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Satsuma Pistachio Dacquoise And Buttercream

Pistachio Dacquoise & Pistachio Citrus Buttercream

I just love December so much I could just wrap my arms around it and hug it so tight it would burst! What gets me so excited in December? Well, Christmas light, Christmas decorations, roasted chestnuts, cranberries, get-togethers, oyster roasts…Oh! I don’t know…a gazillion things. My heart burst, my head spins and my heart swells a little bigger comes December. Time to take a hand, lend a hand, bake a little, bake a lot, send a hug, write a card…ok,ok…you get it..sorry I tend to not filter my emotions come December.

Indeed, I ride high and I ride low…especially if I don’t get to go home for Christmas. B. knows when and how to get the arsenal of chocolate and tissues ready for when I hit my lows and I give him ample warning of long Christmas stories from my childhood are about to leave my lips the moment I start decorating the tree. The creche and the santons, the 13 desserts of Provence, our long dinners and lingering lunches, taking the young ones to a Disney movie on Christmas day, I just start and never stop (like now, oops!)

Like a lot of people away from home during holidays and important celebrations, I like to recreate atmospheres that make me feel closer to the ones I love and like most people they tend to revolve around food or the dinner table. Making homemade cards while having some cake and a cup of tea, making truffles and madeleine as was my "duty" for Christmas Eve as soon as I was able to reach the the counter top perched on my stool. One particular thing I do is make a giant fresh fruit, nuts and dried fruit bowl like my mom has on the dining room table, available at all times. Unshelled almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, pistachios, dates, dried apricots and prunes, fresh apples, lychees and satsuma oranges. The bowl empties out fast with all the people around, dropping by or simply grazing.


The other day I realized that even with friends visiting, it was mostly the two of us partaking in my mother’s tradition and the fruits would end up ripening too fast before we’d get to them. I wanted to bring something a little festive to our weekly gathering with the neighbors, a little green, a little red, a little citrus. Pistachios, pomegranate, and a little satsuma orange, (zest and juice) one of my favorite scents, thrown together, somehow…At first I thought about making macarons with those flavors and then I decided to take the same batter and turn it into dacquoise petits fours instead.

The ingredients are the same for either macarons or dacquoise only your touch in folding will make a difference. Work the batter into a shiny mass and you get macarons. Gently fold your meringue into the nuts and you get a dacquoise. Bake it into disks and you get the base of a yummy cake or pipe into long shapes and you get the perfect two bite dessert to end a meal or to go with a cup of tea. Top with fresh fruits to keep it on the light side, or buttercream for a richer approach as I did here, keep them as one, or like macarons, sandwich two together…the possibilities in flavors and topping are as endless as you want them to be.

Satsuma Pistachio Dacquoise & Satsuma Pistachio Buttercream :
Kitchen Note: feel free to substitute any orange, clementine, mandarin that you find for the satsuma orange used here. Same for the nuts, if you don’t like pistachios, replace the amount with any other nut of your liking but as with macarons, keep a certain ratio of almonds to prevent the batter from being too oily. Unlike with macarons, the egg whites do not need to be aged.

For the dacquoise "fingers":
3 egg whites (about 90gr)
50gr sugar
70 gr almonds
30 gr pistachios
70 gr powdered sugar
1 tsp powdered green food coloring
2 tsp satsuma orange zest

In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites to a foam, gradually add the sugar until you obtain a glossy meringue. Do not overbeat your meringue or it will be too dry. Combine the almonds, pistachios and powdered sugar in a food processor and pulse until the nuts are finely ground. Add the coloring and orange zest. Sprinkle the nut mixture over the meringue add carefully fold the two batters together placing your spatula in the center of the bowl, scrape the bottom and bring it over the top. Rotate the bowl 45 degrees and repeat the same motion until both mixtures are fully incorporated. Make sure not to deflate the meringue as you do so. Pipe 3 to 4 inches strips on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake for 18-20 minutes at 300F.

