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I recently worked on a video shoot with Kate Kelley and John Lavall, making multiple Sacher tortes. Ingredients and snacks on set included apricot preserves, gingersnap cookies, and more bittersweet chocolate bars than Veruca Salt's father bought in search of the Wonka golden ticket. As I prepped, I assembled little gingersnap cookie sandwiches stuffed with chocolate and sticky with preserves. I told Kate I'd have to meld these ingredients in a cake.
The next day found me at the supermarket buying fresh ginger, gingersnaps, chocolate, and frozen peaches. I wasn't quite sure how everything would come together, and, well, the first experiment didn't go quite right when it came to assembly. I made a sheet cake, quartered it, and layered it with a delicious semifreddo that, sadly, gushed out inconsolably when I stacked the pieces of cake. I turned my back on the kitchen— a hideous crime scene of a cake carefully planned and botched.
The next morning I tackled the clean-up and a new and improved idea for the cake. It turned out wonderfully and is now placed in my "For Company" file. The cake is a chocolate sponge that's light and gently spiced with ginger. A peach and ginger semifreddo is sandwiched between the layers, this time carefully held together in the bodiced hold of a springform pan. Once set and frozen, the cake is released from the mold, coated in a dark chocolate glaze, and surrounded by gingersnap cookies. The flavors harmonize with perfect pitch, the chill of the peachy semifreddo and deep chocolate emboldened and refined with the heat of fresh ginger.