Chocolate Raspberry Dacquoise Cake is undoubtedly a show stopper of a dessert. Layers of almond, hazelnut and pistachio meringue hide a filling of fresh raspberries, chocolate ganache and raspberry coulis. Bound together in a pretty raspberry cream this in one dessert not to pass up.
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This Chocolate Raspberry Dacquoise Cake might just be the most extravagant dessert I’ve come up with so far. In fact, there is no doubt – it is.
Extravagant in terms of ingredients, final taste and effort. This cake ticks all of those boxes.
Inside of the pastel pink exterior lies hidden charms in the form of:
- outrageously sticky, chewy & nutty meringue
- fresh, tart raspberries
- and rich chocolate ganache.
Oh, and that pastel exterior? That’s whipped cream enhanced with raspberry coulis and a splash of Amaretto liqueur.
I decided to restrain myself and make a three-layer dessert cake, but for a party, the recipe could easily be doubled to make a spectacular 6 layered version. Um… maybe serve thin slices?
What is Dacquoise?
A few weeks back I joked somewhere that Dacquoise (“dah-kwahze” ) is just a fancy word for a nutty meringue cake. Well, I was only half jesting. The term dacquoise can refer to the nut meringue layers in the dacquoise cake itself.
The traditional Dacquoise originates from France. It is a dessert cake made up of layers of nut laden meringue stacked up and held together with cream or buttercream. A biscuit base can often be found in traditional recipes.
My Dacquoise cake differs from the traditional in 3 ways:
- it does not have a biscuit base
- as well as the usual almonds and hazelnuts, I’ve added some pistachio nuts to the meringue
- and I have not ground my nuts as finely as I could have done. I like a little extra bite
Plenty of flavour variations have been created over the years, but today I’m featuring chocolate and raspberry. That’s a dark chocolate ganache and a raspberry coulis alongside chunks of fresh raspberry. And did I mention the Amaretto liqueur in the raspberry cream? It serves up just a hint of booziness.
These additions all make for a rich and decadent dessert, worthy of showstopper status.
How to Make Dacquoise Cake
I usually begin by making the components that need to cool – the raspberry coulis and the chocolate ganache. By the time you are ready to assemble the dacquoise cake, these elements should have cooled to a good working temperature.
The next step is to make 3 (or more) layers of nutty meringue. (If you need a few tips on how to make dead good meringue, hop over here for my quick guide)
Once the meringues are baked and cooled, the raspberry cream can be whipped and the cake assembled:
- Place 1 layer of meringue onto a cake stand or serving plate (a small dab of whipped cream underneath will hold it firmly in place)
- Add a large tablespoon of the raspberry cream and spread out to the edges
- Rip up a few raspberries and spread them over the cream
- Pipe a zig-zag of raspberry coulis over the cream
- Pipe a thicker trail of chocolate ganache over everything
- Next top with another layer of meringue and repeat as above
- Top with the final layer of meringue
- Set aside some raspberry cream for decoration then cover the top and the edge of the cake with cream
- Cover the sides in toasted hazelnuts (RealSimple have a good video showing this)
- Decorate the top of the cake as desired (I used a Wilton 8b nozzle for my piping)
- Cover and transfer to the fridge
As the picture show, I had a major issue with my meringue cracking when I assembled the cake. Fortunately, Dacquoise is very forgiving. Once the layers are stacked and the cake is covered, nobody would ever guess.
Undoubtedly, there are quite a few steps involved in making this Dacquoise cake. I guess that’s the price to be paid for creating a showstopper dessert.
How to store Raspberry Dacquoise Cake
It is very important to let the assembled dacquoise cake rest in the fridge for 24 hours before cutting into it. This resting time allows the flavours to mingle and the nutty meringue to soften into a gloriously gooey treat, instead of shattering as soon as the knife hits. Trust me on this – I eagerly cut into my first dacquoise within a few hours of making it – though tasty, the leftovers were far better the next day.
This dessert cake is creamy, so should always be stored in the fridge. I recommend letting it sit at room temperature (20C/ 68F) for 1 hour before serving. This allows the ganache to soften slightly and for the chill to lift so the flavours can shine.
Any leftovers should be returned to the fridge and used within 5 days.