For the satsuma pistachio buttercream:

3 egg whites
1/2 cup (100gr) sugar
2 tablespoons water
1 1/2 sticks (170 gr) butter at room temperature
2 tablespoons satsuma orange juice
1 teaspoon satsuma orange zest
1/4 cup finely ground pistachios
1/2 tsp powdered green food coloring

In the bowl of stand mixer, whip the egg whites until they have soft peaks. In the meantime, combine the water with the sugar and bring them to a boil in a heavy saucepan. Bring the syrup to 250F. Slowly add the sugar syrup to the egg whites. If you use hand beaters, this is even easier and there is less hot syrup splatter on the side of your bowl and in the whisk attachment of the stand mixer. Continue to whip until the meringue is completely cooled. Slowly add the butter, one tablespoon at a time. The mass might curdle but no panic, continue to whip until it all comes together. Add the juice and zest from the orange, the pistachios and food coloring.

At this point you can refrigerate the buttercream for a later use up to 4 days or freeze for up to three months. To assemble the dacquoise petit fours, make sure the buttercream is of spreadable consistency and fit a piping bag with a large star tip (or the nuts might clog the flow as you pipe) and pipe on the meringue. Decorate with pomegranate seeds if desired.

Pistachio Dacquoise & Pistachio Citrus Buttercream

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Mallory Elise December 8, 2008 um 4:27 pm

haha excellent! look at me number one! ahahah! that’s because this is what i do with my tea after a run and before class…bog stalk…so pretty much it’s a long open faced macaron. good to know!

ps i love december too…but who doesn’t eh!?

Rosa's Yummy Yums December 8, 2008 um 4:29 pm

Wonderful! Those refined and very pretty Dacquoises must taste incredibly good!



Mary December 8, 2008 um 4:35 pm

These are so pretty! And I’m sure they taste wonderful. I love December too.

Anonymous December 8, 2008 um 4:42 pm

it all sounds so lovely!

MyKitchenInHalfCups December 8, 2008 um 4:57 pm

I love how you can be so casual about a technique and batter that I find totally intimidating!
Christmas . . . nothing compares.

Anonymous December 8, 2008 um 5:00 pm

please give me teperature and time lenght in the oven for those Dacquoise cookies
looking amazing

Dewi December 8, 2008 um 5:02 pm

Ah.. finally,
I’ve been waiting for this post, since you mentioned to me last week. So … glad that is here now.
I really need to make this, have all ingredients in hand, even have the Satsuma Mandarine trees in the back yard, which have lots of fruit right now but, unfortunately none of them are ready until February next year (sigh)

As always,
your creation look very beautiful and I know they are delicious, because I’ve tested one of your recipe already!
And this dacquoise is my next one to try.

cindy* December 8, 2008 um 5:19 pm

beautiful and festive helen! i love to decorate for the holidays too, and i love reading about the different traditions everyone has.

oh, and i hope you are feeling better!

Susan @ SGCC December 8, 2008 um 5:20 pm

They are soooo beautiful! As luck would have it, I just bought some satsumas the other day. Do I dare try making these? ๐Ÿ˜‰

LizNoVeggieGirl December 8, 2008 um 5:22 pm

I too love December ๐Ÿ™‚ And I LOOOOVE your latest dessert creation!!

Hope you’re feeling 100% better!!

Culinary Wannabe December 8, 2008 um 5:24 pm

How elegant and festive. Remembering our families and precious memories is one of my highlights of the season – no cap on rambling! ๐Ÿ™‚

Nina Timm December 8, 2008 um 5:52 pm

What you consider a easy ritual in the kitchen, to me looks almost undo-able, but you are so incredibly good! I look at your creations with such envy!

Unknown December 8, 2008 um 6:40 pm

Looks fabulous! What do you do with all those left over egg yolks??

Maria December 8, 2008 um 7:30 pm

Oh how beautiful! I am loving the holiday season, and desserts are one reason why! ๐Ÿ™‚

Vittoria December 8, 2008 um 7:31 pm

Those look SO fantastic. I am determined to master the macaron, it seems like the perfect dessert. However, the only sweetener I can use is honey, do you have any ideas how that could be substituted?

All your photos and presentations are so beautiful!

Elizabeth December 8, 2008 um 7:37 pm

Helen, you are amazing! How does one get to the point where "throwing together" a few fruity ingredients turns into that heavenly creation?

please sir December 8, 2008 um 7:43 pm

These are amazing looking – bet they taste that way too!

Anonymous December 8, 2008 um 8:09 pm

I love the atmosphere when it’s near Christmas. I will get even more excited when I am going to be in France!!! Nothing could be better than to get together and share a warm Christmas meal.

