This delicious dessert, from one of our top March cookbooks, needs little introduction—if the title doesn’t get you, the photo certainly will.
Frozen Coffee-Ginger Meringue Cake with Pomegranate Sauce
Serves 8 to 10
This is what I call company dessert—you know, one of those recipes you are always looking for that is guaranteed to get plenty of oohs and aahs when guests see it and even more compliments when they taste it. It is a heavenly, light dessert with a wonderful pomegranate sauce, divine with a really good cup of coffee.
Now, let’s talk presentation. You want to time bringing out the cake. Wait until all the dishes have been cleared away and you have a nice stack of plates ready for the cake on the table. Make a big entrance, carrying the cake from the kitchen to the dining room. Cut one slice and then drizzle a little extra sauce on the serving, and ask the person next to you to pass it along. The wonderful aroma of the ginger in the cake will fill the air as it is passed to the person at the end of the table. It’s a great way to build the anticipation of that first bite of such a delicious cake!
To save time, you can use store-bought meringues—it doesn’t matter if they are powdery and dry. You’ll need about 10 meringues that are approximately 3 1 ⁄2 inches in diameter.
For the meringues
Sunflower oil (optional)
6 egg whites
¾ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup superfine sugar
For the cake
2 tablespoons strong instant coffee granules, such as espresso
1 tablespoon boiling water
3 cups heavy cream
4 tablespoons superfine sugar
2 tablespoons coffee liqueur, such as Tia Maria or Kahlua
3 tablespoons finely chopped crystallized ginger
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1 cup salted pecans, finely chopped
For the pomegranate sauce
¼ cup seedless raspberry preserves
1 cup pomegranate juice (store-bought or fresh)
Juice of 1 lime
1 heaping tablespoon arrowroot powder, mixed with 2 tablespoons cold water
Seeds of 2 pomegranates
To make the meringues, preheat the oven to 225°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and rub the paper with a trace of sunflower oil, or line the sheet with a silicone baking mat. Set the baking sheet aside.
Whisk the egg whites until they are very stiff and dry. Then slowly add the granulated sugar bit by bit, whisking until the egg whites regain their former stiffness. Fold in the superfine sugar with a large metal spoon. Spoon the mixture onto the lined baking sheet, and bake until crisp, about 3 hours. Remove, and break the meringues into pieces.
Mix the instant coffee with the boiling water, and then refrigerate until well chilled.
Whip the cream to the soft-peak stage, and mix in the sugar, coffee liqueur, and the chilled coffee. Fold in the broken meringues, the crystallized ginger, and the corn syrup. Line the bottom and sides of a loaf pan with parchment paper. Evenly distribute the chopped pecans on the bottom.
Spoon the whipped cream mixture on top of the pecans. Cover with foil and freeze for at least 24 hours.
To make the sauce, combine the raspberry preserves and the pomegranate juice in a small pan over low heat, and cook until the preserves have melted. Add the lime juice and bring to a boil. Then remove the pan from the heat and stir in the arrowroot mixture. Put the pan back on the heat and simmer gently, whisking, for a couple of minutes. Then let the sauce cool. When it has cooled completely, add the pomegranate seeds.
To remove the frozen cake from the pan, allow the cake to sit at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes, then invert the cake onto a serving platter.
Slice into ¾-inch slices, drizzle with the pomegranate sauce, and serve.
Reprinted from the book P. Allen Smith’s Seasonal Recipes from the Garden by P. Allen Smith. Copyright © 2010 by P. Allen Smith. Photographs copyright © 2010 by Ben Fink. Published by Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House, Inc.