Is this a step too far? I have simpler meringue desserts I’m proud of too. How about:
- Muscovado Meringue with Red Wine Poached Fruit
- Salted Honey Cream Meringue Wreath with Strawberries
- Chocolate Peppermint Meringue Sandwich
Raspberry Chocolate Dacquoise Cake
For the Dacquoise Layers
- 5 Egg Whites (200g)
- 125 g/ 4.5 oz Golden caster sugar
- 125 g/ 4.5 oz Light muscovado sugar
- ⅛ tsp Cream of tartar
- 1 tsp Vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp Cornflour (cornstarch)
- 60 g/ 2 oz Almonds (blanched)
- 60 g/ 2 oz Pistachios (shells removed)
- 60 g/ 2 oz Hazelnuts (blanched)
For the Raspberry Coulis
- 300 g/ 10.5 oz Fresh raspberries
- 3 tbsp Caster sugar
For the Chocolate Ganache
- 60 g/ 2 oz Dark chocolate
- 100 ml/ 3.5 fl oz Double (heavy) cream
For the Raspberry Cream
- 600 ml/ 20 fl oz Double (heavy) cream)
- 2 tbsp Amaretto
- 3 tbsp Icing (confectioners) sugar
- 150 g/ 5 oz Fresh raspberries
- 3 tbsp 3 tbsp toasted almond flakes
- 2 tbsp 2 tbsp chocolate flakes
Make the Raspberry Coulis
- Put the raspberries into a medium saucepan with the sugar and cook gently until they begin to break down
- Turn up the heat and boil rapidly until the sauce reaches 100-105C (212-221F)
- Take off the heat and pass through a fine-meshed metal sieve to remove the seeds. Discard the seeds and divide the remaining sauce equally between 2 bowls
- Set aside to cool
Make the Chocolate Ganache
- Chop the chocolate and place in a microwave-proof bowl with the cream
- Cook in the microwave on high for 30-60 seconds until the cream is hot and the chocolate is beginning to melt
- Let stand for 1 minute then whisk the ingredients together until smooth and glossy
- Set aside to cool
Make the Dacquoise LAyers
- Preheat the oven to 110C (230F / GM¼)Cut 3 rectangles of baking parchment to fit 3 baking sheets. Draw an 8-inch circle onto each piece of parchment
- Mix the sugars together in a bowl
- Put the egg whites into the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk until soft peaks form
- Add the cream of tartar and continue to whisk
- Leave the stand mixer running and add the sugar, 1 spoonful at a time until all of the sugar has been added. This process will take around 5 minutes, but the meringue will be a much better texture than if you add it all in one go. At the end, the meringue should be thick and glossy
- Pour in the vanilla extract and whisk until combined
- Turn off the mixer. Using a spatula, fold the ground nuts gently into the meringue
- Divide the nutty meringue between the three circles. I find it easier to achieve a neat circular shape if I pipe a line of meringue around the edge of each circle before spooning the rest into the centre and spreading it out to the piped edge with a palette knife. Use a wide, plain nozzle for the piping
- Place the meringue discs into the oven to bake for 1 hour 15 minutes – rotate the baking sheets halfway through to ensure the meringues bake evenly
- After the 75 minutes are up, try to peel the parchment away from each meringue disc – it should easily come away. If it does not, allow to cook for 15 more minutes and test again
- Once cooked, let cool in the oven with the door slightly ajar
Make the Raspberry Cream
- Once the meringue discs have cooled completely start to whip the cream with the icing sugar until it just begins to hold its shape
- Continue to whip until the cream is well mixed and holds its shape firmly. Take care not to overwhip the cream though
Assembling the Cake
- Set aside 16-18 raspberries for the top of the cake
- Place a small dab of raspberry cream in the centre of a cake stand or serving plate and lay one meringue disc on top
- Take a heaped tablespoon of raspberry cream and spread it to the edges using a palette knife
- Rip half of the remaining raspberries up and scatter over the cream
- From the remaining bowl of raspberry coulis, take half and drizzle it over the cream and raspberries
- Next drizzle half of the chocolate ganache over the top – it may be easier to pipe the ganache over if it has thickened beyond the drizzling stage
- Top with another meringue disc
- Repeat steps 3-6 above with the remaining ingredients
- Place the final layer of meringue on top
- Reserve ⅓ of the remaining raspberry cream for piping decorations on the top of the cake and use the rest of the cream to cover the top and sides of the cake
- Press the toasted almond flakes around the side of the cake
- Pipe a pretty design onto the top of the cake, adorn with the fresh raspberries and scatter the chocolate flakes into the centre
- Cover carefully and transfer to the fridge to rest for 24 hours
- Remove from the fridge 1 hour before serving to take the chill off the cake
- Leftovers should be stored in the fridge and eaten within 3 days