Want to impress somebody special this holiday season? Here’s a dessert that tastes even better than it looks, which is pretty incredible. With layers of rich hazelnut dacquoise and mocha buttercream covered in a silky layer of dark chocolate ganache, this is one cake that is sure to make a statement—any way you slice it.

Hazelnut Dacquoise

Prepare this dessert at least a day in advance.

Preheat oven to 250 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a bowl or cake pan, draw three 8” circles. Flip the parchment paper over so that the ink side is down.

Combine hazelnut meal and cocoa powder in a medium sized bowl and set aside.

In a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites, cream of tartar and salt at a low speed until frothy. Gradually increase speed to high and slowly add sugar until egg whites are glossy and stiff peaks form. Using a spatula, fold in the hazelnut and cocoa powder mixture into the egg whites until just combined.

Fill a piping bag with the dacquoise mixture and pipe onto the parchment paper or spread the mixture with an offset spatula. Bake for 90 minutes. Turn the oven off and let cool in the oven for another 90 minutes or overnight.


In a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, mix butter until smooth and creamy. Sift cocoa powder and powdered sugar together and add to the butter mixture. Cut one vanilla bean pod lengthwise and scrape the vanilla bean seeds into the coffee. Add the coffee and the whipping cream to the butter mixture slowly while the mixer is running at low speed. Mix until buttercream is smooth and fluffy.


Heat cream and chocolate in a heat proof bowl over a double boiler stirring until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and let cool at room temperature. The ganache can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge before reheating to room temperature for assembly.

Bringing it all together

Remove dacquoise discs from parchment gently by peeling back the parchment paper. Spread a thin layer of chocolate ganache on two of the discs and let the ganache harden in the fridge for about 10-15 minutes. Assemble the dessert by spreading a layer of buttercream on top of the ganache and stacking the two discs together. Place the remaining disc on top and cover with the remaining buttercream taking care to smooth out the sides and top with an offset spatula. Chill in the fridge until the buttercream has set. Warm the ganache over a double boiler or in the microwave until warm and has a pourable consistency. Spoon the ganache over the set dacquoise allowing the chocolate to glaze the top and sides. Cool in fridge until ganache has set.

What you’ll need for the hazelnut dacquoise

  • 6 egg whites
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cup Fairtrade-certified sugar
  • 1/3 cup Fairtrade-certified cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1 cup hazelnut meal

What you’ll need for the mocha buttercream

  • 1 cup salted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup Fairtrade-certified cocoa powder
  • 4 cups Fairtrade-certified powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup Fairtrade-certified coffee, warm
  • 1 Fairtrade-certified vanilla bean pod
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream

What you’ll need for the chocolate ganache

  • 12 oz. Fairtrade-certified dark chocolate
  • 1 1/2 cup whipping cream

Author: Deb Bliss

Deb is a chemical engineer and mother of four. Deb often applies her lab skills in the kitchen, filling beakers with Crisco, milk, and eggs and yielding delicious, chocolatey compounds. She is often assisted by her young apprentices.

“Mocha Hazelnut Dacquoise” was orginally published in the Winter/Spring 2016 Edition of Fair Trade Magazine

Categories: Blog Post