Beast + Bottle opened this spring with "approachable nose to tail" fare from executive chef/owner Paul Reilly and a smart bar menu. But the restaurant's best-seller is actually the last item on the dessert menu, the Chocolate Dacquiose. Pastry chef Andrea Wight has modeled it after a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, layering meringue with whipped cream, chocolate ganache, peanut butter mouse and sea salt caramel.
"It's is fucking badass," Reilly says of Wight's dacquiose. So badass that Wight has to make extra peanut butter mouse so that everyone on staff can enjoy a tablespoon when she makes the dessert. Even more badass, Beast + Bottle was nice enough to share the recipe with us.
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While the Chocolate Dacquoise may be the top seller, the Rhubarb Custard Tart is Wight's favorite. With almost a Key lime pie tang, the custard tart is paired with candied ginger and a cardamom Chantilly cream. But fair warning: The tart will only be on the menu while rhubarb is in season.
Also in season are the Brandy Compressed Red Plums. Fresh plums are compressed with brandy to bring out their flavor without breaking down the fruit, then served with toasted almond ice cream and housemade almond brittle. A "good thing to have on a hot day," as Wight describes it, the dessert isn't overly sweet and has a light crunch from the brittle.
If these sound like too much dessert, try the ice cream sandwich from the Bites section of the menu. It combines two double-chocolate cookies with salted pretzel ice cream and a drizzle of fresh caramel. It last for just three delicious bites, but that's enough to satisfy a sweet tooth -- and it costs only $3.
Keep reading for the Chocolate Dacquoise recipe.
Beast + Bottle's Cocolate Dacquoise (broken down layer by layer)
The meringue: Place 8 egg whites and 4.5 ounces of powdered sugar in mixing bowl and whisk over a saucepan of boiling water until mixture is opaque and thickened. Remove from heat and add 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Mix until meringue stiffens and add one ounce toasted ground peanuts. Lay parchment paper over a holy silpat and spread mixture into a thin layer. Bake meringue at 250 degrees for 25 minutes, cool and break into shards.
The peanut butter mousse: Mix one ounce of brown sugar and two ounces of cream in a bowl until sugar dissolves. Add four ounces of creamy peanut butter, pinch of salt and vanilla to mixing bowl and continue to mix until combined. Add remaining cream and whip until medium peaks form.
The ganache: Mix three ounces of room temperature cream with six ounces of melted chocolate and stir until smooth.
The salted caramel: Place 8 ounces of sugar and half a teaspoon of salt in saucepan. Add enough water to moisten sugar and cook over medium heat until water has evaporated and sugar becomes a light golden color. Slowly add 8 ounces of cream, one teaspoon vanilla and one ounce of butter. Continue stirring caramel over heat until sugar is completely dissolved.
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To assemble, smear salted caramel on a plate to hold dacquoise in place. Place a shard of meringue on top of caramel and add a dollop of ganache on top. Place a second shard of meringue on top and add a dollop of mousse and add another meringue shard. Garnish with chopped peanuts. Eat.