Rosella Ginger Pecan Torte: Wedding Cake Recipe

There are many interchangeable parts to this wedding cake; fillings, dacquoise, cream, frostings all or some may be used to complete a variety of delicious cakes. The cake recipe can be frozen triple-wrapped for up to three months.
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  • Level: Advanced
  • Total: 1 day 4 hr
  • Prep: 2 hr 30 min
  • Inactive: 1 day
  • Cook: 1 hr 30 min
  • Yield: 16 to 20 dessert servings, 38 wedding servings
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2 large ripe Anjou pears, peeled

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 lemon, sliced

1 stick lemongrass, optional

Ginger Syrup:

3 tablespoons sugar

6 tablespoons (3 ounces) water

8 tablespoons (4 ounces) ginger wine (recommended: Stone's Ginger Wine)

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour 

1 1/2 tablespoons powdered ginger

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) butter

1/2 cup oil

1 tablespoon vanilla (recommended: Nielsen-Massey)

2 cups sugar

1/2 cup granulated brown sugar

2 tablespoons pale treacle (recommended: Golden Syrup)

4 large eggs

2 cup pecans, finely chopped

1/4 cup fresh grated coconut (substitute desiccated or flaked)

1/2 cup small dice glace baby ginger (recommended: The Ginger People)

1/2 cup drained, crushed pineapple

Meringue Dacquoise, recipe follows

Ginger Marmalade, recipe follows

Mother's Washed Cream, recipe follows

Ginger Bittersweet Chocolate Ganache, recipe follows

White Chocolate Rolled Fondant, recipe follows

Meringue Dacquoise:

6 egg whites

2 cups sifted powdered sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons Madagascar bourbon vanilla (recommended: Nielsen Massey)

2 cups coarsely chopped toasted pecans

1 1/2 tablespoons sifted all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tablespoons sifted potato flour

1 1/2 teaspoons sifted good quality cocoa powder (recommended: Guittard)

Ginger Marmalade:

1 (10-ounce) jar baby ginger marmalade (recommended: The Ginger People)

2 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons lemon juice

3 tablespoons ginger wine (recommended: Stone's Ginger Wine)

Mother's Washed Cream:

1/2 cup superfine sugar

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter

2 tablespoons uncooked good-flavored honey

1 tablespoon Madagascar bourbon vanilla essence (recommended: Nielsen-Massey)

Ginger Bittersweet Chocolate Ganache:

1 1/2 cups bittersweet chocolate

1 1/2 cups double cream

3/4 cup toasted pecans finely chopped

1/4 cup finely chopped glace baby ginger

3 tablespoons ginger wine (recommended: Stone's Ginger Wine)


Special equipment:
2 (10 by 2 inch) deep cake pans
  1. Steaming pears: In a medium saucepan add about 3 inches water, the sugar, cut lemon slices and the lemongrass (lemon serai). (The lemongrass is optional.) Bring the water to a boil. Fit a steamer basket over the boiling water, add the pears and steam until tender. Remove the pears, drain, and coarsely grate. Press out any excess liquid for one hour before using, or substitute very well-drained, grated canned pears. Set aside.
  2. Ginger Syrup: Combine the sugar and water in a saucepan, simmer together until the sugar dissolves, cool completely, then add the ginger wine and set aside. 
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and lightly flour 2 (10 by 2 inch) deep cake pans and line the base with parchment. 
  4. Sift together the flour, powdered ginger, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl and set aside. 
  5. Beat the butter, oil, vanilla, sugars, and treacle until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition. Add the sifted dry ingredients alternately with the remaining ingredients in the order given. Mix 2 minutes on medium speed using a stand mixer. 
  6. Pour the batter into the pans that have been greased floured and parchment lined. 
  7. Bake 45 minutes in a 350 degree F oven, remove and cool for 20 minutes in the pan, then pour over the ginger syrup. Turn out onto a cooling rack when almost cold.
  8. Assembly: 
  9. Level cakes if necessary. Secure the wax paper to the cake board with royal icing. Place the meringue dacquoise on wax paper. Smooth on a layer of washed cream, chocolate ganache, and the ginger marmalade to the meringue disk. Top with one of the cakes. Repeat the layers of washed cream, ganache, ginger marmalade, and the second meringue disk, top that with washed cream, ganache, and ginger marmalade, then add the second cake. Trim the meringue disks if necessary. Coat the entire cake with washed cream, then strained ginger marmalade. Cover tightly and securely with plastic wrap for 24 hours. Chill in the refrigerator. Remove the wrap and cover with white chocolate rolled fondant. 
  10. This cake can be made and assembled for decorating 5 days before a wedding; in fact the maturing process improves the combination of flavors.

Meringue Dacquoise:

  1. Draw 2 (10-inch) circles on parchment, place on an oven tray. 
  2. Whip the egg whites until stiff but not dry. Add the sifted powdered sugar in three stages mixing well between each addition then add the vanilla. Fold. Add the nuts followed by the sifted dry ingredients with a light hand. Spoon into the circles, level and bake 350 degrees F for 20 minutes, or until a light golden brown.

Ginger Marmalade:

  1. Heat the first 4 ingredients gently in a double boiler. Puree in the food processor then strain. Add the ginger wine after completely cooling.

Mother's Washed Cream:

  1. Whip the sugar, butter, honey, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Remove the bowl from mixer. Cover with chilled water swirl and squeeze through the fingers for a minute, drain the water thoroughly and re-beat until light and fluffy. Repeat six times until the mixture is pure white and the sugar is totally dissolved. This keeps very well covered in a cool place for a day or two without refrigeration. Store tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to a month.

Ginger Bittersweet Chocolate Ganache:

  1. Melt chocolate over hot, not boiling, water, add the cream, pecans, and ginger, last, after cooling add the ginger wine. Stir well and allow the mixture to thicken.

White Chocolate Rolled Fondant:

  1. For every 2 pounds of either commercial or homemade rolled fondant melt either 2 cups of high ratio cocoa butter white chocolate or chocolate couverture (compound) and pour into the rested fondant then knead until thoroughly incorporated. If flaking occurs, microwave in 5-second increments until the fondant warms then any rough shards will disappear. Leave to rest overnight before using. This results in a wonderfully soft easy to manage rolled fondant. Warm in the microwave for a few seconds before kneading to use. If using couverture add 1/2 cup sifted Dutch-processed cocoa to the melted chocolate and knead well. Roll out on sifted cocoa.