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Walnut dacquoise with chocolate and cherries


  • 190g walnuts
  • 110g almond meal (ground almonds)
  • 40g icing sugar
  • 9 egg whites
  • 525g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 500ml thickened cream, whipped
  • Icing sugar, for decoration
  • Cherries, for decoration
  • Chocolate ganache
  • 200g dark chocolate
  • 200ml thickened cream
  • Cherry compote
  • 500g pitted cherries, fresh or frozen
  • 60ml cherry brandy
  • 60ml orange juice
  • 100g granulated sugar
  • Candied walnuts (optional, to decorate)
  • 200g granulated sugar
  • 125g walnut halves

Method

  1. Pre-heat oven to 170°C
  2. Grease and line 3, 20 cm cake tins
  3. Spread walnuts evenly over a baking tray, toast in the oven for 10 minutes, leave to cool completely.
  4. Tip walnuts and icing sugar into a food processor, pulse until the walnuts are finely ground (the same consistency as the ground almonds) then set aside.
  5. Whisk egg whites until stiff, continue whisking adding caster sugar 2 tbsp at a time, until glossy and stiff and the sugar has dissolved.
  6. Carefully fold through ground walnuts, almonds, and vinegar.
  7. Divide the mixture equally between the 3 tins, bake for 35 minutes, then cool in the tins.
  8. When completely cool, remove the dacquoise discs from the tins and keep the prettiest disc for the top layer.
  9. Place a dacquoise layer on your serving plate, gently spread with half the ganache, top with half the cherry compote, finishing with half of the whipped cream. Your dacquoise may crack and sink slightly, this is part of the charm, the dip perfectly housing the delicious filling.
  10. Repeat with your second dacquoise layer, finishing with the pretty top.
  11. Dust with icing sugar, and decorate with fresh cherries and candied walnuts.

Chocolate ganache

  1. Finely chop chocolate, tip into heat proof bowl.
  2. Heat cream to simmering point, pour over chocolate, leave for 5 mins then stir until smooth.
  3. Cool completely.

Candied walnuts

  1. Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper or lightly greased foil.
  2. Tip the sugar into a heavy based frying pan/skillet.
  3. Cook the sugar over a medium heat until it is melted and golden, do not stir the sugar, but gently swirl the pan to ensure the sugar melts evenly.
  4. Add the walnuts to the pan, stir until they are coated with caramel, then tip them onto the lined baking tray, separate the walnut halves, don’t worry if a few stick together, you can try to break them apart when they have cooled.
  5. When they have cooled completely store in an airtight container.

Recipe by Sally Boyle.


Tip

The alcohol in the cherry compote will cook off, but if you prefer not to use, you can use all orange juice.


Serves

Serves 16 (27g nuts per serve)


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