Triple-Layer Chocolate Macaroon Cake

Layers of meringue sandwiched with ganache and finished with almonds make this Triple-Layer Chocolate Macaroon Cake from French Pastry Chef François Payard rich, delicious and beautiful.

Triple-Layer Chocolate Macaroon Cake from @creativculinary

I’ve had a love affair with all things French for a VERY long time. I thought the language romantic so I started taking lessons when I was only eleven and continue with French classes throughout high school and college. I was fluent; I was ready, my journey should have begun then…but alas, bet you know how this story goes. Too many years, not enough practice and today I would be hard pressed to have any conversation with a Francophile. I can understand the written language typically so still a small amount of value.

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I’ve always loved making desserts that take a bit of time to prepare so it seemed prophetic when I saw Jane’s choice of French foods as the theme for Progressive Eats this month (recipes follow the recipe card) that I choose a French dessert that was a bit over top; just a bit decadent.

And this Triple-Layer Chocolate Macaroon Cake by François Payard fit the bill perfectly. It’s simple too. Really, it is! Eggs are beaten until fluffy, coconut is added and the mixture is baked and then cut into thirds. The layers are held together with chocolate ganache and the entire cake is covered in more chocolate, toasted coconut and chocolate curls (optional). I’ve had this recipe squirreled away for a special occasion as I’ve been dying to make it for some time.

From the legendary French Pastry Chef François Payard, it brings together two of my favorite ingredients, chocolate and coconut, into one luxuriously divine treat.

Born in Nice on July 16th, 1966, François Payard is a third generation French Pastry Chef. He cultivated his passion for the art of pastry as a child in his grandfather’s acclaimed shop on the Riviera, Au Nid des Friandises.

François grew up surrounded by the delicious classic French pastry in the tradition carried on by his parents and grandparents for over fifty years.

payard

After honing his skills in classic pastry by his family’s side, François moved to Paris where he learned the artistry and refinement of transforming traditional desserts into exquisite plated presentations. François’s desire to travel and discover new sights, smells, and flavors brought him to New York in 1990.

In 1993, François Payard joined Chef Daniel Boulud for the opening of Restaurant Daniel, another restaurant given four stars by the New York Times, where he delighted guests with his chocolate and seasonal fruit menus.

In 1995, The James Beard Foundation named François “Pastry Chef of the Year” in recognition of his accent on flavor combined with a unique sense of pastry design. Over the years Chef Payard has had restaurants come and once had his flagship store on New York’s Upper East Side. It is a Patisserie, Bar and Bistro, bringing back some of the great delights from the original Payard.

Chef’s current restaurant, Southold Social is on the end of Long Island and offers fresh seasonal foods. It’s closed for the winter season, this year opening on March 27th…it’s a drive but I would love to go!

I’ve made similar layer cakes as this Triple-Layer Chocolate Macaroon Cake with meringue layers or even cake layers but never with macaroon. I love the crispy/chewy component of this dessert with the macaroon interior and the completion of layers with a rich chocolate is simply divine; he does what I do and mixes some milk chocolate with semi-sweet chocolate; I loved that!

The macaroon layers are finished with a thin coating of ganache and I thought it needed either more chocolate to get a really beautiful top coat or in lieu of that; a bit more coconut sprinkled on so that the presentation of the ganache did not have to be perfect. Besides I wanted to make some chocolate curls for decoration and I prefer the contrasting look.

If you’ve not made chocolate curls, they’re really pretty easy; the most difficult part is discerning how long they need to be chilled before they are the right consistency to curl. For me 3 minutes wasn’t enough but 5 minutes was perfect so if you decide to make them, just keep testing until you have the perfect consistency for your chocolate to curl when scraped off a sheet pan.

This Triple-Layer Chocolate Macaroon Cake was SO good; please come over and have a slice or I will be forced to eat it all by myself!

Triple-Layer Chocolate Macaroon Cake from @creativculinary

Triple-Layer Chocolate Macaroon Cake

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Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Cakes, Cupcakes & Cheesecake, Desserts
Cuisine French
Servings 12 Servings
Calories 538 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 ⅔ cups heavy cream
  • 10 ½ ounces bittersweet chocolate chopped
  • 3 ½ ounces milk chocolate chopped
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 10 ounces coconut (about 4 1/2 cups) dried, unsweetened, finely grated

Chocolate Curls for Garnish (optional)

