Click to Skip to the Almond Dacquoise Cake (with Peaches) Recipe

As the holiday ramps up, I wonder—how did the first world society as a whole become trapped in a never ending cycle of materialism and nihilism? I ponder for a good minute before I shake my head and pop onto the amazon app to add more to cart. Holiday Frances might be stressed and experiencing seasonal depression from the dreary weather, but this Almond Dacquoise Cake with Peaches turns my frown upside down.

What is a dacquoise? Pronounched ”Dä-ˈKwäz’, in the context of this recipe, we are refering to a nut meringue cake base. Like its cousin, the macaron, it involves folding ground nuts into whipped egg whites, but it does not require as much finesse in the handling. A dacquoise can be described as a cross between a bisuit and a sponge cake. It is slightly crisp on the outside, and soft and moist on the inside, although the ground almonds providing a chewier texture than a sponge cake.

The term dacquoise can also be used to refer to a ‘dessert cake made with layers of almond and hazelnut meringue and whipped cream or buttercream on a buttery biscuit base.’-Wikipedia. 

This recipe was born of a need to use up a batch of ‘soon to expire’ almond meal, the knowledge from baking school that I could turn it into a cake base, and some frozen fruits at my disposal. It was a rather happy accident that it also is gluten free, which makes it more inclusive for various crowds! 

The almond dacquoise base shared in this recipe is very versatile and can be paired with my types of fruits such as frozen peaches, blueberries, strawberries etc. I have only use frozen fruits with this recipe, however if you are using fresh fruits, know that they hold more water content so this might puddle or soak into the cake. (And if you try them, please do share your results with me!)

Cheers to a good culinary therapy session,


Almond Dacquoise Cake with Peaches

YIELD: 2 x 6-inch cakes
ACTIVE TIME: 25 min 
TOTAL TIME (active + inactive time): 1.5 hours
CREDITS: Frances Lam
SUMMARY:  This Almond Dacquoise Cake (with Peaches) is not too sweet and contains a rich nutty flavour! It makes for an absolutely delicious gluten free dessert! The peaches can be replaced by other fruit such as blueberries, strawberries etc.


Almond Dacquoise Cake 

  • 200 g egg whites (3/4 cup + 2 tbsp)
  • 0.5 tspn cream of tartar (optional, helps with egg white structure)
  • 70 g White sugar (1/3 cup)
  • 100 g icing sugar (3/4 cup + 2 tbsp)
  • 180 g almond meal (1.75 cups + 2 tbsp)
  • 1 tspn cinnamon
  • 1-2 Peaches (sliced) or 14-16 frozen peach slices
  • Butter or oil spray (for cake pan prep)
  • Cornstarch (for cake pan prep)

Glaze + Serving

  • 2-3 tsp apricot jam
  • 1 tbsp water
  • Extra Icing sugar (for decoration)

Tools needed

  • Mixer with whisk attachment, or whisk
  • Spatula
  • 2×6-inch cake pan
  • Piping Bag + Tip
  • Brush (for glaze)


Peach Almond Dacquoise Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350 F). Prepare your cake pans by greasing/spraying with oil/butter and covering with cornstarch.
  2. Whisk the almond meal, cinnamon, and icing sugar together.
  3. Using the whisk attachment on a stand mixer, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar on medium speed. Once the egg whites are mostly frothy and white, slowly add the white sugar while continuing to beat. You will know the meringue is ready when it forms stiff peaks (see notes).
  4. Fold the meringue into the dry mixture until just evenly combined, do not overmix otherwise it will deflate!
  5. Pipe one layer of the almond meringue into a greased 6-in cake pan (I pipe the outter circle and move inwards still piping in a circular shape). This layer should be roughly 1 cm tall. Spread the peaches onto the piped mixture in whatever decorative pattern you want to use and add another ring of the meringue along the inside edge of the cake pan. Repeat with the second cake pan. 
  6. Bake for 20 minutes and turn the heat down to 325 F, continue to bake for another 35-45 minutes or until the edge has pulled away from the pan and the cake is firm and golden brown. Depending on how thick your piping is, it may take more or less time to reach this stage.
  7. To make the glaze, mix the apricot jam with 2 tsp of water, if it is not mixing well, heat the mixture in the microwave, stopping every 5 seconds to stir.
  8. Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool for 10 minutes before unmolding it and brushing the apricot mixture onto the entire surface. This will help seal the moisture in.

