Okay…this may sound strange, but about a year ago I had a dream about a cake. I don’t often dream about recipes, so this was a bit unusual. I can still see what the cake looked like — a mix of rich chocolate ‘cake’ and a chocolate ganache and crisp meringue combo. Also, toasted nuts were in the mix. I recall spending some time the morning after the dream reflecting on what I’d seen, but I quickly moved on to other things like work!
Fast forward many months. I saw Martha Stewart on the Today Show last week demonstrating a meringue and ice cream cake. She crafted the meringue ‘crusts’ to serve as the base and the top of the cake. The ice cream was the middle. The segment reminded me of my dream cake sans the ice cream. Maybe my mysterious cake could be achieved after all!
Inspired by the Martha Stewart segment, I spent the afternoon baking a dark chocolate cake, crafting a ganache and making the meringue. I decided to try two different versions. In one, I did a traditional layer cake approach by lathering ganache between two layers. I refrigerated that ‘cake’ for several hours and then spread a relatively thin layer of meringue laced with espresso over the entire cake. My plan was to try and bake the concoction just enough to cook the meringue to crispness but not affect the layer cake w/ganache inside.
On the second experimental cake, I simply layered the elements–cake+ganache+thin crisp meringue+cake+granache and topped with the crisp meringue…which by the way was laced with toasted chopped almonds.
The second cake tasted incredible. The combination of moist chocolate cake with rich, creamy ganache and crunchy meringue was wonderful. It wasn’t exactly the cake I saw in my dreams, but it was good.
The first cake fell apart in the oven. Apparently, I either didn’t get the layered cake cold enough to withstand the slow cooking of the meringue casing or the whole idea was flawed from the get go. I’ll keep trying. It was a fun experiment. I often rely on my intuition, so I think the dream was probably some good info. I’ll keep trying. It may take another year, but stay tuned. My version of the perfect cake may actually happen one of these days! Good taste can often take time, right!