The obvious recipe for me to make for this week’s “cool” theme was more frozen dessert. I was going to try a sorbet since I have only made an ice cream and frozen yoghurt, but it seemed rather boring since I have used my ice cream maker the previous two weeks in a row!
I was flipping through the AWW Cook Cookbook and found a recipe for a meringue terrine. It sounded interesting and I have never made meringue before (well, I did try macarons once). Even though the meringue is baked, it needed to be chilled overnight and was served cold, so it fits into the “cool” theme.
The terrine is basically layers of meringue, chocolate and mocha butter cream. The note to the recipe says “A classic dacquiose is two meringue layers sandwiched with a buttercream filling. It originated in the French town of Dax, whose residents are called Dacquois. It is served cold, often with a complementary seasonal fruit or with nuts mixed into the buttercream. This makes an elegant dessert for a dinner party”.
Hmm, notice the words “elegant dessert”? Mine actually turned out to be a cracking mess! There was no guide as to how the egg whites should look after adding the sugar and what the correct way to fold the cocoa in so perhaps I didn’t do it correctly! It wasn’t the prettiest looking dessert, but it was a nice concept with the layers. Someone said it was like a modern chocolate pavlova but better!
I made a half serve by halving the ingredients and making my rectangles 10 x 12.5cm, but below is the recipe for a full serve.
Chocolate mocha dacquoise terrine
4 egg whites
1 cup (220g) caster sugar
2 tbsp cocoa powder
200g dark eating chocolate, chopped coarsely
¾ cup (180ml) cream
2 tsp cocoa powder, extra for dusting
1. Preheat oven to 150C (130C fan forced). Line oven trays with baking paper and draw three 10 x 25cm rectangles, leaving adequate space between each.
2. Beat egg whites in a small bowl with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, and beat until sugar dissolves between additions. I wasn’t sure how much to beat it, but my end meringue was glossy and held its shape when I lifted the whisk out.
3. Fold in sifted cocoa gently until all combined. Try to be gentle as not to deflate the mixture.
4. Spread meringue mixture evenly over drawn rectangles.
5. Bake, uncovered, about 45 minutes or until meringue is dry. Turn off oven and cool meringues in oven with door ajar.
6. Meanwhile, stir chocolate and cream in a small saucepan over low heat until smooth. Transfer to a small bowl and refrigerate until firm. Using a fork, stir mixture for about 20 seconds or until just changed in colour and spreadable.
7. Make mocha butter cream (see below).
8. Place one meringue layer on serving plate and spread with half the chocolate mixture and then top with half of the butter cream.
9. Top with another meringue layer, spread with the remaining chocolate mixture, then with remaining butter cream. Top with last layer of meringue.
10. Cover and refrigerate 3 hours or overnight. Dust with extra cocoa powder just before serving. I left out the cocoa for dusting.
1 tbsp instant coffee granules
2 tbsp boiling water
100g unsalted butter, softened
2 ¼ cups (360g) icing sugar, sifted
1. Dissolve coffee granules in the boiling water in a small bowl, then cool.
2. Beat butter in a small bowl with electric mixer until pale in colour.
3. Gradually beat in sifted sugar, half a cup at a time.
4. Beat in coffee mixture.
Results: My meringues ended up with an air layer in between so they were very easy to break, hence why it is not the prettiest looking dessert. The texture of the terrine was unusual – you got the dissolving meringue which was slightly chewy, mixed in the sweetness of the buttercream and chocolate. It was quite similar to a macaron. This dessert is very much a sugar overload – it is quite sweet and rich because the layers of the chocolate and buttercream are thick so you can only have a small piece. Even though I’m not a coffee fan, the mocha buttercream was good and I would use the combination of chocolate with the mocha buttercream in a layer cake.
Would I make it again? No, it’s a bit too sweet for me. If I did make it again, I would make the layers of chocolate and buttercream much thinner.
Over & Out, Rilsta xx