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Monday, December 28, 2009
My first job with a Japanese company, almost 20 years ago had brought me many new first experiences. I ate Zaru soba and sashimi for the first time in my life during my welcome lunch. Things were rather different then- Japanese food was not as ubiquitous as today. I remember also looking forward to every Japanese guest/boss's visit- for invariably, they will come bearing delectable Japanese treats wrapped meticulously in pretty gift boxes. There were baked rice crackers, the recognisable Tokyo Banana (a banana shaped sponge filled with custard), the significant Pigeon Biscuit from Kamakura and some delicious sandwich cookie with rum soaked rasin butter cream. I didn't know what those raisin butter cream cookies were but they were the firm favourite at the Singapore office and I do still recall that they were rather expensive and probably still are today.
It was only quite recently when I was surfing at the Japanese Amazon that I saw these cookies again and realised that they are actually Dacquoise. Originated from South Western France, Dax, Dacquoise are more commonly seen in the west in the form of a layered or sandwiched cake. (See this link to Martha Stewart's Site)These almond or hazelnut meringue based pastry are commonly used as a cake base. The Japanese, I believe are the people who have made it so astoundingly popular as a sandwich cookie.
Less temperamental and more baker- friendly than the macarons, these are delicious on their own or paired with tea or coffee.
I use a recipe from Keiko Ishida's new book,Okashii which uses a beautiful coffee rum butter cream and rum soaked raisins. Suprisingly, the velvety rum laced cream did not over power the biscuit which I feel should really be the star of this treat. However, I do have to warn that given our humid and warm weather in Singapore, these little morsels will need to be refrigerated. They turn soft quite easily when left at room temperature.
Coffee Cream Dacquoise (adapted from Keiko Ishida's Okashii)
Ground almonds 90g (ground hazelnut can also be used)
Icing sugar 40g
Castor sugar 20g
Egg white powder 1g
Egg white 100g
Unsalted butter 100g
Egg Whites 35g
Icing sugar 35g
Coffee powder 2tsp
Rum 2 tsp
1. Preheat oven to 180C.
2. In a clean mixing bowl, whip egg white and add sugar and egg white powder in 3 additions until meringue forms stiff peaks.
3. Sift ground almond and icing sugar together. Fold the sifted dry ingredients into the meringue.
4. Using a piping bag fitted with a plain round tip, pipe round discs of the batter onto parchment paper.I use a oval mousse ring for mine.
5. Dust icing sugar twice over the piped dacquoise. The second dusting should be done just before baking.
6. Bake at 180C for 15 mins.
7. Cool biscuit completely before removing from the parchment paper.
1. In a clean mixing bowl, whip egg white and sugar until stiff peaks are formed.
2. In another bowl, whip room temperature butter until pale and creamy. At low speed mix meringue with creamed butter.
3. Mix coffee powder with Rum and add it to the butter cream.
1. Pipe coffee butter cream onto smooth face of Dacquoise biscuit. Place about 3-4 rum soaked raisin over the cream and sandwich this with another piece of Dacquoise biscuit.