Coconut, Meyer Lemons and White Chocolate

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!

Coconut Dacquoise

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.

Lemon Chiboust

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.

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62 Responses to “Coconut, Meyer Lemons and White Chocolate”

  1. cindy* says:

    gorgeous aran! i love the feeling of a cool morning breeze too, there is something that is so fresh and new…the prefect way to start a day. what a great post to end the weekend.

  2. nadia says:

    beautiful aran, how i love when windows can be left open and spring breezes flow into the house. Such a lovely post, so fresh and happy!

  3. miri says:

    The weekend you had sounds just perfect! As does this beautiful looking dessert!

  4. morgana says:

    Me encantan tus fotos. Confieso que me paso las hora muertas mirándolas. Me parece todo un arte saber cómo encuadrar, enfocar, hacer que la luz sea la adecuada… Bueno, son tantos factores y al final el resultado es tan mágico que no me queda otra que rendirme a tus pies.

    Eso sólo con las fotos, que con las recetas, otro tanto. No suelo “tirar” demasiado del coco porque hay mucha gente a mi alrededor que le tiene declarada la guerra y es una pena, porque la mezcla con limón que nos planteas, por ejemplo, es una auténtica gozada. ¿Quedará demasiado fuerte con limón normal?

    Enhorabuena por las fotos, por las recetas… Y por ese duendecillo rubio que se ve en las fotos.

    Un beso.

  5. ooo so pretty, I just can’t resist lemon and white chocolate together, now if only I could fid meyer lemons in Ireland!!!

  6. 190.arch says:

    Lucky you!
    I love that nice sensation of cold mornings, and then the sun warming slowly everything. A real warming sun!
    Here we are under a thick ice layer… it’s not so bad at all, but it is very slippery.

  7. FeeMail says:

    I’m starting to slobber, just thinking about it ;-)!

  8. What lovely flavors! Pretty! I’m drooling…



  9. Aran says:

    Morgana- se puede utilizar el limon tradicional. de hecho, la primera vez que lo hice, lo prepare con zumo de limon normal y esta buenisimo. como el dacquoise y el chocolate blanco son tan dulces, el limon es un buen contraste. gracias!

    thanks everyone. hope you had a great weekend!

  10. indosungod says:

    that sure is a beauty. Yes red currants are irresistible I am sure. I have only seen pictures of them never live :(

  11. veron says:

    This dessert is beautiful..and what great pictures of your weekend!

  12. Carolina says:

    So wonderful! I love white chocolate, and this dessert to.
    Have a nice day!

  13. Happy New Year! What a wonderful way to kick off 2009. I’m so jealous that you can get your hands on Meyer lemons, that’s one of the few disadvantages I find about living in Europe.

  14. RuthWells says:

    So pretty, and right up my Hubby’s alley, flavor-wise — I’m going to have to try this one.

  15. Candace says:

    The weather has been positively glorious lately right? I was watching a football game on TV where there was snow all over the field… and then sat outside to watch the sunset wearing shorts. Its good to be in SoFla during the winter! Lovely dessert!

  16. stopppppppppppp youre making me uncomfortably jealous…its not fair, i want the windows open and breeze, and warmth to wear a dress, i think im only happy when i wear dresses. im reading this right now in my bed underthe 4-chest crushing blankets i have to use…grrr. but at least i have your photos! how sappy am i!!?

    your child is uncommonly cute…must be the basque blood eh?

    wow new word, chiboust. i always muck up layered attempts like that, not sure i could do the last chocolate step, but if i could that one is amazing! i thought it was paper!

  17. I ve never heard the word chiboust but anyways sound like an amazing dessert. I love lemon and coconut they go so well together :)

  18. Aran says:

    Snooky Doodle and Mallory- Chiboust is a cream composed of a pastry cream and an italian meringue folded into it. It has a bit of gelatin to give it some consistency. It is super super light!


  19. jillian says:

    So pretty! It seems everyone has citrus on the brain lately. Lemon, coconut and currants in one dessert sounds ideal!

  20. limonana says:

    What a lovely weekend you must have had! i’m loving all the citrus recipes cropping up!

  21. Alejandra says:

    My mouth is watering just thinking about how lovely this would taste…

    Beautiful photos, as always!

  22. Becky says:

    omg, these look absolutely exquisite! i wish i could make these.

  23. Zerogluten says:

    Ya sabes que me declaro abiertamente una incondicional tuya.
    La mezcla del limón y el coco me encanta. El coco con las frutas ácidas o exoticas tipo mango, papaya, maracuya… me parece super refrescante.
    Las fotos como siempre invitan a la contemplación. Son perfectas.
    No sabía que ese angel rubio era tu niño (como no entiendo muy bien el inglés), pero es absolumente precioso, la guinda del pastel.
    Besitos sin gluten

  24. Rita says:

    Beautiful photos, as usual! Florida weather is nice, but I still love the Northwest even with all the rain…

  25. lynda says:

    Another show-stopper! I love the delicate currants and raspberries together with just that tiny slice of kumquat. They look like jewels! If that’s your son, boy is he a cutie-pie, too. :)

  26. Y says:

    I can just imagine the taste of this.. light and refreshing!

  27. Joyce says:

    I love lemon, coconut and chocolate so this dessert has my name all over it! Very beautiful pictures of your dessert and your wonderful weekend!!

