Chestnut and Cocoa Dacquoises/Dacquoises à la châtaigne et cacao

This is the kind of recipe that brings out the bowl licking child in you, one where you stand impatiently in front of the oven, desperately waiting for the goods to be ready and almost burn your fingers when you try to taste them long before they’ve cooled down.  Once the egg whites are out of the way, it’s a pretty simple recipe to make, and I find it’s always the simplest looking recipes that hold the most delicious surprises.

I came up with this recipe trying to create the perfect Christmas biscuit or cookie if you’re a U.S reader.  I mean it’s almost Christmas right? So it’s time to make Christmas cookies….but… I’m not sure why.  It might be just be me or UK-ers in general but I’ve never really got the cookie thing, particularly at Christmas and I have to say , this was one thing I didn’t miss when I was told I was gluten intolerant.  I see those huge boxes of Christmas biscuits in the supermarket but I’ve never really been tempted so I was aiming for a biscuit that wasn’t quite a biscuit and from that idea my Chestnut and Cocoa Dacquoises were born

A dacquoise is actually a ‘cake’ recipe that originates from France. It’s a basically a dessert where you typically use egg white to make the layers of the meringue japonais and egg yolk for the buttercream filling.  In a traditional dacquoise recipe, the nuts are either ground hazelnuts or almond but to make this recipe more Christmassy, I decided to use chestnut flour, which is a great gluten free flour because of its fine texture and high water content, it’s low in fat and high in fibre making it an ideal choice for healthy Christmas baked goods.

Chestnut flour has a distinctive flavour and can be quite strong when used in isolation, so it’s generally mixed with other gluten free flours, but I threw caution to the wind and decided to use it alone as a base for the dacquoise. the flour I used was farina di castagne from Italy, the smell alone was enough almost to put me off! Which made me realise that the chestnut flavour would be quite dominant so I paired it with chocolate  to balance it out a bit.

These were sooo good when they came out of the oven. Chestnut and Cocoa powder get on so well together you’d think they were long lost friends. Think a newer more exciting version of the old couple hazelnut and chocolate.

 

Chestnut and Cocoa Dacquoises

Makes about 12-15 dacquoises depending on how big you make them

They taste best the day you bake them, the longer you leave them, the chewier they get, which could be a plus or a minus depending on your own personal taste

2/3  cup plus 4tbsps/100g  of chestnut flour

½ cup/ 25g of cocoa powder

4 egg whites

2/3 cup plus 6 level tbsps/75g  fructose

6 heaped tablespoons of icing sugar

For decoration: some chopped roasted hazelnuts, I also used flaked almonds and dried berries

Preheat the oven to 190° C/325° F

Line the baking pan with baking paper.

In a large bowl mix together the chestnut flour, fructose and cocoa powder.

Whisk the egg whites till they form soft peaks (See Tip below).  Use eggs that are a few days old. Separate the eggs when they are cold but whisk them 30 minutes later when they’ve hit room temperature. Make sure there’s not a single bit of yolk in there or it’s all over before it’s started!

Once your peaks have formed, add icing sugar, and then whisk again till you achieve a frothy soft consistency (See pic below).

Fold the chestnut flour mix into the egg whites.

Place tablespoonfuls of mixture on to the baking paper, about a cm apart, (they don’t really spread that much).

Decorate with dried berries or chopped roasted hazelnut or flaked almonds.

Pop them in the oven for 10-12 minutes, then if you can, wait for them to cool before peeling them carefully off the baking paper and eating.

Tip: Don’t strive for peak perfection

You should normally whisk till you get soft peaks but I got bored halfway and decided to give my hands a break pre-peak and move on. This is what it looked like and the dacquoises turned out fine:

I didn’t quite succeed in my original non-cookie quest because it does still taste like a cookie but has a chewier texture with a lovely rich, nutty chocolately flavour

Here’s what the Cynic has to say:

The Cynic: What is this?

Me: It’s a chocolate and chestnut biscuit

The Cynic: hmm…it better be nice  *prepares to take first bite*

Me: I don’t know if you’ll like it

The Cynic: How comes it’s chewy?

Me: cos it’s a dacquoise, they’re not supposed to be crunchy, that’s the texture

*Silence*

The Cynic: hmm they’re alright *he says walking off*

This believe it or not is a compliment from The Cynic and this was confirmed when I spotted him sneaking down the stairs  to eat another one when I wasn’t looking


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Dacquoises à la châtaigne et cacao

Pour 12 à 15 dacquoises (ça dépend si vous les faites grandes ou pas)

Vous ferez mieux de les manger le jour même. Sinon, plus que vous attendez,  plus qu’elles auront un texture mou ce qui peut être une bonne  ou mauvaise chose suivant les personnes.

100 g de farine de châtaigne

25g de cacao

4 blancs d’œufs

75g de fructose

6 c. à s. de sucre glacé

Pour la décoration : Des noisettes grillées et finement hachées, moi j’avais utilisé également des fruits rouges séchées et des amandes effilées

Préchauffez le four à 190°C.

Recouvrez une plaque de cuisson de papier sulfurisé

Monter les blancs en neige soupe, quand les blancs commencent à être en neige, ajouter le sucre glacé et fouetter à nouveau jusqu’à  l’obtention d’une consistance douce et mousseuse (Voir l’astuce ci-dessous)

Incorporez délicatement le mélange sucre-farine aux blancs d’œufs.

À l’aide d’une cuillère à soupe, formez sur une feuille de cuisson 12 à 15 tas de pâte,  les espaçant légèrement. (Elles s’étalent peu).

Saupoudrez avec des noisettes grillées et finement hachées ou des fruits rouges séchées  ou des amandes effilées

Et hop! Au four pendant 10 à 12 minutes.

Une note pour les gourmands : Essayez d’attendre jusqu’à ce que les dacquoises  se refroidissent un peu avant de les déguster !

Astuce: Pas la peine de rechercher la perfection

Normalement il faut attendre jusqu’a ce que les blancs d’œufs montent en neige souple, mais moi, je me suis ennuyé à mi chemin,  j’ai donc décidé de me reposer les mains et m’arrêter, ce qui m’a donné ca:

mais qui n’a rien changé au goût de dacquoises.

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6 thoughts on “Chestnut and Cocoa Dacquoises/Dacquoises à la châtaigne et cacao

  1. Pingback: Mendiants « The Curious Baker

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  4. Pingback: Chestnut Pound Cake/Quatre-quarts à la farine de chataîgne « The Curious Baker

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