To Serve or Store

  1. To serve: Sift icing sugar on top to decorate. Cut and serve. Goes well with whipped cream! 
  2. For storage: This cake can also be stored at room temperature for 1-2 days in an airtight container. If freezing, wrap well with plastic wrap and eat within 4 weeks. Defrost in refridgerator before eating.


  • Cornstarch is wheat free, hence it is okay to use it for cake pan prep for a gluten free dessert. 
  • A stiff meringue peak can be checked by dipping your whisk into the meringue and pulling it out. If the meringue stands straight up, it is at a stiff peak. However it if curves over, it is a soft peak.
  • ‘Folding’ is a technique used to gently integrate a light, airy component with a heavier mixture with the air bubbles in the light mixture intact, such as whipped egg whites with a batter. A spatula is often used to cut through the centre of the mixture, and then the mixture is scooped up from the bottom and folded over the top.

Behind the Scenes:

From the photo, you can probably tell that I did not have much space to work with on this shoot, as the other parts of my home were being used that day.

Recently I’ve boldly stepped into continuous lighting territory as my work into video has increased. Instead of using a softbox (which would take up too much room) I used the ringlight and propped a reflector across from it with the subject in the middle.

There are different ways to handle harsh lighting to make it look more natural and using a reflector is one of them.

Playing with the distance between the light and the subject is another one of them, the farther you are, the less intense the light, and usually the softer the shadows will be.

For Pinterest:

This easy Pumpkin Spice Creme Brulee recipe will transform your fall parties forever. It’s both impressive and easy to make!


We live in this world of PSL that sneaks up on us in the fall and has us in its grasp until sometime after winter starts. And then it happens all over again the next year, and the year after that, and the year after that.

Once upon a time I spurned the pumpkin spice thrall that Starbucks had over society but I’ve come to accept and rejoice it (If you’re wondering when this switch happened, it was after my third PSL). This affection of pumpkin spice eventually led me to thinking about the various ways I could PSL my current recipes.

This Pumpkin Spice Crême Brûlée recipe has a 1:1 ratio of pumpkin and cream, so if a silky dense creme brulee with only a slight pumpkin flavour is what you’re looking for, this isn’t it.

I’ve tried this recipe with whole eggs and less cream and it just wasn’t the same as using egg yolks and a 1:1 cream to pumpkin ratio. Egg yolks made it richer, which is neccesary becasue the pumpkin puree has a lot of liquid in it to begin with.

Cheers to a good culinary therapy session,



Pumpkin Spice Crême Brûlée

YIELD: 4-6 servings (ramekins)
ACTIVE TIME: 10 min 
TOTAL TIME (active + inactive time): 1 hr 50 mins
CREDITS: Frances Lam
SUMMARY: Looking for a 🦃Thanksgiving party dessert that is both impressive and easy to make? This Pumpkin Spice Creme Brulee recipe will transform your Fall parties forever! Make ahead to impress your date or for a house party!


Pumpkin Creme Brulee

  • 1 cup (250 g) Heavy Cream
  • 1/3 cup (70 g) White Sugar
  • 4 – 5 (75 g) Egg Yolks
  • 1 cup (250 g) Canned Pumpkin Puree
  • 1.5 tspn (1.5 g) Pumpkin Spice
  • 1/8 tspn (1 g) salt
  • 3 tbsp (40g) White Sugar (For sprinkling + torching)

Pumpkin Spice Mix

  • 1.5 tspn Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tspn Ground Ginger
  • 1/4 tspn Ground Nutmeg
  • 1/4 tspn Ground Cloves
  • 1/8 tspn Ground Allspice

Tools needed

  • Measuring cup and teaspoons OR a scale
  • Medium Mixing bowl
  • Small Saucepan
  • Whisk (or a spatula to mix with)
  • Oven Safe ramekins
  • Large shallow oven safe pan (for the waterbath)
  • Torch


Pumpkin Creme Brulee Recipe

  1. In a small saucepan, heat the heavy cream and pumpkin spice on medium high heat, bring to a simmer and take off the heat.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, add the sugar and egg yolks, mix until smooth with a spatula or whisk, then mix in the pumpkin puree. If you’re using a whisk try to incorporate a little air as possible.
  3. Pour the heated cream slowly into the pumpkin and eggs, mixing constantly until completely smooth. Divide the mixture into the ramekins and bake in a waterbath (see notes) at 150 C (300 F) until set (about 30 – 50 minutes). The center should still jiggly when you shake the waterbath gently.
  4. Refrigerate the ramekins with plastic wrap covering. Rest for at least 1 hour or up to two days in the refrigerator if you are preparing ahead of time.


