Saturday, June 5, 2010

le succes

This dessert is the reason I bought Rose's Heavenly Cakes. When I thumbed through a copy at the bookstore, none of the other recipes really called to me (although that has certainly changed as I've looked through the book more). But le succes looked heavenly with its thick layers of ganache. And it's absolutely as good as it looks. Layers of ganache sandwiched between almond meringue disks, it's basically a giant truffle. And the ganache is made with creme fraiche, which gives it a lovely, subtle tang. It's quick and easy to make, although you do need to wait a day to eat it. I'll definitely make it again, and I can't wait to make the ganache by itself for truffles.

le succes (from Rose's Heavenly Cakes, Rose Levy Beranbaum)
Prepare and compose a day in advance.

6.3 oz almond flour
6.3 oz superfine sugar
7.5 oz (weight) egg whites (about 7) at room temp.
1 tsp cream of tartar

Line two 17-inch baking sheets with parchment and coat lightly with cooking spray. Mark three 8-inch circles on the parchment paper.

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Beat egg whites on medium until foamy. With mixer off, add cream of tartar. Raise the speed to medium-high and beat until soft peaks form when the beater is raised. Gradually beat in 2.5 TB of sugar until stiff peaks form when beater is raised slowly. (If whites are not very stiff, the succes will spread slightly during baking.)

Fill a pastry bag (with 1/2-inch plain tip) with meringue and pipe the batter onto the baking sheets, forming three 8-inch circles, starting at the perimeter and spiraling inward toward the center. Because the disks will puff and expand up to 1/2 nnch in diameter when baking, do not pipe them too close to the edge of the pan. Use an offset spatula to fill in any gaps with leftover batter and smooth the surface.

Bake first the two circles then the remaining circle, baking each pan for 15-20 minutes, or until the disks just begin to brown. Rotate the pan front to back n the oven halfway through.

Place on baking sheet on wire rack to cool. Cool completely, then loosen carefully with long offset spatula, including at the centers.

tea ganache
1 lb dark chocolate, chopped
13.6 oz creme fraiche
2.7 oz heavy cream
4 tsp instant powdered lemon tea

Whisk together cream and creme fraiche and scald it. Pour it over the chocolate and mix until smooth. Mix in the tea. Let it sit for an hour, then cover with plastic and let it sit until it reaches frosting consistency.

Spread a little ganache on the serving plate to anchor the succes. Place a disk on the ganache and cover with an even layer of ganache. Place the second disk on top. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour. Spread on another layer of ganache and place the third disk on top. Wrap with plastic and refrigerate another hour. Spread a thin layer of ganache around the sides, then cover the top. Bring to room temperature before serving.

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