  • 3 ounces chocolate
  • 1 ounce butter

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°. Spray an 11-by-17-inch jelly-roll pan with vegetable oil spray and line the bottom with parchment paper; spray the paper.
  • In a small saucepan, bring the cream to a boil. Remove from the heat, add the chocolate and let stand for 5 minutes, then whisk until smooth. Pour 1 cup of the chocolate ganache into a measuring cup and set aside at room temperature; scrape the rest into a bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate the ganache until firm, at least 3 hours.
  • In a medium saucepan, bring 1 inch of water to a bare simmer. Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sugar in a large bowl at medium speed until blended. Set the bowl over the simmering water and whisk until the eggs are warm to the touch. Remove from the heat and beat at high speed until tripled in volume, about 5 minutes. Fold in 3 2/3 cups of the coconut. Spread the batter in the prepared pan in an even layer. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until golden and firm. Let the cake cool for 15 minutes.
  • With the oven still heating, brown the remaining coconut (1 cup) on a tray for approximately 5 minutes. Watch carefully and remove from the oven when slightly browned.
  • Run a knife around the edge of the cake; invert it onto a baking sheet and peel off the parchment. Slide the cake onto a work surface. Using a serrated knife, trim the edges and cut the cake into 3 rectangles of equal size. Stack the layers and trim off any uneven sides with the knife.
  • Set 1 cake layer right side up on a wire rack and spread with half of the chilled ganache. Cover with a second layer and the remaining chilled ganache. Top with the third cake layer, smooth side up; press down gently. Pour half of the reserved ganache on top and spread it evenly, letting it drip slightly down the sides. Pour on the remaining ganache and smooth the top and sides.
  • Transfer the cake to a cake plate. Refrigerate for 15 minutes, then press the remaining coconut onto the sides and top of the cake. Garnish with chocolate curls.
  • For best results, refrigerate the cake overnight.

For Chocolate Curls

  • Combine chocolate and butter and melt in the microwave on medium high heat for 30 seconds. Stir. If not melted enough, repeat. Watch carefully; you want it to melt, not cook!
  • Spread the chocolate thinly on a cookie sheet and put into the freezer to harden; it should only take 2-3 minutes. If it's too soft you can leave a fingerprint in the surface…you won't once it's just right.
  • Test it for curling using a spatula; if it's too soft put back in the fridge for a minute; if it's too hard and starts to break when curling let it sit at room temperature for a minute.
    When it's set just right, move your spatula under the chocolate, scraping close to the cookie sheet and make curls!

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Triple-Layer Chocolate Macaroon Cake
Serving Size
 
1 Serving
Amount per Serving
Calories
538
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
36
g
55
%
Cholesterol
 
101
mg
34
%
Sodium
 
43
mg
2
%
Carbohydrates
 
52
g
17
%
Protein
 
6
g
12
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Calories
538
Keyword cake, chocolate, dessert, French, macaroon
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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Welcome to Progressive Eats, our virtual version of a Progressive Dinner Party. This month’s theme is the Flavors of France and is hosted by Jane Bonacci who blogs at The Heritage Cook. Join us and make something unique and delicious!

If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, a progressive dinner involves going from house to house, enjoying a different course at each location. With Progressive Eats, a theme is chosen each month, members share recipes suitable for a delicious meal or party, and you can hop from blog to blog to check them out.

Appetizers

Salad

Soups

Main Course

Bread

Veggies/Sides

Drink

Desserts

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18 Comments

    1. Thanks Maureen…wouldn’t it be fun to all get together and actually have a meal like this? A girl can dream right?

  1. Those of us who cannot eat wheat will be forever grateful to Payard for bringing macarons to this country. Barb your dessert is beyond beautiful, it is truly amazing – c’est magnifique! I love ganache, meringue, and coconut … I have a feeling this may wind up on an upcoming Chocolate Monday, LOL!

    1. I love making desserts; now that I have some neighbors who can help me keep the results off of my hips I’m going to try and occasionally make something that takes a bit of time… I just love the effort and then sharing the results.

    1. Thank you my dear; coming from you of all things cake, I’ll take that sweet compliment with a big smile!

  2. I just started making “flat macaroons” instead of big scooped ones to use as crust for gluten free cheesecakes and also for ice cream sandwiches, so these macaroon layers make perfect sense to me. What an elegant dessert, Barb! Payard is definitely one of the greats. Love that you made “his” cake!

  3. Oh, my gosh, Barb, what a masterpiece! The perfect way to end our French meal!!! My knowledge of French is even less that yours–but I, too, know the song lyrics and a few foodie terms 🙂

    1. Thanks Liz; I used to make a lot of fancy desserts but got away from it when my ‘eaters’ moved. Now I am enjoying the occasional foray into something more than cupcakes and loving it. My new eaters are neighbors; that is if I don’t scarf it down first!

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