This was one of those great weekends where we spent endless hours outside playing in the park, taking photos and baking. Although I love the change in seasons and cold weather, I feel pretty lucky to live in Florida in the middle of winter. We have been having fantastic weather with beautiful blue skies and cool mornings. It feels like the spring I grew up knowing. I love leaving all the windows and doors wide open and feeling the cool breeze in the morning.
I made this dessert for New Year’s Eve dinner, but it was so good, that I had to make it again once I found meyer lemons. Some citrus is so hard to find that I really try to use it to its last squeeze. Meyer lemons, which are somewhere between a traditional lemon and a mandarin, are sweeter, the skin has a more orange tint to it and are very, very fragrant.
These are small cakes with layers of coconut dacquoise, meyer lemon chiboust all wrapped in a thin white chocolate strip. I was also lucky to find red currants, which I can never resist. It’s a very light and airy dessert and the sweetness from the coconut dacquoise and the white chocolate is really balanced out by the tartness of the lemon chiboust.
These are some photos from our weekend. Hope you had a great one as well!
125 grams egg whites
30 grams sugar
130 grams unsweetened finely shredded coconut (coconut rape)
80 grams powdered sugar, sifted
In a bowl of an electric mixer, whip the egg whites to their fullest. Slowly sprinkle in the granulated sugar while whipping. Continue whipping to stiff peaks.
In a bowl mix the coconut rape and sifted powdered sugar. Add a third of this dry mixture to the meringue and fold gently. Repeat adding more dry ingredients and folding gently.
Spread the dacquoise on a sheetpan lined with parchment paper that we have previously sprayed with cooking spray. Bake at 375F until top is lightly golden. Let it cool before cutting.
100 grams whole milk
100 grams lemon juice
50 grams egg yolks
12 grams sugar
12 grams cornstarch
3 grams sheet gelatin
100 grams egg whites
15 grams sugar
Place the whole milk with the sugar in a medium saucepan and bring it to a boil.
Soften the gelatin in ice water for about 5 minutes.
In the meantime, whisk together the egg yolks, cornstarch and lemon juice in a bowl. When the milk mixture comes to a boil, temper it into the egg yolk mixture. Whisk this. Return base to the same saucepan and cook until it starts to boil and it thickens. Add the softened gelatin to the hot custard and whisk. Transfer this custard to a clean bowl.
Start whipping the egg whites. When they are fully whipped, sprinkle in the sugar and continue whipping one more minute. If you are worried about the raw egg whites, make an italian meringue instead by cooking the sugar with a bit of water to 240F and then adding it to the egg whites when they have fully whipped.
While the custard is still warm, fold a third of the meringue into it. Gently fold and add the rest. Fold until it is incorporated and no more egg white pockets can be seen.
Assemble the Cake
Make the chiboust right before you are ready to assemble the cakes.
Line 3″x2″ ring molds with acetate or parchment paper. Place the ring molds on a sheetpan lined with parchment.
Place a disk of coconut dacquoise on the bottom of the ring molds. Pipe in some chiboust. Another layer of coconut dacquoise and finish with the chiboust. Smooth out the top with an offset spatula and refrigerate until it solidifies.
Cut strips of acetate or parchment paper to fit the circumference and height of the ring mold.
Temper white chocolate couverture and spread a thin layer on these strips. Wrap the cake with the white chocolate strips and return to the refrigerator.
Remove the acetate or parchment before serving and top with berries and a dust of powdered sugar.