Smoky, salty, sultry butterscotch sauce is whipped into silky French buttercream then layered with chocolate hazelnut dacquoise discs and vanilla chantilly cream
Preheat the oven to 225 degrees F. Use cake pans or tart pans as a guide to draw three 9 inch circles on 3 pieces of parchment paper. Then flip the paper to line baking sheets. Adjust oven racks so they are evenly spaced apart.
In stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, begin beating the egg whites with salt on medium speed. As it gets foamy, gradually add granulated sugar. Then turn up to medium high and allow to beat until stiff peaks form, about 3-4 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk together your nut flours and cocoa powder. If you grind the nuts yourself, then you should sift them to remove any large lumps, but make sure you measure out the proper amount of the finely ground flours to use.
Once the meringue is ready, fold in the dry ingredients in two additions. Be gentle and careful not to over-mix and deflate the egg whites.
Then fill a piping bag fitted with a 1A round tip. Pipe out circles, starting from the middle and spiraling out. Use the drawn circles as guides. Use an offset spatula to smooth, if desired.
Bake 2 hours 15 minutes.
Then cool before filling.
In a medium saucepan, set over medium low heat, melt the butter with the brown sugar.
Then whisk it frequently for 3-4 minutes, until it reaches a foamy stage that looks like wet sand.
Then drizzle in heavy cream and whisk to combine. Watch out for the sputtering. Add liquid smoke, if using.
Cook about 10 minutes, until it gets to 238 degrees F. Whisk in salt and vanilla bean extract.
Whisk the egg yolks with a stand mixer on medium high until aerated. It will get pale and fluffy and doubled in size.
Then drizzle in 2/3 of the butterscotch sauce, reserving the rest for topping. Let it whip for at least 8 minutes, until mixture has cooled and bowl is not warm.
Slice butter into tablespoons. Begin adding by the tablespoon, giving a moment to incorporate after each addition.
Then allow the mixture to beat for at least another 8 minutes, until fluffy and silky.
Remove to a piping bag.
Use a stand mixer. Put cold cream into a bowl with sugar and vanilla OR bourbon. Then beat until stiff peaks form. Remove to a piping bag.
Put a disc onto a plate or cake platter.
Then pipe the chantilly and French buttercream as desired. Repeat. Finish with last disc. Then either dust the top with powdered sugar, leave naked, or use any remaining creams. Chill until ready to serve.