This recipe truly does take the cake. No words other than “wow” will come to you once you’ve tasted it. The beauty is that it is easier to make than a traditional layered cake while being, in the words of Julia Child, “infinitely more elegant”. The base, a meringue through which ground nuts are folded, is better known as a daquoise. The texture is crunchy on the outside while deliciously chewy in the middle and paired with buttercream emulsified with custard, with which crunchy specks of praline are incorporated. “Each mouthful is a poem,” according to Julia Child and we can only agree.
Freezing your nuts for a couple of hours prior to milling is not compulsory but recommended. It will prevent the meal from sweating oil (which eventually turns into nut butter if you keep blending).
If you want to be pedantic with patisserie jargon, the meringue base for the Succès is made exclusively with almond meal. When using a mixture of almond and hazelnut, as we do here, it becomes “Le Progrès”. Progress, Success, Deliciousness… call it whatever you want, either way we’ll take another slice!