I’m going to come right out and say it: The dacquoise was not a success in my kitchen. It was entirely user-error: a combination of not reading the recipe quite carefully enough and over beating the ganache at the very last step. As I tweeted at the time, "As far as baking experiences go, the dacquoise is somewhere between infuriating and heartbreaking”
It started out well enough. I had the perfect occasion to make the dacquoise. J.D.E. was home from college with her friend G who stayed for about a week's visit. When I learned that G loves tropical flavors (and that he used to have pineapples growing in his yard when he was young!) I knew that I had to bake the dacquoise for him! And because this is a wheat-free recipe I planned to split the recipe and make a small dacquoise for my good friend D, who is on a gluten-free diet (coconut is her favorite flavor!)
Things continued fairly well. I baked the dacquoise on a Saturday, G’s final full day at our house. It would be our dessert after dinner. At the same time I was baking bagels (you can read my bagel post on my bread blog, here) and making the Honey Peach Ice Cream (posted here). And a bunch of my baking-and-blogging friends were baking in their kitchens (most were making bagels too). We kept ourselves amused – and informed - by live-Tweeting our baking session.
Although this week’s P&Q post reveals that several of the TWD bakers found this an easy recipe, for my baking level it was plenty challenging. As the day progressed the elements were coming together, for the most part, although the dirty dish-count in my kitchen was staggeringly high. Spreading the meringue onto the squares I’d drawn was how I imagined troweling mortar on a brick would be. The pineapple was a bit tricky to roast, but it was browned and ready.
I didn't hit the shoals until the ganache. I don't like white chocolate but I thought that I'd buy the good stuff and give it another chance. Whole Foods had the Valrhona Ivoire that Dorie mentions and luckily it was in fevres (small oval pieces) so I didn't have to chop it up. One dacquoise-worth of the stuff cost $15 - gulp! Despite Dorie's admonition not to overbeat the cream + white chocolate, that's exactly what I did. Ugh. Rather than silky ganache I ended up with (very expensive) weepy white chocolate butter.
And who would have guessed that the ganache would have to chill for 3 hours and there was a 4-6 hour wait time after assembly of the dacquoise? Not me! (A more careful reading of the recipe would have eliminated the guesswork, though...) We ended up eating our dessert as a midnight snack.
Maybe it's because we waited so long for the dessert to be finished, but the four of us scarfed our portions. At first we all thought it was good. Then we all realized how very sweet and rich it was. The pineapple was a welcome - and needed - counterpoint to the other elements. You definitely wouldn't want to skimp on the amount of pineapple. To me the white chocolate flavor was just too much for the dessert.
Luckily, G enjoyed the dacquoise more than the rest of us, and had some for brunch the next morning before leaving for the airport... and the final portion was tossed.
And what about that lovely creamy confection in the top picture, you ask? After ruining the ganache I couldn't give dacquoise to my friend D. The small meringues sat around my kitchen for awhile. Then for lunch one day I sweetened some nonfat Greek Yogurt with honey and layered it with the pineapple and meringue. Add a few white chocolate curls to the top. Delicious!!