101°F
weather icon Clear

Dessert perfect for Valentine’s Day

Dazzle your loved ones with this luxurious meringue-based French pastry. It’s simply ethereal. You’d pay a fortune for this at a bakery, but it’s easy and exceptionally frugal to make yourself.

Traditionally, dacquoise (dakwaz) is defined as nut meringue. Made from egg whites whipped into billowy clouds, dacquoise can be used as the base for many desserts. Classic dacquoise are filled with whipped cream or ganache and stacked in layers. As they sit, the crisp interior melts to a decadently soft center. Divine!

You won’t find a better frugal and fabulous bang for your buck than meringue. All it takes is egg whites and sugar. Save the yolks for other recipes.

With meringue there are a few things you need to know. The bowl and beater must be completely free of fat. Use ⅛ teaspoon of cream of tartar for each egg white and you won’t risk overbeating them. Start slow and once begun, don’t stop.

Cream of tartar is a wonderful thing. A byproduct of winemaking, the mild acid denatures some of the egg white proteins making the eggs froth up faster creating a stiffer, more stable meringue. If you don’t have any, substitute 1 teaspoon lemon juice or white vinegar for every ½ teaspoon of cream of tartar in the recipe.

This recipe is completely gluten-free.

STRAWBERRIES AND CREAM DACQUIOSE

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Time: 4 hours to overnight

Active: 1 hour

What You’ll Need

For dacquoise:

6 egg whites at room temperature

3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

3/4 cups granulated sugar

3/4 cup nut flour, almond or hazelnut

For the filling:

2 cups cold heavy whipping cream

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 cup (8 ounces) mascarpone cheese, optional

1 pound fresh strawberries

Preheat the oven to 225 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Draw four (7-inch) rounds on paper.

Place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on low until fine bubbles form. Add cream of tartar and gradually increase speed to medium-high, whipping until soft peaks form. Slowly add the sugar, one tablespoon at a time and whip until the meringue holds stiff peaks.

Remove the bowl from the mixer. Using a wide spatula, gently fold in the nut flour, stopping as soon as it’s incorporated. Don’t overmix.

Load the meringue into a piping bag with a large tip or a gallon-sized zip top baggie with the corner snipped off. Pipe in a spiral onto your parchment, forming discs.

Bake the discs for 60 minutes then turn the oven off. Resist the urge to peek. Leave them in the oven to dry for at least four hours or better, overnight.

To assemble: Whip the heavy cream with the sugar to soft peaks. Add the mascarpone, if using, and blend. The mascarpone adds thickness making it more stable. Layer the dacquoise with cream and sliced berries.

Besides Valentine’s Day, remember this recipe for Mother’s Day and summer parties when the berries are perfectly ripe and in season. See you next week.

Lifestyle expert Patti Diamond is the recipe developer and food writer of the website “Divas On A Dime – Where Frugal, Meets Fabulous!” Visit Patti at www.divasonadime.com and join the conversation on Facebook at DivasOnADimeDotCom. Email Patti at divapatti@divasonadime.com.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Historic hoof steps: Posse members ride in tradition of Pony Express

In her long-sleeved red shirt, brown hat and vest, Julie Sprague followed in the footsteps — or more appropriately hoof steps — of her great-great-grandfather, Elijah Nicholas Wilson, participating in the 2019 Pony Express Re-ride.

Library takes resources to new dimension

The Boulder City Library is entering a different dimension with its new piece of equipment: a 3D printer.

Club hosting contest for new Doodlebug logo

The group behind the Doodlebug Craft Bazaar, a longtime Boulder City festival, is hosting a contest to design a new logo for the event.

Add lemony flavor with concentrate

I’m always on the lookout for inexpensive ingredients that can be used in lots of recipes. I’m especially happy when I find unexpected uses for a common ingredient.

Donation to Celebrate

Hali Bernstein Saylor/Boulder City Review

Community Briefs, July 18

Gallery to feature Bilodeau’s art

Senior Center, July 18

Hours of operation: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday to Friday at 813 Arizona St., 702-293-3320. Visit the center’s website at www.seniorcenterbouldercity.org.

Cardboard boats to race Wednesday

The 19th annual cardboard boat races are Wednesday, July 17, and this year’s theme is “Wreck-it Ralph.”

Boulder’s Best: Great spots to get wet

Today ushers in a heat wave for Boulder City with temperatures expected to be 107 degrees and higher. To help residents survive the heat, the Boulder City Review has compiled a list of places to cool down, swim or just play in some refreshing water.