Growing up, there was a fantastic, whimsical layered cake called the Pink Champagne Cake. It was a soft tender cake with the aroma of sweet champagne that was covered in outrageously pink, fluffy frosting. I haven’t had the cake since my childhood, as the popularity of it has waned and it’s difficult to find in bakeries today.
The beauty of being a professional pastry chef is if there’s a dessert I want, I can make it myself. After a few attempts with various recipes, I finally developed my own version of the classic – and I’m proud of it. The cake is a perfect “grown up” cake with its light alcohol content and pretty colors.
But not to be content with restoring a baker’s relic, I decided to deconstruct this Barbie cake into a fully developed restaurant dessert. I took the custardy elements and extrapolated it into neat little rows. The lightness of the frosting was interpreted into a smooth, creamy pile of champagne sabayon. Alcohol from the pink champagne was kept raw and in placed as little cubes of gelée. The cakes layers, themselves, rather than be covered in pink fluff, were placed stage center, at full attention, served warm, in the exact “cake slice” look. To elevated the dish to the intricacies of fine dining, I paired it with a honey macerated grapefruit segments and a tart, refreshing grapefruit sorbet (pink grapefruit, of course!).
In hopes for a Pink Champagne Cake resurgence, please find a copy of my own recipe for the dish, as well as an instructional video shot in the kitchens of Oceana.
I know what flavor cake I want for my birthday this year.