dacquoise [da-kwaz] noun
Originating in the south of France, dacquoise is a meringue made with very finely chopped nuts folded into the mixture before baking. This dessert is named after the residents of Dax, a town in southwestern France, and is also occasionally referred to as Palois in reference to the residents of Pau, a neighboring town. The nutty meringue is piped or spread into shapes (often round discs) and baked until crisp in a low temperature oven. The dacquoise discs are then often layered with buttercream, sweetened whipped cream or ice cream to create a complete cake. A popular version is the classic French marjolaine – long, rectangular layers of almond or hazelnut dacquoise interspersed with chocolate or praline buttercream.
Dacquoise texture should be light and slightly crunchy. Use a light hand when folding in the nuts while also making sure the nuts are evenly combined. Too much agitation will flatten the meringue and ruin the texture.