We’ll file this under “happens to be gluten free”. This lovely French cake has just three components and is baked entirely on a cookie sheet. The base is a Dacquoise- a meringue cake with almond flour folded in for flavor and texture. Have fun with this one, and feel free to sub out the chopped hazelnuts that appear twice in this recipe with pistachios (and add a touch of lemon zest to the buttercream just after the butter).

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Marjolaine Meringue

8 Egg whites
pinch Cream of tartar or a drop or two of lemon juice
1/3 cup Sugar
2 cups Almond flour, almond meal or hazelnut flour/meal
1-1/2 cups Powdered sugar
1/3 cup Toasted and finely chopped hazelnuts


  1. In the bowl of a stand or with a hand held mixer, whisk your eggs to soft peak stage. Add your sugar slowly, then beat them to stiff peaks.
  2. Sift your dry ingredients over the meringue and fold them in two additions.
  3. Spread onto a parchment-paper lined half sheet pan (a regular-sized cookie sheet). Sprinkle the finely chopped hazelnuts over the meringue.
  4. Bake at 375 for about 20 minutes.
  5. Once cooled, use a serrated or bread knife to cut the meringue away from the edges of the pan. Flip the meringue onto a clean surface. Trim the edges with a sawing motion, careful not to crack the cake.
  6. Using a bread knife, cut the meringue into three rectangles.
  7. Take your ugliest third and spread a thin layer of buttercream. Stack with another layer of cake, followed by more buttercream. Place the last (and prettiest) cake upside-down over the last layer of buttercream. Spread a think layer of buttercream all over the sides of the cake. Freeze while you make the chocolate glaze.


2 Eggs
1 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Water
8 ounces (2 sticks) Cold butter
2 tsps Vanilla extract
2 tsps Coffee (optional)
  1. Whip the eggs in the bowl of a stand mixer until they triple in volume (about 3 minutes).
  2. While the eggs are whipping away, place the sugar, water and cream of tartar in a saucepot
    and bring to a heavy boil (240 degrees).
  3. With the mixer on medium speed, pour the sugar syrup over the eggs in a slow, steady
    stream. Continue beating for 10-15 minutes, or until the bowl cools to room temperature.
  4. Add the butter, one pat at a time, until the mixture thickens. Turn the mixer to high speed
    for 2 minutes. Add your extracts or any flavoring you desire.

Chocolate Glaze & Finishing

2 ounces Dark chocolate
3 ounces Butter
3 ounces Hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
  1. Melt the chocolate and butter together either in the microwave or over a double boiler, stirring frequently.
  2. Pour a little bit of the glaze over the cold cake. Wait a few minutes for it to set up and spread a bit more on top.
  3. Press chopped hazelnuts against the sides of the cake. Serve at room temp, although it is equally lovely served cold.