Limiting the Absurd

Let’s get this out of the way. This is not a seven layer cake.

Sure, I could argue that between all of the layers of cake and the jam, there are far more than seven layers. And, it’s true. But that’s not why I made it this way. The truth is, when it comes to the bottom layer of chocolate on a traditional seven layer cookie (or rainbow cookie as I call them), I can’t be bothered. Between flipping the cake and tempering the chocolate and waiting, the whole process seems like a nuisance.

More precisely put, it is simply too much work.

Wait. Wait.

Go back, read that last sentence again—I’ll wait.

Are you laughing yet at the absurdity?

It’s been well established that, when it comes to cooking, I’m fairly willing to do the insane, cooking things that can easily be purchased and at a lower cost (hello, bagels?), but even I have my limits. And, while my friend Arielle would argue that the bottom layer is what makes the cookie, I’ll leave that one to the professionals. So now you know.

Instead, here’s a riff on the traditional seven layer cookie—Ganche! More layers!

And, if I’m being completely honest more effort!

But, it makes for one impressive presentation, if I do say so myself. And, you can slice it up like a cake which means—more cake for everyone!

See, we all win.

Rainbow Cookie Cake
Adapted from Gourmet

To Make The Cake:
4 large eggs, separated
1 cup sugar
1 (8-oz) can almond paste or marzipan (do not use the tubes)
2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened, plus 1 more TBS for buttering your pans
1 TSP almond extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
Red food coloring
Green food coloring
Yellow food coloring
1 and 1/2 jars raspberry preserves (16 oz total)
Chocolate Ganache (Recipe Follows)

Preheat your oven to 350°F. Butter three 13-by 9-inch baking pan and line bottom with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on 2 ends, then butter paper.

Beat whites in mixer fitted with whisk attachment at medium-high speed until they just hold stiff peaks. Add 1/4 cup sugar a little at a time, beating at high speed until whites hold stiff, slightly glossy peaks. Transfer to another bowl.

Switch to paddle attachment, then beat together almond paste and remaining 3/4 cup sugar until well blended, about 3 minutes. Add butter and beat until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add yolks and almond extract and beat until combined well, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to low, then add flour and salt and mix until just combined.

Fold half of egg white mixture into almond mixture to lighten, then fold in remaining whites gently but thoroughly.

Divide batter among 3 bowls. Stir red food coloring into one, green food coloring into another, and yellow into the third. You’ll need about 30 drop sof each food coloring to get the desired intensity. Pour each color batter onto your prepared pans and spread using an offset spatula. You want the layers to be about 1/4 inch thick.

Bake each layer 8 to 10 minutes, until just set. The layers will be slightly undercooked. This is what you want. Once baked, transfer the layers to a rack to cool.

When all layers are cool, invert green onto a wax-paper-lined large baking sheet. Discard paper from layer and spread with half of preserves. Invert yellow on top of green layer, discarding paper. Spread with remaining preserves. Invert red layer on top of white layer and discard wax paper. Once that is complete, cut the cake in half. Cover the red half, still in the pan with raspberry jam and place the green layer on top.

Cover with plastic wrap and weight with a large baking pan. Chill at least 8 hours.

To Make the Chocolate Ganache:
Chocolate Ganache
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Place your chocolate chips into a heat resistant bowl and set aside. In a doubleboiler, heat the heavy cream to a simmer, but do not let it boil. Once the cream is warm, pour it over the chocolate chips and stir until the chocolate has melted and becomes glossy. Allow to cool for at least a half hour before using.

To Assemble the Cake:
Remove weight and plastic wrap. Bring layers to room temperature.

Trim edges of assembled layers with a long serrated knife. Spread the cake with ganache and allow to set at room temperature at least 30 minutes.


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Filed under Brunch, Cookies, Dessert

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