PB&J Lunch Box Dacquoise

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The days are longer and the nights colder but the need for food remains the same. The term comfort food is thrown around so often like the L word in relationships, we have almost lost all meaning in the mac and cheese, fried chicken and gravy.

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Yes these foods are comforting. Who can forget the stereotypes of chocolate boxes at the end of a break up? However at the end of the day most of us say these food are our go to comfort food but what we really want is something more close to home. Your mothers stew, dad’s chilli or grandma’s sweet delights are what most of us really want. For some of us these are cravings never to be fulfilled. However I think my ultimate comfort food a little embarrassing. 

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I read a lot of what is good , what is bad and what is down right nasty. I know bakery bread is better than super market bread all the time. I know that industry tub canola spread is filled with chemicals and that butter will always taste better. Ice cream from a gelato bar is 1000x time better than home brand ice cream.

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I get it!  However I am about to share a the food I find most comforting. As juvenile as it sounds I am really into sandwiches. Not just any sandwiches, butter and vegemite sandwiches. If you have no idea what vegemite is it is the left over brewers yeast that get some spice and flavours added to it. If I was to put it a nicer way it is like a beef concentrate stock paste but darker, malty and salt as hell. This savoury paste may turn off some but I love it. Maybe I am asian who loves soy sauce, which is fermented soy beans. If I put it that way it is natural.

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More so when spread on buttered white supermarket bread then squashed and cut into triangles. Yes Try to squash your sandwich, it make it better. If I really daring I would go for canola spread over butter but this something no one else in my family likes. Very buttery, savoury and slightly sweet form white supermarket bread.

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It may go against everything I read about what is good food but why would I listen to writer to tell me what tastes good?  Another thing it is easier to make than frying donuts. Just saying… I need it to be quick.

But enough with my sandwich obsession On the other side of the world I hear that peanut butter and jello is a nice sandwich combo too. Until I try real American made PB and J, I can only dream of what it is.

SO what is better than birthday cake?

PRE BIRTHDAY CAKE! Yes my birthday is soon, SO I can have two cakes right?

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This cake is inspired by the America fixation with Peanut butter and jelly in sandwiches. The savoury, creamy hit of peanut butter against fruit tangy jelly.; I am seeing what make this the king of kid sandwiches.  PB&J Dacquoise is the adult adaptation of the kid fave. It is classy enough to serve at a adult party but it will allow everyone to get into the kiddy mood and actually have fun with food. Forget manners, it is time to face palm this cake!

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Layers of crispy, nutty  meringue filled with a combination of sweet smooth cinnamon spiced grape and apple conserve and creamy cream cheese mousse. Cream cheese has a slightly savoury note to it which is wonderful when paired with very sweet flavours like grapes. Diacquiose is a meringue that is combined fine nut meal to create sponge like texture without flour. So if your friends are on the gluten free train; they can eat this! Nothing better than creating a cake every one can eat 🙂

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A few notes on making the meringue try to fold it as lightly as possible and not work it too much when making the circles. If you work it too much it will be flat and hard.You can go down the pipping route but it is just as easy to spread on the baking paper.

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The grape conserve has apple in it but you can not really taste it. It is more the texture and tartness of apples because grapes can be bland and sweet, not  that great in cake. Also the cinnamon is an added bonus to the complement the peanut flavours.

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The topping is more for fun than anything. Potato chips are the key element to any lunchbox, They provide the sinful crunch that can not be copied by apple slices. Here they work with the salted peanuts to add texture to cake as the layers become soft and soak up the jelly and cream cheese mousse.

 

Give in to the layers of PB&J Lunch box dacquoise. Your childhood has never looked so classy.

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PB&J Lunch box dacquoise

Make a 20cm four layer cake.

Adapted from this Recipe on Bon appetit


 

Peanut dacquoise layers

90g Salted Skinless Peanuts

90g Toasted Walnuts

175g caster sugar

6 egg whites

2g cream of tartar

pinch of sea salt

 

Cream cheese mousse

250g block of cream cheese, soften to room temperature

50g icing Sugar, sieved

pinch of sea salt

240ml whipping cream, divided

5g extra  icing sugar

5ml vanilla extract

 

Grape and apple conserve ( this makes a lot but save it for pancakes later!)

1kg of red or green grapes, washed and picked over

500 apples, peeled, chopped

60ml lemon juice

2 tsp lemon zest

1 stick of cinnamon

700g white sugar

 

DECORATION

salted peanuts , chopped

potato chips, crushed


FOR CONSERVE

In a large pot place all ingredients for the conserve. Using a wooden spoon mix it all together slightly ( do not worry you can stir it more when it cooks down). Set over medium low heat and simmer until the fruit leaks its juice. You can help the process by crushing the grapes when it is a bit softer.  Once it very liquid, set it on a constant strong simmer, stir occasion to prevent burning for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes remove from heat and strain. Pour the mixture back into the pot and continue to simmer until it is  thick. It will thicken more as it cools. Once down set aside to room temp before transferring to fridge.

