As I mentioned in my post for Sybil's Pecan Torte, I made Le Succès the same weekend as I was in Denver on a business trip the weekend before. Knowing about the travel, and also predicting how well The Folks Next Door would like these two cakes, I decided to make a half-size Le Succès. Whipping out calculator and a compass, I soon had three 5.7" diameter circles on a sheet of parchment paper. All the ingredients divided easily by weight or dry measure, though I had even more excess instant lemon tea mix than the other Heavenly Cake Bakers.
Le Succès is composed of 3 disks of meringue with ground almonds folded in, frosted with dark chocolate ganache. I had blanched slivered almonds instead of sliced, which perhaps meant not quite as fine a grinding job in the food processor. I didn't see a problem though--that little bit of texture just added character. The meringue making went smoothly though I was rather haphazard about piping the disks on my parchment paper. No neat inward spirals of batter were coming out that night, so I tried to fill in the gaps with more piping then finished the job with an offset spatula.
Before even starting the meringue I made the ganache: dark chocolate, crème fraîche, cream, and the instant powdered lemon-flavored tea. It sat cooling while the meringue disks were made and baked, then when those were cool the ganache was at a usable consistency. The recipe calls for covering the first layer and putting the second on, then chilling the cake for an hour before frosting the second layer. That's repeated for the last layer. I cheated on the chill time--hey, my cake was half-size, so it should cool faster. One interesting note is that my supply of ganache went from easy frosting consistency to very stiff in that first chilling interval. I worked it with my offset spatula to get to a spreadable consistency for the second layer, but when it came to the top and wanting a decoration, I zapped the ganache in the microwave to warm it a little. And that was it: Le Succès.
Tasting results: no one loved this one, and it was seriously overshadowed by the pecan torte that was served at the same time. The lemon ganache was rated strange (but my inferior taste buds had a hard time getting any lemon over the dark chocolate taste). The meringue disks were called "odd...OK, but odd" by younger niece. She ate them first to get them out of the way, then had the ganache to eat as rather thin truffles. Older niece left half of her piece, and finished the pecan torte. Just not the sort of cake any of us prefer.