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Another masterpiece from my father-in-law--chocolate buttercream and cashew buttercream sandwiched between layers of crisp meringue and coated with rich chocolate ganache. Yummy!!!!---and very time consuming. Plan on an entire day devoted to this one.
- 4 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 6 large egg whites, at room temperature
- 1⁄4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 ounces sweet baking chocolate, chopped
- 1⁄4 cup strong hot coffee
- 1 1⁄2 cups butter, softened
- 3⁄4 cup powdered sugar
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 3⁄4 cup powdered sugar
- 2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
- 3⁄4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1⁄2 cup unsalted dry-roasted cashews, finely ground
- 8 ounces sweet baking chocolate, chopped
- 2⁄3 cup heavy cream
- 4 teaspoons butter
- 3⁄4 cup unsalted dry-roasted cashews, finely chopped
- chocolate curls or mini chocolate chip
- MERINGUE: Preheat oven to 300*F.
- Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Trace 2 8" circles on one of the sheets, making sure to leave a 1" space between them.
- Trace 1 8" circle in the middle of the other sheet of paper; turn papers over.
- In a small bowl, sift together the cocoa powder and cornstarch; set aside.
- In a large, grease-free bowl, using an electric mixer on low speed, beat the egg whites until they start to foam.
- Add the cream of tartar and salt; gradually increase the speed to medium-high and beat until soft peaks start to form.
- Slowly add the sugar and continue beating 3-5 minutes, or until the whites form glossy, stiff peaks.
- Fold in the cocoa mixture.
- Adhere the parchment paper to the cookie sheets by dabbing a bit of meringue under all 4 corners of the paper.
- Spread the meringue evenly into the 8" circles; bake for 30 minutes.
- Reduce oven to 200*F and bake 1 hour longer, or until the circles are stiff and dry.
- Cool on the cookie sheets on wire racks for 30 minutes.
- Carefully remove the meringues from the paper.
- MAKE THE CHOCOLATE BUTTERCREAM: Melt the chocolate and coffee together in a saucepan over low heat, stirring often, until smooth.
- Remove pan from heat; cool 5-10 minutes, or until tepid.
- In a large bowl, using an electric mixer with clean beaters on medium-high speed, cream the butter and sugar together for 5 minutes, or until very light.
- Beat in the egg yolks and melted chocolate; set aside.
- MAKE THE CASHEW BUTTERCREAM: In a large bowl, using an electric mixer with clean beaters on medium-high speed, cream the butter and powdered sugar together for about 5 minutes, or until very light.
- Beat in the egg yolks, vanilla, and cashews; set aside.
- ASSEMBLE THE DACQUOISE: Carefully trim any uneven edges from the meringue layers.
- Spoon the chocolate buttercream over one layer of meringue, top with another layer, and spread that with the cashew buttercream.
- Turn the last meringue layer flat-side up and gently press down into the cashew buttercream; spread any remaining buttercreams around the sides to fill up any gaps.
- Chill for 45 minutes, or until firm.
- MAKE THE GANANCHE: Place the chocolate in a medium bowl.
- In a small saucepan, combine the cream and the butter; cook over medium heat until the mixture comes to a gentle boil.
- Remove pan from heat; pour over the chocolate and stir until completely smooth.
- Cover the surface of the ganache with plastic wrap and chill for 20-30 minutes, or until it is spreadable.
- DECORATE THE DACQUOISE: Frost the top and sides of the cake evenly with the ganache; coat the sides with cashews, and top with a few chocolate curls.
- Serve at room temperature.