FOR LAYERS

Pre heat oven to 160 C. Line two baking trays with baking paper. Using a 20 cm spring form cake on base draw two circles on the baking paper. Turn the baking paper over so you do not get marks on the dacquoise. In bowl mix the peanut and walnuts together.  Place 1 cup of the nuts and 60 g sugar in a  food processor and crush until it is a fine dust. Set aside. Crush remaining nuts roughly and set aside in the same bowl.

Using an stand mixer, place the egg whites, salt and cream of tartar in the use the mixer with the whisk. The beat the egg whites to soft peak  on high medium before raining in the remaining sugar slowly.  Beat to stiff peaks.

Fold in the ground nuts slowly until combined.

Using a cookie scoop divide equal amounts of the mixture in the middle of the circles  on the baking paper. Smooth out the mixture using an angled spatula form the middle to the edges. Makes as many layers as you can before using the rest a cookies.

Bake for  45 mintues but test at 30 mintues. If they are dry all over, golden brown but still soft; it is ready. Remover form oven and leave to cool on tray.

FOR MOUSSE

In a stand mixture with the beater attachment, beat cream cheese to soft.  Scrape down the bowl. Add slowly  icing sugar until combined. Scrape the bowl again. Add vanilla and beat again to combined.

In another bowl beat the cream to firm peaks with extra icing sugar and salt. Add a 1/4cup of cream to the cream cheese mix. Rough fold it in the lighten the mix. Fold the remaining cream in slowly in three addition. Set aside in fridge for later.

FOR ASSEMBLY

Place a tiny amount of cream cheese mousse on the cake plate. Place a layer of the dacquoise on the cake plate, fixing it to the mousse to prevent it moving.  Using a piping bag fitted with a large round nossle. Pipe a ring round the layer, avoiding the edge by 1cm. Pipe remaining cream in the middle of the ring. Smooth out the middle with a spatula. Create a shallow well in the middle. Place a small amount of the conserve in the middle, smooth out. Continue to do this for for 3 layers. The final top layer: Cover it in the mousse then sprinkle on the salted peanuts and chips. Chill for 1 hour before serving.




'PB&J Lunch Box Dacquoise' have 12 comments

  1. April 23, 2015 @ 7:16 pm Ellie

    I totally know where you’re going with the sandwich thing. Comfort food is about taking you back to childhood a lot of the time and it just so happens that our palettes were simpler then so by its nature, comfort food tends not to be sophisticated. Personally, I love a peanut butter and lettuce sandwich. Even as I eat it, everything about it is wrong: weird texture and taste combos, the peanut butter get stuck to the roof of your mouth, but I love it because of the childish memories.

    Reply

    • April 23, 2015 @ 9:59 pm themoonblushbaker

      SO with you, I have never done the fried food thing for comfort. Bread ( supermarket stuff) is always a go to; I might try that PB and lettuce it sound tasty! Thank you for sharing your view Ellie!

      Reply

  2. April 23, 2015 @ 11:20 pm Michelle @ Hummingbird High

    LOVE.

    It took me a long time to come around to PBJ sandwiches (they are really, really sticky and sickeningly sweet), but I’ve decided I like them in desserts. This PBJ dacquoise is just genius, especially with that meringue!

    Reply

    • April 24, 2015 @ 11:41 pm themoonblushbaker

      Thanks Michelle! Hmm maybe I should rethink my expectations of what the Real PBJ sandwich will be like. I don’t want it to a disappointment!

      Reply

  3. April 23, 2015 @ 11:24 pm J.S. @ Sun Diego Eats

    This is so amazing. The peanut butter + grape & apple jelly + peanuts & potato chips + cream cheese in the mousse!!!! It seems like it would be something they would have at Momofuku Milk Bar right next to their Candybar Pie and Everything Bagel Bombs 🙂

    Reply

    • April 24, 2015 @ 11:43 pm themoonblushbaker

      Seriously love this comment! I dream of one day being as creative as Christina. Thanks J.S.

      Reply

  4. April 24, 2015 @ 1:26 am Beauty Follower

    Delicious photos!

    http://beautyfollower.blogspot.gr

    Reply

  5. April 24, 2015 @ 5:17 am Thalia @ butter and brioche

    You are incredible Belinda.. I am SO wishing for a slice of this dacquoise right now. I also can’t wait to see what you create this year for your birthday, though I’m sure it will be nothing short of spectacular! Xx

    Reply

  6. April 25, 2015 @ 11:15 pm cynthia

    Oh my oh my this looks AMAZING!!!! And I LOVE the potato chips on top! Sheer perfection, Belinda!

    Reply

    • May 6, 2015 @ 8:20 pm themoonblushbaker

      Thanks Cynthia! Sorry for my late reply but I really appreciate you following my blog 🙂

      Reply


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