By the way, what kind of desserts can I make with cranberries?

You got me into baking/dessert making these days! ๐Ÿ™‚

Cannelle Et Vanille December 8, 2008 um 8:12 pm

i also love december for all the exciting things that come along with it. and i know we go through it every year but i never get tired of it. as you know, i also love dacquoise and macarons so i’m in for a tea party with these!

My Sweet & Saucy December 8, 2008 um 8:22 pm

Love the look of these and since pistachios are my favorite I am bound to love the taste!

Anonymous December 8, 2008 um 8:39 pm

My but you are an inspiration! I have yet to strap on my festive spirit for the year. I’m not sure why but Christmas seems ages away yet it is right around the corner.

Must get baking and wrapping!

Helene December 8, 2008 um 9:01 pm

Thank you everyone!

Mallory Elise: they are actually very different due to the folding method. Do not work the batter like for a mac but fold gently.

Vittoria: I suggest starting with an Italian meringue based macaron recipe but the ratios and ingredients would have to be altered. Maybe after the holidays I can tackle that one!!

Cindy December 8, 2008 um 9:37 pm

i love that little bit of red!

Anonymous December 8, 2008 um 9:44 pm


Anonymous December 8, 2008 um 9:59 pm

gorgeous! simply gorgeous! I love pistachio in buttercream.

Hilda December 8, 2008 um 10:00 pm

La premiere fois que j’ai fait de la dacquoise, c’etait a la pistache et de PH Plaisirs Sucres. C’etait tellement bon que je n’ai pas eu l’occasion de la mettre dans quelque chose, on a tout mange en passant et repassant dans la cuisine toute la journee. Celle-ci a l’air fantastique avec les accents d’orange.

Anonymous December 8, 2008 um 10:46 pm

C’est un rรฉgal pour les yeux!!

Anonymous December 8, 2008 um 10:59 pm

Helen, you always inspire me with your creative use of flavors. Thanks:-)

Rachael Hutchings December 8, 2008 um 11:54 pm

Oh yum!!! I hope you share some of your holiday memories with us. You have a way with words girl–you make things come alive!

That Girl December 9, 2008 um 12:25 am

The color is just so Christmassy!

Manggy December 9, 2008 um 1:23 am

Creative is right! I would never in a million years have thought of combining satsumas and pistachios! You really are on another level ๐Ÿ˜€ Looks beautiful and party-ready too!
Hey, if it’s cathartic for you to share your beautiful Christmas memories then by all means, please do! I’d love to listen to them!

Zoe Francois December 9, 2008 um 1:50 am

I so wish I had some of these while I work tonight. Exactly the pick me up I need. They are lovely!

PheMom December 9, 2008 um 2:58 am

Those are both gorgeous desserts, but I really love the memories you shared. I hope that your December is filled with a lot more highs than lows.

Leacayoungart December 9, 2008 um 3:07 am

That looks too yummy for words. We are thinking of going to the 'big city' this weekend and I am going to hunt down a bakery to try my first macaroon.

Anonymous December 9, 2008 um 4:19 am

Helen, what delicious treats! Simply amazing!

Christy December 9, 2008 um 6:15 am

How ingenious!! I never thought of killing two birds with one stone like that!! Make one batter, and courtesy of the degree of folding, you get two different and yummy results!! I love it!! And what a great way to entertain with delicious petit fours!! Hey, I see a line of people outside your house waiting to "pay a visit" already!!

I love December too, but I always yearn for a big, warm American Christmas that I see on every Disney family Christmas tv show. I think it’s one of the reason why I’m currently in a relationship an American. Lol.

Mercotte December 9, 2008 um 6:35 am

Ce qui m’interpelle c’est ta crรจme au beurre ร  la meringue quand tu ajoutes seulement le beurre, pas de crรจme anglaise pour mรฉlanger avant avec le beurre ? ce qui est classique.
je pense que je vais te piquer cette faรงon de faire car c’est plus simple. est ce que la consistance est top?

Helene December 9, 2008 um 7:43 am

Mercotte: la creme au beurre sans creme anglaise est aussi un classique (Torres, Sugino, et autre l’utilise constamment). On l’emploie beaucoup en patisserie car justement elle evite de rajouter une etape. La consistance est geniale et on croit manger de la glace a la vanille.

