Chocolate Hazelnut Espresso Dacquoise – An Irresistible Nut Meringue Cake from bakeyourwaykitchen!

This gluten free cake is an adaption from Cook’s Illustrated – America’s Test Kitchen. I have adapted a few of the ingredients. I first made this back in 2012 and it was a huge hit when I made it. It is a little bit time consuming, but the end result is worth the work.\


Chocolate Hazelnut Espresso Dacquoise



¾ Cup almonds, toasted
½ cup hazelnuts, toasted
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Pinch of salt
1 cup (200 Grams) Granulated sugar
4 large egg whites, room temperature
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar or salt
¾ cup whole milk (reduced fat milk will work, but won’t be as rich)
4 large egg yolks
cup (70 Grams) of Granulated sugar
2 Teaspoons of cornstarch
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons coffee extract, coffee liquor or water (or a combination of the 3 in two tablespoons)
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
1 Cup (227 Grams) unsalted butter, softened
170 Grams (6 ounces) bittersweet chocolate (60% or higher), chopped finely
¾ cup (180ml) heavy cream
2 teaspoons butter
12 hazelnuts, toasted (for garnish)
1 cup sliced almonds, toasted (for garnish)


To enhance the flavour of this recipe, be sure to toast all the nuts needed in this recipe.

Learn how to toast nuts, here



  1. Adjust oven rack to centre position and heat oven to 250F/180C. Mark with a pencil approx. 13 by 11 inch rectangle. Be sure to grease parchment paper.
  2. In food processor process the almonds, hazelnuts, cornstarch, and salt nuts are finely ground. Add 1/2 cup sugar and pulse till all incorporated.
  3. Using stand mixer (preferably), whip egg whites and cream of tartar or salt on medium speed until foamy. Increase speed to medium-high and whip whites to soft peaks. Gradually add the mixer to high speed as you slowly add in remaining 1/2 cup sugar and continue to whip until glossy, stiff peaks form. Fold nut mixture into egg whites in 2 batches being careful not to deflate the whites.




  1. Heat milk in small saucepan over medium heat until just simmering.
  2. Whisk yolks, sugar, cornstarch, and salt in bowl until smooth.
  3. Remove milk from heat and, whisking constantly, add half of milk to yolk mixture to temper and avoid cooking eggs. Whisking constantly for about a minute.
  4. Return the tempered yolk mixture to remaining milk in saucepan. Return to saucepan over medium heat for about 5 minutes till the mixture becomes thick (pudding like consistency).
  5. Transfer the pastry cream to bowl. Cover and refrigerate until set, at least an hour, however overnight is okay too.
  6. Stir together the coffee extract (or water or coffee liqueur) and espresso powder; set aside.
  7. Using stand or hand mixer, beat butter at medium speed until smooth and light, then add the pastry cream in a few segments while beating, allow at least 30 seconds between each addition. Add espresso power/liquid mixture and continue to beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes longer.



  1.  Place chocolate in heatproof bowl. Bring cream and butter to simmer in small saucepan over medium heat. Pour cream mixture over chocolate and let stand for 1 minute. Stir mixture until smooth. Set aside to cool.



  1. Carefully invert meringue (as it is quite delicate) and peel off parchment paper. Place on cutting board. Trim uneven edges to create about a 12 by 10 or 12 by 10 inches rectangle. Reserve trimmings for other baking use or additional garnishing.
  2. With long side of rectangle parallel to counter, divide meringue by 3 using serrated knife.
  3. Place 3 rectangles on wire rack set in rimmed baking sheet. Using offset spatula, spread 1/4 cup ganache evenly over surface of each meringue. Refrigerate until ganache is firm, about 15 minutes. Set aside remaining ganache.
  4. Using offset spatula, spread top of remaining rectangle with 1/2 cup buttercream; place on wire rack with ganache-coated meringues. Invert 1 ganache-coated meringue, place on top of buttercream, and press gently to level. Repeat, spreading meringue with 1/2 cup buttercream and topping with inverted ganache-coated meringue. Spread top with buttercream. Invert final ganache-coated strip on top of cake. Spread half of remaining buttercream to lightly coat sides of cake, then use remaining buttercream to coat top of cake. Refrigerate until buttercream is firm,
  5. Optional: Warm remaining ganache in heatproof bowl set over barely simmering water, Using an offset spatula, spread ganache over top to run down the sidesletting excess flow down sides.
  6. Garnish top of cake with hazelnuts. Holding bottom of cake with 1 hand, gently press almonds onto sides with other hand. PLEASE NOTE: THIS STEP MUST BE DONE when adding buttercream on the sides if you do not wish to ganache on the sides of the cake.
  7. Let cool in the fridge for about an hour.
  8. Enjoy!

Serves about 10.

This cake is delicious and quite unique. This flourless meringue cake has a tasty nutty flavour which pairs perfectly with the chocolate. It can be stored in the fridge covered for up to 1 week.



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