Sunday, September 30, 2007

Mango Torte

No matter what anyone says, I think the Philippines has THE BEST mangoes in the world. Nope. Save your breath. No one can convince me otherwise.

This recipe combines two of my favorite things: mangoes and dacquoise. Dacquoise is basically a nut-meringue which is used as a base for cakes and other desserts. Its chewy-crunchy texture is a perfect foil to creamy frostings and fillings, like buttercream. Back home, one of the most popular desserts, sans rival, is basically cashew dacquoise layered with decadent buttercream.

I had never attempted to make a dacquoise before, although I've tried my hand at pavlova a few times. Since we were going to Tita M and Tito O's for dinner, I figured that this was a perfect time to be brave and wander into the world of dacquoise making.

Dacquoise (based on The Joy of Cooking)
3/4 cup almonds
1 tbsp. cornstarch
1/2 cup sugar
4 egg whites
1/2 tsp. white vinegar (the recipe called for cream of tartar but I didn't have any)

Prep: Preheat oven to 200. Draw two 8-inch circles on parchment then cut about an inch outside circles and place on cookie sheet. I used 2 cookie sheets since I had medium sized ones.

1. In a food processor, pulse nuts, cornstarch and sugar until mixure looks like breadcrumbs.
2. Set aside.
3. Beat eggwhites and vinegar on medium speed until soft peaks form.
4. Gradually add sugar while beating on high speed until stiff peaks form.
5. Gently and gradually fold in nut mixture, taking care not to deflate the meringue too much.
6. With a spatula, form the dacquoise into circles on the parchment using the drawn guides.
7. Bake at 200 for 2 hours.

Mango buttercream
1 cup pureed mango
1 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups whipping cream

1. Using the whisk attachment of the mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
2. Add mango puree and mix well.
3. Add cream and whisk over medium high heat until stiff and frosting holds its shape.

To assemble, place one dacquoise on a serving platter. Frost with 1/3 of the mango buttercream. Put second dacquoise and frost with second 1/3 of buttercream. Use last 1/3 to frost sides.

You could probably decorate this torte with mango balls on top, but I didn't have any.

Verdict: It was ok. Hubby didn't like it too much but Tita M said it was very good. I don't know. I couldn't decide. I think there was too much buttercream between the layers. This recipe defnitely needs to be tweaked a bit. I think thinner dacquoise layers would work better. So next time, I'm going to try dividing the dacquiose into 3 and putting less buttercream between layers.

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