Anonymous December 9, 2008 um 7:46 am

I love the colors and the dark background really brings things out! I love how your photography is always different, always trying new things!
Ah yes! The dacquoise..well I have never made or eaten one myself but I can’t wait to try my hand at those now!

Helene December 9, 2008 um 7:52 am

Ina&Stacey: save the yolks for creme brulee, creme anglaise (sauce), ice cream bases, tons of possibilites! Even egg yolks based mousses and buttercream!

Anonymous December 9, 2008 um 8:20 am

Mmmmm. Beatufil pics, as always. but this time you hit me with fingers, lately I love fingers shape, "barritas" and so, hope I have some oportunity to try them some way.

Thank you for sharing these beauties and…
Enjoy this december!!!!

Sunshinemom December 9, 2008 um 8:44 am

I have just kept some egg whites in the fridge as my daughter keeps asking me try these out after seeing yours and Aran’s posts! She complains that I never think about them just because I am vegan. So I have promised to indulge them once a month and she chose macarons – I wish it was something easier. I hope it turns out well if not as lovely as yours!!

Y December 9, 2008 um 9:02 am

I’m sure it was not the subconscious working on you at all, when you created these lovely green and red petit dacquoise petit fours ๐Ÿ™‚ I love Christmas too, especially the build up to Christmas. Unfortunately these days I’m so busy working right up to the day that Christmas tends to sneak up on me and then before I know it, it’s over!

My Castle in Spain December 9, 2008 um 10:17 am

Miam…i just love the word "dacquoise" !

Anonymous December 9, 2008 um 11:21 am

they look delicius…….

Anonymous December 9, 2008 um 11:26 am

Pistachios and pomegranate sound so good together!Lovely dessert!

Helene December 9, 2008 um 2:11 pm

Sorry everyone, looks like my blog has gotten a little spammer overnight leaving 140 spam comments so I had to turn the comment moderation on for the time being.
I apologize for the inconvenience.

Anonymous December 9, 2008 um 2:13 pm

Absolutely delicious! Never realized it was the same batter!

Lori December 9, 2008 um 2:13 pm

Tastey little treats. Can you pass one over here please!

Simone December 9, 2008 um 2:35 pm

What a great idea that is! And so pretty!! Love your traditional christmas-fruit-bowl tradition too.I managed to finish my book this weekend, so the blog is now up and running (finally!).

The Short (dis)Order Cook December 9, 2008 um 4:57 pm

It’s funny that I read this today because yesterday I was in Whole Foods and saw satsumas and wondered what I would do with them if I bought them. You just provided me with an answer.

I do so love pistachios. It always gets me excited to see pistachio recipes in a blog!

Anonymous December 9, 2008 um 5:50 pm

I think I’ll have to steal your pistachio recipe — always looking for dacquoise variations ๐Ÿ™‚

Cakespy December 9, 2008 um 6:02 pm

I’d like to wrap my fingers around these beauties!! Thank you for a wonderful new idea, and beautiful presentation as always!

Julia December 9, 2008 um 8:26 pm

These pictures are mouthwatering delicious! WOW! Thank you for your goodness and generosity!

Anonymous December 9, 2008 um 8:42 pm

Yo! It’s your neighbor…we need more of these a.s.a.p before we head out of town ๐Ÿ™‚

Parisbreakfasts December 9, 2008 um 8:46 pm

Will you do anything as mundane as gingerbread persons?
Gingerbread macarons probably doesn’t work…
Love the last double dacquoise shot especially. What killer that could be…

montague December 9, 2008 um 10:00 pm

lights, feeling festive and delicious warm drinks go a long way to making December lovely. But it is COLD.

Robin Sue December 9, 2008 um 11:51 pm

Hey thanks for commenting on my site! I am really happy you found me because I have now found you with all these great cookie recipes, WOW! So beautiful! Have a great time with the pizzelle machine, it takes a bit of time to get them right but once you do it is so worth it. Just got my anise oil from the Italina Nroth End in Boston so I will be joining you in the pizzelle making! Enjoy!

