FILLING:

  • 2 cups whipping cream 500 mL
  • ¼ cup sifted icing sugar 50 mL
  • 2 tablespoons Cognac 25 mL


Preheat oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit (120 degrees Celsius). Line 1 large and 1 small cookie sheet with parchment paper and butter well with unsalted butter. Flour lightly. Trace two 8 – inch (20 cm) circles on large cookie sheet and one circle on small sheet. (Use three small cookie sheets if you do not have one large enough for 2 circles.)
MERINGUES: Beat egg whites with cream of tartar until light. Gradually add ½ cup (125mL) of the sugar, beating until sugar is completely dissolved and mixture is stiff. Combine nuts with remaining sugar and quickly fold into egg whites. Spread 1/3 of the meringue mixture on each circle and even the top as much as possible. Bake for 1 ½ hours. Turn off heat and leave meringues inside to cool until dry, a few hours. When completely cool, remove from pans and peel off paper.
CHOCOLATE FILLING: Break or chop chocolate into small pieces. In saucepan, heat cream gently, and then stir in chocolate until melted and completely smooth. Beat in vanilla, Cognac and butter. Reserve ¼ cup (50mL) of this mixture for garnish. Cool remaining chocolate mixture to room temperature, stirring as it cools.
Beat chocolate mixture carefully just until thick and lighter in color. Do not overbeat. It should be stiff enough to pipe for decorating. Set aside.
CREAM FILLING: Beat whipping cream until light. Add sugar and Cognac and beat until stiff.


To assemble, place 1 meringue on serving platter. Spread with about ¼ of the chocolate filling in piping tube and pipe all over chocolate layer (use about half of the cream). If you do not have a piping tube, just spread the cream. Place second meringue layer on top and spread with ¼ of the chocolate filling and remaining cream filling in the piping tube as before. Top with third meringue layer. For a very pretty effect, rinse out piping tube and fill with remaining chocolate mixture. Pipe attractively over top of cake. Drizzle ¼ cup (50mL) reserved chocolate mixture over top. Refrigerate for a few hours before serving. (When the cake is finished, the top should have rosettes of chocolate all over with the drizzled chocolate over that. The sides should be open but rosettes of cream should emerge from between the layers.) Makes 8 to 10 servings.
Note: To freeze, place this dessert on a cookie sheet lined with foil; freeze it unwrapped, then wrap well. To defrost it, simply unwrap frozen, place on serving platter and defrost in refrigerator for a few hours.

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