Yes, James, it's another side shot, but look at those layers!
Actually, there is a lot more to say; this is a peanut butter dacquoise with chocolate glaze, which means that it is a layering of peanut meringues, peanut butter mousse and thick, dark chocolate glaze. This was very peanut-y without being overly sweet and the dark chocolate was the perfect accent, making this a rich, yet light and not overly decadent dessert. That said, it was a lot of work spread over a significant period of time, so I would suggest this for a time when you are only in charge of the dessert or I would make all the ingredients the day before and then layer and glaze the day of the dinner party (or night in by yourself, depending on what you want this for; I’m not judging). That said: totally worth it.
1 1/4 cups roasted, salted peanuts (good ones if you can swing it)
3/4 cup sugar, divided
6 large egg whites
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
pinch of coarse salt
1. Preheat oven to 275 and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Draw three 10″ x 4 1/2″ rectangles on the parchment and then flip over so you can see the lines through the paper.
2. Finely grind 1 cup of peanuts with a 1/4 cup of sugar in a food processor. Coarsely chop the other 1/4 cup of nuts. Set aside.
3. Using an electric mixer, beat together egg whites, cream of tartar and salt until nice and foamy. Add the remaining sugar 1 Tbsp at a time, beating for 1-2 minutes in between each addition or until sugar is fully dissolved each time (you can check by rubbing a little of the meringue between your thumb and forefinger; if it feels grainy, it is not yet fully dissolved, keep going). Once all sugar has been added, continue beating until glossy and stiff peaks form. (We learned the hard way that even the tiniest bit of yolk can cause the meringue to not puff up the way it should, so separate your eggs individually in a small bowl and set aside any that have yolk in them for scrambled eggs)
4. Add all nuts and fold in until just mixed.
5. Spoon approximately 2 cups of meringue onto each rectangle on parchment and spread evenly to fill the space. Bake until golden brown and dry all over, but still slightly soft, about 1 hour 30 mins. Let cool completely on the pan on a rack. If assembling the following day, store in an airtight container at room temperature.
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 1/3 cups dark chocolate chips (ours were 55% cocoa solids)
Pinch of coarse salt
1. Whisk cocoa and sugar together in a medium saucepan until well blended and then gradually add 1/4 cup water, whisking until smooth. Gradually stir in the cream and then bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking often.
2. Reduce heat to low and add in the chocolate, whisking until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Let stand at room temperature, whisking occasionally, until cool and slightly thickened, about 2 hours.
1/2 cup natural peanut butter (chunky, if possible)
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
pinch of coarse salt
1 cup heavy whipping cream, chilled
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1. Beat first 3 ingredients (through salt) together in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer until blended. With mixer running, gradually beat in 1/4 cup of cream. Add another 1/4 cup of cream and beat just until blended.
2. In another bowl beat together remaining cream, sugar and vanilla until peaks form. Fold into peanut butter mixture in 3 additions. Cover and chill until ready to use.
1. Glaze 2 layers of meringue with 1/4 cup of glaze. Chill for 30 minutes to set the glaze.
2. Place the biggest glazed meringue on serving plate. Place half the mousse on it and spread to cover evenly. Add the next glazed meringue and repeat.
3. Add the unglazed layer of meringue. At this point, our glaze had gotten quite thick and we essentially iced the dacquoise. However, if your glaze is still a bit runny, you may want to put it on in 2 additions, chilling for 30 minutes or so in between.
4. Chill the finished product for at least 3 hours before serving. We had this all on it’s own, but if you wanted a garnish, I would suggest fresh berries; this does not need whipping cream or anything like that.