ALMOND DACQUOISE WITH LEMON CURD FILLING
AND LEMON BUTTERCREAM FROSTING
1-1/3 cups blanched almonds, toasted
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, divided
1 tablespoon cornstarch
7 large egg whites (1 cup) at room temperature
1 cup sugar
Lemon Curd Filling:
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice
grated zest of 2 lemons
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
Lemon Buttercream frosting:
3 large egg yolks at room temperature
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
¼ cup Karo syrup
8 ounces, (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon lemon extract
Meringue Layers: Preheat the oven fitted with 3 racks to 375 degrees. Trace a 8” circle on three sheets of parchment paper and set them in three sheet cake pans.
Pulverize the almonds with the confectioners’ sugar and the cornstarch. Beat the whites on #4 setting until frothy. Slowly pour in ½ cup sugar. Turn machine up to #6 and beat the whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add the remaining sugar in a steady stream with the machine running. Peaks will quickly become firm. Remove the bowl from the stand and fold the almond powder into the whites in 4 installments, folding gently to deflate them as little as possible.
To form the layers, either divide the meringue batter among the three circles and smooth each portion into a level disk, or spoon the meringue into a large pastry bag fitted with a large tip and pipe the batter onto the circles in concentric rings.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the layers are just firm.. Leave the layers in the oven with the heat off for 30 minutes. Remove the meringue layers from the oven. Release them from the parchment with a long spatula and completely cool on a rack. Meringue layers may be wrapped in plastic and stored in a cool, dry place for several days.
Lemon Curd: Warm the eggs, yolks, and sugar in a heavy saucepan to 100 degrees. Add the lemon juice, zest and butter and cook over medium low heat until the curd thickens (160-170 degrees). Sieve into a bowl, dot with soft butter and set aside.
Lemon Buttercream: Beat the yolks until light colored. Combine the corn syrup and sugar in a small saucepan. Place a measuring cup next to the saucepan. Bring the liquid to a simmer, stirring constantly to dissolve the sugar. When the surface is filled with boiling bubbles, pour the hot syrup into the measuring cup.
Pour a small amount the syrup onto the yolks and beat in at high speed for 5 seconds. Turn off the machine and add more syrup, beat again rapidly and briefly. Repeat until all the syrup has been added, including scraping out the measure with a spatula. Beat the mixture until cool.
Gradually beat in the butter, then the lemon juice and extract.
Assembly: Place a layer of dacquois on a serving platter. Shield the plate with strips of wax paper placed around the edges of the cake. Spread half of the lemon curd over the layer. Repeat with a second layer. Top with the third layer of meringue. Apply half the buttercream carefully to the sides to the cake. Spread the top with remaining cream.
Cover the cake with a protective dome and hold in a cool dark spot if serving the same day. Otherwise, refrigerate, but allow to return to room temperature before serving.