Friday, February 08, 2019

Almonds and Lemon and Raspberries

My daughter has a new food processor. It was a birthday present and will help her with her new eating regimen but it can be fun, too. It comes with an attachment to make fresh zoodles - veggie noodles - something that she eats a lot, but it can also do smoothies and sauces and she can made ground almonds for the little snack balls that help her stick to the program. She looks awesome so I think it's working.

Since she hadn't tried it out when I arrived last week, we decided to start with grinding almonds to a fine flour. Once we had that done it was a short hop to making dacquoise, a meringue with ground nuts folded in that you make into discs and bake. They are used instead of cake to make a layered dessert.

Fortunately she had an electric mixer with beaters...not a stand mixer, which would have been easier, but for someone who has been trying to simplify her life, it's better that way except for when her baking fool of a Mom shows up. It took a while to beat the egg whites to stiff peaks, but eventually they were beaten and the sugar was added and beaten in gradually. Then she carefully folded in the ground almonds and spread the mixture onto parchment paper. Once baked they cooled on the parchment since we didn't have cooling racks, so I think they stayed a bit floppier than if they had air dried, so to speak.

For the filling, I made my favorite lemon curd (see, still on a lemon jag) and put it in the fridge to chill, which helps thicken it up. Could have used a bit more cooling time, but we were expected for dinner. Each layer got some lemon curd and a sprinkle of fresh raspberries, with the top layer having the berries in a decorative ring and centered. The birthday girl even got a slice with a lit candle so that she can wish for her heart's desire for this year.

We tried to make whipped coconut cream to offset the tartness of the lemon curd, but it didn't whip up at all...probably poor technique and being rushed. Still, this is a fun, fairly simple dessert if you enjoy lemon and raspberries and almonds.

Dacquoise Layers

8 egg whites
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups whole almonds, unsalted

Prepare sheets of parchment paper - trace 8" circles onto each sheet. This will make 8 circles.

In a stand mixer, whisk the egg white until moist peaks form. Add the almond extract. Slowly add the sugar and beat until stiff peaks form, about 5-6 minutes for all the beating.

Place flour and almonds in a food processor. Pulse until ground into fine crumbs, almost a flour. Gently fold this mixture into the beaten egg whites, keeping as much air as possible in the meringue mixture you are forming.

Using a one cup measure, transfer a cup of the mixture to each circle. Spread out with the back of a spoon to the edges of each circle you drew on the parchment, creating a thin and even layer. (see photo above)

Transfer the parchments to large, flat baking sheets. Bake them, one pan at a time in a preheated 375 degree F oven for 10-12 minutes. Layers will be light golden brown and slightly darker at the edges.

Cool the layers for a few minutes, then peel off the parchment and cool completely on a wire rack.

Use the layers to make a dessert. We used six of the layers for our dessert and froze the other two for later use.


  1. Aww, it's gorgeous! We've started having monthly birthday parties because we just can't keep up with friend/family friend birthdays and also it's an excuse to try out cakes - want to see if the dacquoise would work out with aquafaba because even though I'm not vegan, I'm not all that fond of real egg whites (don't even ask why; I've gotten so weirdly picky).

  2. Haven't tried aquafaba...let me know how it goes. Does it taste beany? I know everyone is mad about the coconut cream version of whipped cream, but coconut is such an assertive flavor that it won't work with everything...