  1. To serve, add some white sugar into the ramekins and tilt the ramekin to spread it in an even layer. Torch the top evenly, taking care not to burn yourself, until the sugar forms a crispy carmelized layer. Serve immediately.


  • The thicker the layer of sugar that is torched, the louder the ‘crack’ sound is when you break through it!
  • I used E.D.SMITH Pure Pumpkin which comes in a can. It’s available at most grocery stores including walmart, metro, foodbasic etc.
  • The easiest way I’ve found to get a waterbath going is to place a towel at the bottom of the pan, add the ramekins on top, and place the entire pan in the oven before pouring the water into the pan. The water should reach at least halfway if not 3/4 of the height of the ramekins.
  • I recommend a torch like this, available on amazon, which is an interchangeable head that you can lock onto any butane can: Sondiko Kitchen Culinary Torch

This easy Pumpkin Spice Creme Brulee recipe will transform your fall parties forever. It's both impressive and easy to make! It takes 10 minutes to prepare, 30 minutes bake time and 1 hours chill. It can also be made up to two days ahead of time.

Click to Skip to Recipe

Hi! It’s been a minute. How are you?

Despite my absence from this blog for the past 4 years, I never stopped thinking about it, and all of you who keep subscribing everyday. I never stopped working on my love for food. It didn’t feel right for me to jump into a new recipe without giving you an update on what’s changed and how deeply my relationship with food runs now.

A lot has happened since the last blog post: going back to school (baking and pastry arts), moving into a new career (food photography), traveling, moving into my own space, gaining new skills, new relationships, new friends, finishing school, moving into yet another career (marketing/project management), and this COVID lockdown. I consider myself lucky to have the opportunity to chase my dreams and experience so much—I look back at who I was 4 years ago, and I realize I am far cry from that young girl who felt awkward around people and unable to communicate my feelings.

It has been a wild roller coaster ride of putting myself out there, being unafraid to fail with the love and support of family and friends. Honestly I would not have been able to do it without the community around me, lifting me up to where I’m at today. Sometimes I complain about my day to day, but if I actually think about it, I am in my dream industry, and I had no idea I was going to end up here 10 years ago starting off as a young graphic designer.

If there’s anything I learned, it is that you need to fail to succeed. Success looks different to every person and everyone around you is only human. Be kind to one another and learn how to talk to people and navigate disagreements in a respectful manner. Don’t run away from your problems, tackle them straight on and tackle them with the grit that people around you deserve!

Enough about me and my preaching, without further ado, here is a Panna Cotta recipe that you can make ahead of time for your party prep!

What is Panna Cotta you ask? It’s classically an Italian dessert of sweetened cream set with gelatin in some sort of mold (no cooking required despite the name meaning ‘cooked cream’ in Italian). I see it as a jello made of milk/cream that stands up on its own. Having gone through 4 semesters of school for Baking and Pastry Arts, I can tell you, it’s what chefs make at restaurants for an impressive but easy and delicious gluten-free dessert option. Panna Cotta can be flavoured in many different ways and Earl Grey is just one of my favourite! So scale down for date night or scale up for a house party.

In an endeavor to bring more consistency to my recipe results (and also partially because this is the way we did things in baking school), I’ve started to include the measurement in weight for ingredients. Measuring in weight is much more accurate than the use of cups and teaspoons (volume) because everyone packs a cup differently. For example, a cup of brown sugar can vary from 200 to 300 grams depending on how tightly you pack it! Hopefully you can use a scale to try out these recipes but just in case you don’t, I’ve left the volume measurements in as well.

