Well, it certainly was a...success. This flourless cake was fun, many finicky steps but none of them too difficult, and an elegant final product. I made Le Succes at the bakery, on Friday morning, while I prepped and baked the bread. It all started with ganache, which I began around 7am. This was a simple one, just sour cream and cream over chocolate bits, with a small citric acid shot from a few teaspoons of "lemon tea powder," an ingredient that baffled many Heavenly Bakers, until it was identified as plain old iced tea powder (I used Tetley's--now we have to drink a lot of fake iced tea). Despite the addition of such low-brow (for Rose) ingredient, the ganache was sleek and elegant, with an almost imperceptible citric accent. So almost imperceptible, in fact, that only Lily could even come close to identifying it.
Then the ganache was set to cool while more bread dough was kneaded for the following day, and then I brought out my little container of pre-ground almonds and sugar (there's no small pulverizing instrument at the bakery). I whipped up some egg whites, added cream of tartar and some more sugar, and then folded the almond/sugar mixture in.
While I was at it, I took a few shots of the bakery kitchen for the curious. Somehow, my angle was never quite right, but here they are.
The big oven, my convectional nemesis.
After everything was folded, I piped the meringue batter onto a piece of parchment with circles drawn on, smoothed and leveled, and baked briefly, until the meringue was lightly brown.
Detaching the meringue discs was a slow and finicky business, but with a small tear or two, it was done. The meringue discs were thing and chewy. The next step was just to pile them up and layer with ganache, chilling for an hour between each layer. I spread, I leveled, I waited, I chatted with Lily and with her apprentice Rob as I finished up the day's bread.
The top middle layer came out a bit thicker than the lower top layer of ganache, but all in all it was a respectable job of assembly. Despite a few attempts, I couldn't manage the decorative spoon design that Rose recommends, so I just put in a little swirl.
The cake was certainly good--it was basically a truffle in cake form, with the ganache layers larger than the cake layers, and it looked pretty cut (sorry, no slice shot this time). While it wasn't my favorite ever, it was an excellent choice for a Passover-observing chocolate fanatic.
Oh, and the bread is looking pretty good, too. This is a sourdough loaf.