Pumpkin Dacquoise Torte
Welcome to the New Fresh4Five!!! What do you think?
I am very excited about the new look! This move has been in the works for a while and it is so satisfying to see it all come together.
I have been writing this blog since 2010 when Grady first started having issues with his digestion. I am a creative person and I LOVE having a reason to create in the kitchen. I have also discovered that I am really passionate about natural nutrition and health and actually really enjoy spending time learning about all of the ways that I can help myself and my family, as well as others. The information sticks, I absorb it easily because I am fascinated by it!
So…I decided I needed to start taking it all more seriously and set out to re-do my blog. I am also going to go back to school to become a holistic nutritionist! All three of my kids are now in school, so I actually have a bit of time to do something that I love that will help me and others.
So, my first step was the blog. I started looking around for designers to help me come up with a logo and wow, there are SOOO many out there. How does one even know who is legit or not? I started to look at who had done work on other blogs that I loved and I found the local designer Katiekelly Designs. Katie was amazing! I told her I wanted fiddleheads (for sentimental reasons) and the colour green and she made my dream a reality. She was so super to work with; I can’t say enough good things.
I had planned on transferring the blog over myself to my own domain and the wordpress platform, but in the end I chickened out and found the wonderful Kayleen at Booyah’s Mama. She did all of the hard work and moved all of my old posts over here to a new cozy home, coordinating and streamlining this new layout for me. Happy Happy!
The next step will be to enrol at the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition. Eeek! I am super excited! Owen (my oldest that has been in home IBI therapy for 5 years) will be completely transitioned into a regular school by the beginning of November and then I figure I will enjoy Christmas and start school in January. I am excited that I will be able to bring greater knowledge and insight to my recipes and blog posts that might help other people who are struggling with their diet or health. I am thrilled that I will be able to wake up every day feeling empowered and purposeful as I do something that I love; which includes, food, nutrition and helping others!
Now, on to this beautiful Torte recipe! or Pavlova.
I was inspired a few weeks ago by an episode of Bake with Anna Olson. She made this amazing looking traditional Hazelnut Dacquoise Torte. I loved the idea of a baked meringue as a cake layer. I had been thinking about making a pumpkin mousse for thanksgiving this year and turning it into a parfait with some paleo friendly ginger snaps; but after seeing this torte, I wanted my pumpkin mousse between layers of light and crisp meringue.
The Dacquoise is really simple to make, the only thing to consider is that they take at LEAST 90minutes to dry in a low temperature oven…but they can also be made a day or 2 ahead of time and so can the mousse. I would suggest assembling the torte not too long before serving, as the mousse does moisten the Dacquoise….that being said, I took those pictures at around 2pm, and my hubby ate one when he got home from work at 5 and it was still good, but it was certainly more crisp at 3 hours earlier.
- Ingredients for Dacquoise
- ⅔ cup toasted pumpkin seeds
- 1 cup of coconut sugar or cane sugar
- 4 egg whites at room temperature.
- 1 tsp cream of tartar
- Ingredients for Pumpkin Mousse
- 1 can full fat coconut milk
- ½ cup pure maple syrup
- 1.5 Tbsp agar agar flakes
- 1tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- Dash of ground ginger
- Cloves (optional)
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 2 tbsp Tapioca Flour
- Ingredients for Maple Pumpkin Seed Brittle
- ½ cup pure maple syrup
- 3 tbsp raw pumpkin seeds
- Ingredients for Coconut milk whipped cream for topping
- The cream from the top of 1 full fat can of coconut milk
- 2-3 tbsp coconut sugar
- Whisk to combine and chill in the fridge or freezer.
- For Dacquoise:
- Toast pumpkin seeds gently over a hot skillet or in the oven and allow them to cool
- Prepare 1 large or 2 regular baking sheets with parchment paper and preheat oven to 225F
- In a food processor combine ¼ cups of the sugar and the pumpkin seeds. Process into a fine crumble. Set aside
- In a stand mixer with whisk attachment (or hand mixer), add the egg white and cream of tartar. Begin to whisk slowly on low speed. Once it begins to foam, slowly add in your sugar. Slowly increase the speed to high and whisk until a meringue forms with stiff peaks.
- Fold in the pumpkin seed and sugar mixture. (Do this quickly so you do not lose volume)
- Fill a piping bag with the meringue and make 12 circles about 3-4 inches across. I have one large baking sheet that is the size of my oven and I only needed the one. If yours isn’t as large, you may need 2 sheets.
- Place in the oven and bake for at least 90minutes or until they can be easily lifted from the parchment paper and are dried all of the way through…if you are using 2 sheets, I would suggest rotating them halfway through baking.
- Set them aside to cool completely or store sealed to use at a later date.
- For the Mousse:
- Whisk together the maple syrup and agar agar flakes in a bowl or measuring cup. Set aside to allow agar to being dissolving.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree and tapioca powder. Set aside.
- In a medium sauce pan, whisk together the coconut milk, maple syrup agar mixture, and seasonings. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes.
- Remove from heat and add in the pumpkin puree/tapioca mixture.
- Pour mixture into a shallow dish and allow it to set in the fridge for about 2 hours. Cover and store in the fridge until ready to assemble the torte.
- For the Brittle:
- Line baking sheet with parchment paper and scatter the pumpkin seeds all over.
- In a small sauce pan bring the maple syrup to a boil over medium heat and boil for approx. 5 minutes until it reaches the hard candy stage…use a candy thermometer if you have one, I couldn’t find mine, but you can typically tell as the bubbles change becoming small and thicker.
- Use a small spoon to drizzle the hot maple syrup over the pumpkin seeds in an interesting design. I just did it somewhat circular. Place in the freezer to harden, it will only take a minute.
- To assemble, fill a piping bag with the mousse.
- Set a Dacquoise disk on each of 4 plates and top with the mousse, squeezing it out of the bag in a circular motion. Press down a second disk, and top the same way with the mousse, add the final disk and press down gently.
- Finally, top with a dollop of coconut whipped cream, and break off a piece of brittle and stick it in the top.