Friday, July 20, 2012

Chocolate and Caramel Dacquoise Terrine

It has been a big week in our house, Mr B has been struck down by the flu, we have become an instant family after adopting 2 abandoned lambs and now I have a cold so all in all Mr B and I are very much looking forward to catching up on some sleep this weekend!

Before I descend into a Sleeping Beauty like slumber for the next 48 - 60 hours, let's talk dessert. There is not much that can be said about this dessert besides the fact that it totally kicks butt, it ticks boxes, it scores brownie points, it does the works. 

It's basically 3 sheets of chocolate meringue sandwiched together with caramel whipped cream and chocolate ganache.....I know, right?!

Now I will admit I was scared of this dessert because the last time I tried to make meringues for Mr B's lunches they turned out flat and horrid and generally not meringue-ey. But I was determined to give it a go and so glad I did!!

For the Meringues you will need:

4 egg whites
1 cup caster sugar
2 tbspns cocoa powder

Preheat your oven to 150C / 130C fan-forced and line three baking trays with baking paper. I suggest spraying them with cooking spray too. 

Beat the egg whites with your electric mixer until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar and cocoa and beat until sugar has dissolved and stiff peaks form.

Spread the meringue mixture onto your trays so that you have 3 even rectangles.

Bake the meringues for roughly 45 minutes or until they are dry to touch. Turn off the oven and allow them to cool with the door ajar for around an hour.

For the Ganache you will need:
200g dark chocolate melts
3/4 cup thickened cream

While the meringues are cooking, combine the chocolate and cream in a bowl and microwave in 45 second bursts, stirring in between, until smooth and combined. Place in the fridge until you are ready to assemble.

For the Caramel Whipped Cream
1.5 cups thickened cream + 1/2 cup extra
1/2 cup icing sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar

Combine the brown sugar and 1/2 cup thickened cream in a microwave safe bowl or jug. Heat for 1 minute or until sugar is dissolved and mixture is smooth.

In a bowl, combine the remaining cream, icing sugar and caramel mixture. Beat using a stick mixer until thickened. Place in the fridge until ready to assemble.

To Assemble -

Now, I made all of this the night before I wanted to serve it. The ganache and cream are fine in the fridge overnight and I just left the meringues in the switched off oven with the door closed overnight and it seemed to keep them nice and fresh.

When you are ready to put it all together, remove your meringues from the baking paper - I just inverted the trays and found the baking paper peeled off them really easy.

Start by placing one meringue on your serving platter or tray. Spread with just under half of your ganache. Top with half of the whipped cream. Place another layer of meringue on top and repeat layers. Finish by drizzling the remaining ganache over the top and serve!

This dessert is beautiful when it's fresh, but also makes delicious leftovers when the meringues have been in the fridge overnight and come out nice and chewy!!

Although I do suggest not leaving it on the table while you and your guests are trying to have dessert - nobody was entirely thrilled when I, despite having a bowl of dessert in front of me, kept eating spoonfuls straight off the serving platter - just one of many benefits in being the cook and the host!!

Enjoy your weekend!!

Mrs B xx

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