Hazelnut Dacquoise with Chocolate Ganache Filling


1 cup (250 mL) hazelnuts (filberts), toasted and skins removed (see Tip)
1 cup (250 mL) granulated sugar, divided
4 egg whites, at room temperature
1/2 tsp (2 mL) cream of tartar

5 oz (150 g) dark or bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1-1/3 cups (325 mL) whipping cream (35%), divided


Meringue: Process hazelnuts with 1/4 cup (50 mL) sugar in food processor until coarsely chopped. Remove 2 tbsp (25 mL); reserve for garnish. Continue processing hazelnuts until finely chopped.

Line bottoms of two baking sheets with parchment paper. On each, draw two 4 x 8-inch (10 x 20 cm) rectangles. Turn paper over; rectangles should be visible.

Beat egg whites with electric mixer until frothy. Add cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form. Add remaining sugar, about 1 tbsp (15 mL) at a time, beating until sugar is dissolved and stiff peaks form. Gently fold in hazelnuts. Spoon one quarter of the mixture over each rectangle; spread evenly to fill space.

Bake until crisp on the outside and light golden in colour, about 25 minutes. Cool on baking sheets.

Filling: When ready to assemble, heat chocolate and 1/3 cup (75 mL) whipping cream in microwave on High power until chocolate is partially melted, for 40 seconds. Stir until completely melted; set aside.

Whip remaining cream on high until stiff peaks form. Gently fold in chocolate until blended.

Carefully peel one meringue from parchment paper; place on serving platter. Spread one quarter of filling over meringue. Continue layering remaining meringues and filling, ending with layer of filling. Sprinkle reserved hazelnuts over top.

Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight before cutting into slices with serrated knife to serve.

TIP: To toast hazelnuts and remove skins, place on baking sheet in 350°F (180°C) oven until fragrant and skins start to split, about 8 minutes; stir or shake frequently. Transfer to clean tea towel. Rub hazelnuts in towel, removing as much skin as possible (not all will come off). Cool to room temperature.

Nutrients per serving:

Calories: 313
Fat: 22 g
Sodium: 29 mg
Carbohydrate: 26 g
Fibre: 1 g
Protein: 4 g