For starters, the meringue cooks for three hours. Three! I put it into the oven, then went out to the farmer’s market, had some brunch, and came home with a half hour still left on the timer. The white chocolate ganache filling and frosting pulls together quickly, but it has to chill for four hours. Once the dacquoise is assembled (after a little detour to broil pineapple slices and toast coconut flakes), the whole thing needs to chill another four to six hours. It’s an all day affair.
And you know, I didn’t love this dacquoise. The flavors didn’t quite come together, and I found myself wishing it were something else: coconut cupcakes with cream cheese frosting or pineapple upside-down cake. I suppose I missed the tenderness of a cake in place of the meringue layers.
But there was something about the leisurely process of building this dacquoise that really appealed to me. It’s one of those recipes that requires sustained attention, but it also has an easy rhythm and flow to it. So I was never rushed or juggling too many things and worrying that one or another would burn or curdle or scorch. Everything had its purpose under the sun, and each piece built seamlessly upon the ones that came earlier. It would be nice if more of life proceeded at this pace.
Thanks to Andrea in the Kitchen for selecting this recipe. I’m quite sure I wouldn’t have tackled this dessert without a bit of prodding. You can find the recipe on Andrea’s site or on pp. 293-295 of Baking: From My Home to Yours.