This was a day of firsts for me. Between making meringue, caramelizing sugar, and whipping cream, I can say I’ve added a lot of new techniques to my repertoire. Cardinal Slices are a popular Viennese dessert. Three layers of alternating stripes of meringue and a ladyfinger batter are piped on to parchment paper and baked. The layers are cooled and are sandwiched together with whipped cream flavored with espresso couleur, a syrup made with extremely caramelized sugar and espresso.
Pictured here is the espresso couleur, cooling and awaiting the whipped cream.
One of my favorite things about this recipe is that there is little waste. The extra meringue goes into the sponge batter. The extra sponge batter can become ladyfingers or Rothschilds. (I saw a tip from another baker advising that you halve the batter for the sponge. Also a great idea!) Personally, I’m planning to use the leftover whipped cream and couleur in some sort of frappe creation in the near future.
Overall, I’d say that this recipe was a success. Though fragile in nature and tedious to put together, it was well worth the effort! The cake portion was not quite as spongy as I would have liked. This may be because the cake batter is very fragile and subject to being easily over mixed. Nonetheless, it was delicious!
I let my cake chill for an hour (as recommended before serving). The recipe states that it can only be refrigerated for a maximum of 4 hours before it must be served because the layers will absorb the whipped cream and become too soft. I put my leftover cake in the freezer to keep it from getting too soggy. The next day, I ate a slice frozen. It was like a light, tiramisu-esque, ice cream sandwich (highly recommend!).
Here is a video from the series detailing the whole process!
You can find out who else made this dessert and what they thought here!