  28. Vera says:

    Gorgeous dessert, Aran! So light and refreshing!
    Your son is not a baby anymore; but still so cute!

  29. Tartelette says:

    Jon has to stop growing!! Can you imagine him at 16 going to prom..ughhh ok, so not what you want to hear….
    How about: all my faves combined in one delicious dessert! Lovely!

    Now you may sing The Twilight Zone :)

  30. Mrs.French says:

    I long for you weather..actually I long for this, the flavor combination sounds divine! Oh and let’s talk about the bottom set of photos…perfect! xo t

  31. Simply gorgeous presentation…I love the flavor pairing too!

  32. ChichaJo says:

    You are truly my daily dose of gorgeous inspiration…those little cakes look divine!

    I am loving the weather here too…in the tropics we don’t really have a winter to speak of but it’s been so cool lately everyone is enjoying this once a year respite from the heat!

  33. it’s seems magic…. wow.. compliments.

  34. Eileen says:

    What a beautiful combination of ingredients. Looks delicious.

  35. linda says:

    Have been reading about Meyer lemons for years now but have still to taste them. I don’t think they are available here. I guess I have to visit the US for that ;)
    Wonderful dessert, citrus and white chocolate are always very good together.

  36. ana dane says:

    i just splurged on some meyer lemons (they’re a bit harder to come up when you live in the colder climes) but i almost don’t want to use them because i’ll be sad when they’re gone.

    maybe something with those luscious red fruits…you’ve inspired me.

  37. Thank you again Aran. One of the things I really like about your blog, are the “little things” that you show us how to make (us that are not pastry chef trained). For instance those thin chocolate rings. I am no saying I’ll be immediately successful at making them, but reading your blog helps me understand how they are made… and also makes me appreciate the care and long hours of practice it must have taken to reach such apparent ease. Reading your blog has certainly inspired me to bring a little more sophistication to my desserts.


  38. Esti says:

    que envidia me das con las ventanas abiertas!! Hecho de menos el sol… Me estoy quedando arrugada, ja, ja… Y qué guapo Jon!! Tiene tus ojos… te lo dirán todo el rato… ;)

  39. Camille says:

    Coconut, lemons,white open windows and a weekend out of doors with your family…nothing beats it! I can see why you made this dessert again. Mouthwatering!

  40. corine says:

    Now what looks more delicious, the desert or those cheeks?

  41. This looks so beautiful, light and airy. Simple and gorgeous. I can almost taste all of the flavors.

  42. meyer lemon chiboust, coconut dacquoise? aran this one might be the one…the one that puts me into such a swirl of wishing I could eat that but more than that….that i can someday sit in your kitchen, talk while you concoct these incredible dishes, assist you on the photo shoot–these are gorgeous, and i can feel the good weather in this post! In this dessert! little jon is adorable!

  43. Marianna says:

    why is it that everytime i come to your blog the first thing that comes to my mind is AMAZING!!! so i repeat again, your work and combination of flavours here is simply AMAZING!

  44. Navita says:

    hi first time here…n m already sure i will be back for more ;p

    m new to blogosphere, 3 months old…so wud love it if u cud stop by sometime :)

  45. Mobula says:

    Una nueva delicia entre nosotros, pero me encanta la combinación de coco y de limón, aunque los limone Meyer nunca los he visto…

    rico postre….


  46. leaca says:

    I wish I had your talent. These look great.

  47. Wow that looks incredible. It looks very light and delicate and sounds like an awesome way to enjoy the citrus season here.

  48. rita says:

    What can I say, you inspire me, although mine would never look as good as yours!

  49. Christy says:

    I love cool mornings, but only if they change into warm afternoons…but my favourite are warm, balmy summer nights after the sun goes down….

    Beautiful dessert, and thank you for showing me what meyer lemons actually look like!!

  50. This looks great Aran! I have half a genoise sitting in my freezer from a Mont Blanc I made yesterday. I wonder if I could use that instead of the dacquoise?

  51. Aran says:

    Marc- totally!!! but make sure you soak it with simple syrup. this coconut dacquoise is so moist…

  52. Irene says:

    That is a gorgeous, gorgeous photo. What a wonderful dessert!

  53. Anonymous says:

    Dear Aran! I love how this cake is beautifully wraped in a white chocolate strip. Is there anyway you can explain how your chocolate strips come out so perfect. Have you posted pictures or details on how to make them step by step?

  54. Aran says:

    Anonymous- I use acetate sheets and there really is no trick. I spread a thin layer of chocolate on the sheet, then I lift one end of the acetate with a paring knife, slightly clean the edges with my fingers to get a clean cut and gently wrap the cake with it. It’s important that once you wrap the sheet, you don’t touch it too much until it sets. This way, you won’t leave any indentations with your fingers and hands. Just lightly press. When the chocolate sets completely,peel the acetate off and that’s it.

    Thank you very much!

  55. Valentine says:

    That really helped :)
    Thanks so much Aran!

  56. Your pictures are breathtaking! :)
    They are beautiful! and this recipe sounds yummy :)

  57. nana says:

    really amazing! can i ask if i want to use jelatin powder instead of sheet,how much jelatin powder i need?

  58. This is stunning! What a beautiful dessert! It looks so good, and I am sure it tasted wonderful too! Thanks for sharing!

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