Susan from Food Blogga December 10, 2008 um 12:28 am

Christmas time can be like riding a roller coaster, with all of the highs and lows that come with it. These sweets are definitely "highs." PS-I adore satsuma oranges. ๐Ÿ™‚

Aimรฉe December 10, 2008 um 12:45 am

I can relate to the part about being away from family. I actually shed a few tears today because everyone will be together on the other side of the country except for me. ๐Ÿ™
It helps that I have my own sweet little family here, though.

Bonbon Oiseau December 10, 2008 um 5:17 am

these look amazing!!!!! So pretty and I just love the dark background and the one little pomegranate kernel–so funny and lovely and sweet Helen!

Kitchen M December 10, 2008 um 6:07 am

What a cool idea! I love Satsuma Potatos. They are great in desserts. ๐Ÿ™‚

Shalum December 10, 2008 um 8:50 am

Pretty delights!:)

Aparna Balasubramanian December 10, 2008 um 1:32 pm

These look so beautiful like all the food here.
I always look forward to the next post here.

Anonymous December 10, 2008 um 4:04 pm

How sweet and adorable these are! The pistachio dacquoise sounds absolutely delicious. So lovely!

glamah16 December 10, 2008 um 8:10 pm

Simply beautiful!

raining sheep December 10, 2008 um 8:12 pm

I had my first satsume this year a few days ago. I am in love now.

Meg Sylvia {StyleHideout} December 10, 2008 um 9:57 pm

Thanks! You’re blog is great as well! I’ll be sure to link you!

Anonymous December 10, 2008 um 11:35 pm

i love the color in the dacqouise, lots of your creations look similar to japanese patisserie.

Cookie baker Lynn December 11, 2008 um 2:12 am

Happy Christmas season, Helen! Beautiful bakes, as always.

Anonymous December 11, 2008 um 10:19 am


MarmeeCraft December 11, 2008 um 5:09 pm

Hello there! ๐Ÿ™‚
Thanks ever so much for your advice about mixers and macarons!! I’m hooked on these little sweets! Your blog is such an inspiration!

Helene December 11, 2008 um 8:06 pm

Anonymous: it’s in the recipe.

Shaya December 12, 2008 um 4:14 am

I don’t have time to check here as often as I used to, but do love when I come back and find several new recipes (especially if they look like something I could do!). I hope you didn’t already answer this (I scanned the comments): would I need to adjust the buttercream if I took out the orange zest and juice? Pistachio is one of my favorites, and I’m not sure how I feel about adding orange to it.
Thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

Helene December 12, 2008 um 5:20 am

Shaya: you can leave out the zest and juice and add about 1 tsp of vanilla extract, or nothing at all.

La Cuisine d'Helene December 12, 2008 um 5:56 pm

Visiting your blog is better than visiting a bakery. It’s a feast for the eyes.

Rebecca December 13, 2008 um 6:19 pm

oh, I am such a sucker for petits fours, not to mention satsumas! beautiful!

Anonymous December 14, 2008 um 6:22 pm

Oh la la.. j’adooore cette recette. Tu as tellement de talent que tu me fait tourner la tete! C’est beau!.. Tu est belle!

No, i won’t start singing now. ๐Ÿ™‚

Anonymous December 16, 2008 um 2:46 pm

I’m just about to start making strawberry cupcakes and pistachio buttercream for tomorrow ! Can’t wait to taste your butterceam !

How To Eat A Cupcake December 16, 2008 um 4:50 pm

December can’t survive another bear hug, but I’m about to give it one just because of the awesome recipes and photos you’ve posted here! I love the petit fours. So fancy! ๐Ÿ˜€

Anonymous December 16, 2008 um 4:57 pm

i was just thinking about making pistachio butter for my toast. seeing this is making me salivate pretty bad as i cannot resist pistachio. totally nicking your pistachio buttercream recipe for cupcakes soon enough! ๐Ÿ™‚ cheers tarty! x

Anonymous December 18, 2008 um 5:03 am

These look amzaing!! Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous December 19, 2008 um 4:44 pm

The buttercream was incredible ! It made me realize I never tasted really good buttercream before I tasted yours !

Muneeba December 23, 2008 um 9:48 pm

Your photos are some of my very favorites .. of ALL food blogs! Your composition, colors, dimensions … excellent! Am a big fan ๐Ÿ™‚

Anonymous March 27, 2009 um 11:27 am

really delicious, I feel hungry.

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