No, I’ve not given up on blogging. Or on baking. I’ve just been extremely busy. My daughter graduated from eighth grade; I hosted Father’s Day and my work has been hectic, a big report, a state-wide conference and a couple of training sessions for employees at other sites.
Speaking of the conference, one night we had a social event, the “Migrant Luau.” I’m not sure why, but that just sounds wrong. (And, yes, we did limbo!)
We also went to the fabulous Lincoln Museum and Library in Springfield, IL. It was wonderful, but there was one disturbing moment; a nearby wall contained a photo of a gentleman with a severely scarred back; he was covered in hideous welts caused by being whipped while he was a slave. It was heartbreaking. The little boy in front of me asked his grandma “What happened to that man?” The grandmother’s response:
“When those people were bad, they were spanked with a whip.”
“Those people?” in reference to slaves or to any minority is an “us vs. them” wording that makes me cringe.
And the “were bad” part made me throw up a little in my mouth.
Yes, she was talking to a small child; approximately five years old. But there had to be a better way to answer the boy’s question. Addressing a child his age, I would have explained that at one very sad point in history, people thought it was okay to own other people and they often mistreated the people, including hurting them.
Okay, enough of my diatribe, on to the recipe.
This delicious, difficult-to-pronounce dessert (da-kwaz) was chosen by Andrea of Andrea in the Kitchen.
Reading it over, the recipe is similar to a pavlova recipe I made one Christmas. The pavlova had chocolate meringue layered with whipped cream and sliced strawberries and drizzled with melted dark chocolate. This recipe has a more tropical bent, combining almonds (I subbed in pecans), coconut, white chocolate ganache, and, best of all, roasted pineapple.
I love roasted fruit. Especially peaches or pineapple, brushed with a bit of honey, and grilled. BTW, pineapple is excellent with a tiny pinch of cayenne pepper added to the honey and a sprinkling of cilantro when it comes off the grill. Odd combination, I know, but incredibly tasty. (Unless you are one of those unlucky souls who think cilantro tastes soapy.)
Sunday night, after our Father’s Day celebration, I made the meringue. I pulsed pecans with cornstarch, powdered sugar and coconut, then whipped the egg whites til they were holding soft peaks and added the sugar, continuing beating til they held stiff peaks. Next I folded in the pecan mixture and spread the meringue onto three 6 x 12 inch pieces of parchment paper. I baked the sheets for three hours at 225 degrees.
While the meringue was in the oven Chris and the kids and I watched “Arthur.” Not the cartoon with the aardvark from the childrens’ books, but the classic movie with Dudley Moore. The first scene involves Arthur picking up a prostitute. Nice family movie, huh? (Honestly, it’s only rated PG and it won two Oscars!)
Gloria: (the prostitute) “My mother died when I was six.”
Arthur: “Jesus! Don’t they know what they do to kids?”
Gloria: “My father raped me when I was twelve.”
Arthur: “So, you would say you had six relatively good years?”
I’m not sure if I’m glad or sad that my kids were old enough to get the humor.
Once the movie was over and the meringue sheets were done, I took them out of the oven to cool, then wrapped them in several layers of plastic wrap to sit overnight until I could make the filling. My dear friend SS had already made the ganache and said it was overwhelmingly sweet, so I decided to sub in lightly sweetened whipped cream. I toasted the pineapple in the broiler, let it cool and then assembled the layers. Meringue, whipped cream, coconut, pineapple x 3.
The recipe says to allow it to sit, refrigerated, for six hours or longer. I decided this was a mere recommendation, not a must. Kind of like when the doctor says “take the medicine until it’s all gone,” or the dentist says “come back in six months” or when my parents would say “no one is allowed in the house while we are on vacation.” Sorry for my contributions to disease resistant bacteria, gingivitis and distrust of teenagers.
I put it in the fridge, mopped the laundry room and thought… hmmm…. I’m too tired from cleaning to cook; how about coconut-roasted pineapple dacquoise for dinner? Obviously, my other contribution to society is poor parenting. Reagan opted to make easy mac instead and for many minutes resisted my proffered fork full of delicious dacquoise.
“I don’t like coconut!”
“Oh, just taste it. It’s goooooood.”
“I don’t like coconut!”
“You can barely taste it. And it’s so good!”
“Crap, I messed up the easy mac!” (I know, it begs the question, how does one “‘mess up’ easy mac?” She misread the fill line and added too much water.)
“Here, have some tasty dacquoise, you won’t regret it!”
She tasted it.
“Well, I guess I’ll eat some if you put it in a bowl for me.”
Thank goodness my daughter is so kind, allowing me to dish out some dessert for her for dinner.
We all (other than Taylor who wouldn’t taste it) loved this recipe. The neighbors loved it. Taylor’s friend J. loved it. Thank goodness. Or I’d be having dacquoise for breakfast, lunch and dinner (and dessert) today. This is definitely in my top two of TWD recipes. (Along with the pear tart. I still heart that almond cream.)
Sorry about the poor quality photo. I really, really need a new camera!