Banana cin­na­mon date stacks

Australian Women’s Weekly NZ - - EXCLUSIVE EXTRACT -

MAKES ABOUT 10

A chewy, cin­na­mony dac­quoise base stud­ded with sticky dates, lay­ered with fresh cream, sliced banana and toasted al­monds, then fin­ished with lash­ings of dark choco­late ganache – what’s not to like?

DAC­QUOISE

6 large egg whites 300g (1⅓ cups) caster su­gar 150g (1½ cups) al­mond meal, sifted 1½ tea­spoons ground cin­na­mon 100g (¾ cup) pit­ted dates, roughly chopped

GANACHE

80ml (⅓ cup) cream 100g (⅔ cup) dark choco­late melts (but­tons) OR chopped dark choco­late

CRÈME CHAN­TILLY

600ml cream 60g (½ cup) pure ic­ing su­gar OR ic­ing su­gar mix­ture, sifted 2 tea­spoons vanilla ex­tract OR vanilla bean paste OR vanilla essence

BITS & PIECES

6 ba­nanas 160g (1 cup) toasted al­monds, roughly chopped 1 Pre­heat the oven to 130°C fan-forced. Line four bak­ing trays with bak­ing pa­per. Draw a to­tal of twenty 8cm cir­cles on the bak­ing pa­per, leav­ing at least 3cm of space be­tween them. Spread th­ese out over the bak­ing trays. 2 To make the dac­quoise bases, in a large bowl, whisk the egg whites with an elec­tric mixer on high speed un­til medium peaks form. Start adding a ta­ble­spoon­ful of the su­gar at a time, whisk­ing well be­tween each ad­di­tion. Keep whisk­ing un­til all the su­gar has been used and the meringue is very stiff and glossy. Com­bine the al­mond meal and cin­na­mon in a small bowl, and mix briefly. Add this, to­gether with the dates, to the meringue, and fold to­gether to com­bine. Trans­fer the mix­ture to a pip­ing bag, and snip a 1cm hole off the tip. Pipe con­cen­tric cir­cles onto the pre­pared bak­ing pa­per, or sim­ply use a spoon or spat­ula to spread the mix­ture. Bake for 30 min­utes. Cool com­pletely on the trays be­fore us­ing. 3 To make the ganache, mi­crowave the cream and choco­late in a small heat­proof bowl for about 40 sec­onds on the high­est set­ting. Whisk un­til smooth, then trans­fer the ganache to a pip­ing bag. 4 To make the crème chan­tilly, com­bine the cream, ic­ing su­gar and vanilla in a medium mix­ing bowl, and whisk by hand or with an elec­tric mixer un­til medium or stiff peaks form. Medium peaks make a nicer tex­ture to dol­lop and pro­vide mois­ture to slices of cake. Stiff peaks are more fit­ting for ic­ing cakes and pip­ing with, as the shape stays put. 5 To as­sem­ble the stacks, just be­fore serv­ing, spread a dol­lop of the Crème Chan­tilly on a disc of dac­quoise. Slice the ba­nanas and ar­range a layer of them on the cream, then snip a 2mm hole off the tip of the pip­ing bag hold­ing the ganache. Squeeze a zigzag of ganache over the top of the ba­nanas, then fin­ish with a sprin­kle of al­monds. Place an­other disc of dac­quoise on top, and re­peat the process. Con­tinue un­til all the stacks are made, or as­sem­ble them as you need – the dac­quoise discs will last up to a week in an air­tight con­tainer. Serve im­me­di­ately af­ter as­sem­bling.

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