The perfect mariage of texture and flavors
Yield a 13”x9”x1”/32x23x2.5cm baking tray. Makes 22 1.2”x4.3”/3x11cm bars.
A recipe inspired by chef Sylvain Depuichaffray from Marseille in France.
Toast hazelnuts in a 350ºF/180ºC oven for about 12 min. In a food processor, blend 3.3 oz/100g hazelnuts to medium coarse. Add powdered sugar and flour; give a few more pulses to combine and set aside. Beat egg whites along with one-third of the granulated sugar to soft peaks; add remaining sugar gradually. Turn oven on to 350ºF/180ºC. Fold dry ingredients in the meringue. Spread evenly onto a baking tray lined with silicone baking mat or a greased parchment into a thick 14''x10''/35x25cm rectangle. Make it slightly larger than the frame or baking tray that will be used to build the cake; Dacquoise shrinks a bit during baking.
Bake dacquoise for 18 to 20 minutes. Cool completely – flip and carefully, and remove parchment or silicone mat.
Toast nuts. In a hot frying pan, cook sugar to caramel stage and toss in nuts. Transfer caramelized nuts onto a silicone baking mat to cool and break into pieces. In a running food processor, blend caramelized nuts with a pinch of salt until it turns to paste. Praliné can last for months stored in a cool area or refrigerator.
If using corn flakes, crush them in the food processor. Gently, melt chocolate and butter. (Do not over heat – it should not exceed 86ºF/30ºC. Add praliné and flakes. Set aside.
Melt white chocolate (just melted). Bring heavy cream to a quick boil. Blend hot cream with chocolate and matcha. Refrigerate overnight or up to 2 weeks. Whip to soft peaks before using.
Trim off borders of the Dacquoise accordingly and place it (face side up) inside the cake frame or baking tray lined with a silicone mat or parchment making sure there are no empty spaces left between the biscuit and the edges of the mold. Carefully, spread crunchy praliné evenly over the framed Dacquoise. Top with the 70g toasted and crushed hazelnuts and press them down to stick into the crunchy praliné mixture without damaging the macaron. Immediately spread the passion fruit crémeux making sure it ends up flat; gently tap over the countertop if necessary. Freeze the passion fruit cake overnight or until it has completely hardened. Run an offset spatula around the edges to un-mold the frozen cake. Slightly trim off edges, divide cake in half lengthwise and each half into 11 bars. Store bars in the freezer in a sealed container for up to 4 weeks.
Working with chocolate can be a challenging experience especially when the room temperature exceeds 77ºF/25ºC; the cooler the better. Turn AC on if needed. Prior working with chocolate, make sure that all the tools are clean and dry as well as a cleared and spotless work surface. It is important to melt more chocolate than needed (for 400g needed, melt 800g). Chocolate couverture is a high-quality class of chocolate, containing a high percentage of cocoa solids and cocoa butter, and precisely tempered. Couverture chocolate is used by professionals for dipping, coating, molding, filling, sauce and garnishing. Use ≈ 12''x17''/30x44cm acetate plastic sheets*. Each sheet gives 4x10 / 40 plates (2 plates per dessert); make 2 sheets. Line work surface with a large silicone baking mat and place the acetate plastic sheet on top. *Acetate plastic sheets can be found online or through refined bakeries, patisseries, confectioneries and manufactures chocolate confections.
Melt milk chocolate to 104/113ºF/40/45ºC in a bain marie (water bath) on low heat; water should not touch the bottom of the bowl. Wipe off bottom of the bowl and chill it for 5 to 10 min or until the sides of the bowl begins to set. Give a good stir and check the temperature; it should be at 77/80ºF (25/26ºC). Quickly rewarm chocolate to 84/86ºF (29/30ºC). Use 7 oz/200g tempered chocolate per sheet. Spread chocolate evenly using a large offset spatula starting from 9 to 3 o’clock and 12 to 6, running the spatula straight and keeping the chocolate on board, repeat once; the layer should not be thicker than one millimeter. Carefully, move the chocolate sheet further on the countertop to set. Meanwhile, scrape out chocolate left on the work surface and clean spatula. Before cutting; if the chocolate sheet takes too long to set, refrigerate for a couple of minutes; it will be ready as soon as it does not stick to the touch and it must remain supple otherwise it will break into pieces. Cut into four 4.3''/11cm rectangles and 1.2''/3cm plaques / 40 per sheet. Cover the chocolate plate sheet with a large silicone mat or parchment. Top with a baking tray to prevent from curling and refrigerate for about an hour before using or store for weeks in a cool area or refrigerator. Keep remaining chocolate warm (85ºF/29ºC), and make another sheet.
Line up the frozen passion fruit cake bars. If there is any condensation appearing on the surface of the bars, wipe it off with a paper towel. Beat matcha ganache to soft peaks (do not over work or it will separate). Use gloves to manipulate chocolate plates. Make a thin matcha mark to glue the first chocolate plate (shinny side up) and place on each bar. Pipe out matcha ganache and cover with a second chocolate plate (shinny side up). Refrigerate and allow to thaw before serving. Garnish with a hint of gold leaf or a dust tea matcha powder. Enjoy!