Usually the recipes are fairly clear about the ingredients one is supposed to use, but I was looking at Le Succes in RHC and it calls for powdered instant lemon tea. What the heck is that? The book never gives a hint.
That is the first thing I think of when I see instant tea. You can post on the main blog if you would like Rose to respond. Also, I’m sure it would be just as good with plain ganache if you don’t want to try the tea version. The description does say it will be candy-like.
Well, 4 tsp of sugar in a ganache with 1 pound of chocolate is just going to disappear without notice. I think when she says it’s “candy like” she means it’s like a slab of ganache with a bit of cake in it somewhere. The pound of chocolate accompanies 3 layers that are described as being 1/8” thick. I am thinking of skipping the lemon tea, but I’ll post on the blog and see.
I have made this cake from RHC. I used Lipton Lemon Iced Tea powder. But I do agree that it will still work without the tea. I think it’s more for flavor than texture. But the taste is very subtle and just in the background.
All of Rose’s ganache recipes (that I’ve tried so far) use enhacing flavors sparingly, as Jess says they stay in the background. I would imgaine this is the case with this recipe, too.
Her mention of the cake being candy-like, I think comes from pairing the ganache with dacquoise, which is a somewhat sweet, almond meringue, not a cake. After a day or so the dacquoise will soften, making the texture even less cake-like.
What texture should the meringue layers have when properly cooked? I cooked them last night until just browning in spots and the resulting layers are quite soft and sort of cake like, and kind of sticky. They are about 3/8” thick, which I think is thicker than the recipe says they should be. They were nearly impossible to get off the pan. (I use teflon liners and most things come off effortlessly, but not these.) The layers are very delicate and have broken into about 5 pieces each. I can still use them—-just fit them together and everything will be hidden by the ganache. But is this how they are supposed to be?
Adrian, you need to use parchment for meringe. I’ve written notes to myself that I thought the oven too hot, so switched it off and left the discs in overnight. However, follow Rose’s instruction to the letter and you will be fine (use parchment). They were crispy on the outside and lovely and chewy on the inside. Over time, when covered with ganache, they become less crisp. Absolutely delicious.
No, I shouldn’t need parchment. Anything that sticks to the teflon sheets sticks ten times as badly to parchment. (Almond macaroons pop right off….unless they’re undercooked.) Note that I’m not talking about the silicone baking mats, which I’ve never understood as they seem terribly sticky, but paper thin teflon sheets. I have them cut for all my pans. I never grease or flour the pan.
Based on my description above do you think it would be worthwhile to cook a second set of the layers and try cooking them longer? I did cook them for the longest recommended time. They are not the slightest bit crispy, but very soft and chewy. I’m hoping to assemble tonight and anticipate that the cake will be completely consumed tomorrow, so it’s not going to be sitting around.
I’ve never used teflon sheets but I do agree with Annie that parchment paper comes off better compared to silicone mats based on my experience (at least when it comes to dacquoise). The texture is slightly crispy on the outside but chewy inside. When I made this, it was very delicate. I haven’t tried making this again but if I do, I’m planning on cooking a bit longer like you’re thinking of doing. Let us know how it comes out if you try it again.
So if I do it again, would I want to cook until the whole surface is golden? How do I decide when it’s done?
Regarding the silpat, I got one years ago. I tried my most stick prone recipe, a cranberry spiral cookie. It was a disaster. I could not get them off the silpat at all. They come off the teflon sheets, though. Tried them on parchment once. Disaster. Could not get them off the parchment. The silpat surface is tacky so you can’t slide a spatula on it. I’m frankly puzzled by the acclaim that silpat seems to get. I returned mine….
I don’t have the RHC with me right now. But if I were to bake it longer, I would probably bake it for the longest time recommended in the book. The good thing about this cake from what I remember, is that even if the dacquoise tears a little bit, you can assemble it and it stills come together when the ganache is applied. Although like you, I would much prefer to get the whole thing off the sheet without tearing.
I did cook them for the longest recommended time, and I wasn’t sure if they were done even so. One mistake I made was that I didn’t smooth them out. (The directions sent me to the page for ladyfingers and it didn’t say over there to smooth them out, so I didn’t notice that instruction back on the other recipe.) After the longest recommended time, the higher spots were beginning to brown. The lower spots were still perfectly white. (Kind of weird, actually, that the thinner part seemed to cook more slowly.) So I assume that to get it browner I’d have to cook it longer than the recommended time.
It’s kind of annoying that they broke into 15 pieces, but I could still piece them together to make the cake. But if the layers are supposed to be a bit crunchy, the cake won’t have the textural contrast it was meant to. So my reason for baking them again would not be that the broke, but rather be that are supposed to have a bit of crunch to contrast with the smooth ganache.