Cheers to a good culinary therapy session,



Earl Grey Panna Cotta with Blueberry Compote

YIELD: 4-5 servings
ACTIVE TIME: 35 min 
TOTAL TIME (active + inactive time): 3 hr 35 mins (3 hrs resting in the fridge)
CREDITS: Frances Lam
SUMMARY: This easy no-fail recipe creates an impressive and delicious Earl Grey Panna Cotta complimented by a refreshing Blueberry Compote! Make ahead to impress your date or for a house party!
LAST EDITED: Dec 26, 2022 (slight change to gelatin amount)


Blueberry Compote

  •  2.25 cups (225 g) frozen/fresh blueberries
  • 6.5 tbsp (80 g) white sugar
  • Few grates of fresh nutmeg (optional)

Earl Grey Panna Cotta

  • 0.5 cups (125 g) Milk (skim or whole)
  • 3 tbsp (38 g) White Sugar
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 2 Earl Grey tea bags
  •  1.5 tsp Knox Gelatin 
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1.5 cups (360 g ) Heavy Cream (35%)
  • Transparent and neutral tasting vegetable oil (optional)

Tools needed

  • Measuring cup and teaspoons or a scale
  • Large Mixing bowl
  • Small Saucepan
  • Medium Saucepan
  • Whisk (or a spatula to mix with)
  • Panna cotta containers/molds (ramekins, glass cups, bowls etc.)
  • Micro-plane grater (optional, required for grating nutmeg)


Blueberry Compote (Blueberry Sauce)

  1. In a medium saucepan, measure out your blueberries and sugar, stirring them together. Bring to a boil on high heat and immediately turn to just above a simmer for about 5-10 minutes depending on the consistency you like. Continue stirring until you see the sugar completely dissolved and juices on the bottom of the pan.
  2. Add in 3 – 4 passes of fresh nutmeg on your microplane grater (optional).
  3. Remove from the heat, transport to a container, and reserve in the refrigerator for later.

Earl Grey Panna Cotta

  1. In a small saucepan, measure out your milk, sugar, salt, and tea bags, and bring to a boil on high heat. Immediately remove from the heat, cover the saucepan and let the tea bags steep for 5 minutes.
  2. While your tea is steeping, measure out your vanilla extract and heavy cream into a large mixing bowl.
  3. Remove the tea bags from the milk (careful not to burn your hands), gently squeezing out the excess liquid back into the milk.
  4. Evenly sprinkle the gelatin powder on top of the warm milk, wait for 3 minutes, and whisk together until fully dissolved. If there are lumps, put the saucepan back on the stove on medium-low heat for 1 – 3 minutes and continue to whisk until dissolved (never let gelatin boil otherwise its ability to set the dessert becomes compromised).
  5. Add the milk mixture to the cream, mixing thoroughly, this is your earl grey panna cotta base. Let it come to cool. 
  6. Divide the mixture into the containers you are using to set the panna cotta. If you plan on removing the panna cotta from the container before serving, be sure to swipe the insides with a paper towel dipped in vegetable oil (this will make it easier to unmold). Or, if you are lazy like me, serve it in a wine glass (efficient and classy (I mean the recipe)).
  7. Cover the tops with plastic wrap and let the panna cotta rest in the fridge for a minimum of 3 hours, or overnight.

Assemble and Serve

  1.  If you are unmolding your panna cotta, skip to the next step. Otherwise, divide the blueberry coulis evenly into each panna cotta container and serve to your eagerly waiting guests!
  2. If you are serving the panna cotta on a plate (not in the container), Pour some hot water into a shallow bowl. Run a sharp knife around the edge of the panna cotta dessert and dip the bottom of the container into water holding for a few seconds. Invert onto a plate. If the dessert does not fall out, repeat the hot water step and try again. Spoon the blueberry coulis on top for a beautiful look and serve!


  • Knox gelatin can be purchased at your local grocery store (knox is the brand).
  • This panna cotta can also be made with other types of tea, or without the tea entirely. Simply follow the instructions with the omission of tea bags and steeping for a plain panna cotta base.
  • Always let your gelatin mixture come to cool before pouring it in the mold or else it may separate
  • I used frozen blueberries to make this recipe, fresh blueberries may take a bit longer to cook down and create juices but should yield the same result.
  • If you are choosing to use nutmeg in any recipe, one easy way to step it up is to use freshly grated nutmeg versus pre-grated nutmeg. It is SO much more potent and adds a little something extra without a lot of work.

Earl Grey Panna Cotta with Blueberry Compote Recipe

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