A Tale of Cake: Dominique Ansel latest collaboration is with Glenmorangie
When I heard that renowned pastry chef Dominique Ansel was partnering up with Glenmorangie, the first thought that crossed my mind was that it was probably the collaboration that made the most sense.
By Marie-Ève Venne
Like whisky, baking is not necessary for our survival, but is one of life’s little pleasures that make everyday life more enjoyable. With the current situation we are going through, it also seems more and more important to celebrate these rituals that allow us to treat ourselves a little. All in a reasonable way, of course.
“It’s also an indulgence. You don’t necessarily need to eat pastry, but you do it to bring yourself a certain amount of pleasure. And having a beautiful glass of whisky, and understanding how to appreciate it and how to drink it, is also very satisfying” declares Dominique Ansel.
But how did this collaboration come about? It all began when Dr Bill Lumsden, Glenmorangie’s Director of Whisky Creation, found himself musing over how some of his most joyful memories involved cake. He dreamt of encapsulating the magic of the food in a single malt whisky, experimenting by finishing Glenmorangie in Tokaji dessert wine casks. Artfully layering their sweet, honeyed notes with Glenmorangie’s smooth, fruity character, Dr Bill created Glenmorangie A Tale of Cake.
Revered chef Dominique Ansel has created a unique twist on a pineapple boat cake, paired with a pineapple Old Fashioned cocktail by expert mixologist Jeremy Le Blanche. The pair have gone on to further invent three more Cake Tail pairings to celebrate Glenmorangie’s most-loved whiskies: The Original, The Lasanta and The Quinta Ruban (think brownie, affogato, and a pear-based dessert).
“We had this idea of making a whisky that reminded us of the happy experience of tasting a beautiful piece of cake. We started working on the process of making the whisky. And it was kind of already on its journey to where it was going to end up. That’s when we started to talk to Dominic and we explained him the inspiration and we did a tasting with him. And from there, itt ended up all complimenting each other” explains Brendan McCarron, Head of Maturing Whisky Stocks for Glenmorangie.
“I think there is a similarity between what they do at Glenmorangie and my work. There’s always the idea of respecting the quality of the craft, but at the same time, of pushing the boundaries by adding a little something extra to create a different dimension and introducing a brand-new story, which is what I do with my pastries”, explains Ansel.
Always bringing something new and exciting to the table is most definitely something that Chef Ansel knows how to do. Back in April, during peak quarantine time, he decided to launch a new book. The result is Everyone Can Bake, an uncomplicated tome of complicated skills.
“We worked on the book for over two years, and probably more than 2530 people worked on it. We had a set a release date, and it was just overall a question of timing. It’s a weird time to launch something new. But I think that, in a time of uncertainty, people appreciate being able to turn to something they like and make them feel good, such as baking. And I think that, at the end of the day, it all comes down to how do you make yourself happy with like simple stuff explains Ansel.
When it comes to enjoying life’s little pleasures, nothing seems more appropriate than enjoying a nice dram of Glenmorangie in the right setting.
“I think the best food pairing to go with this is something not too heavy. A cake that is light and has beautiful flavors and contrast of pineapple and brown sugar and there’s a heat of passion fruit in there. After a long day, you deserve to indulge in a little slice of cake and whisky. Music is very important too and a nice lighting, of course. You know, it’s late at night and you have a nice glass of whisky outside. It’s super relaxing”, describes Ansel.
And it seems the same for Brendan.
“A few weeks ago, I was staying at my in-laws with my wife and family, and it was the first time we were all together since the start of covid. I don’t remember exactly what music was playing, but it was just this really cool and relaxing sound. And it was perfect. We were all together, enjoying the moment and I was having a nice dram of Tale. You know, it’s this kind of whisky that really comes to live with just a drop of water” he explains.
We sometimes forget that the true joy of a dram is sharing it with someone, even from afar. When it comes to sharing a Tale of Cake, you would be happy to know that it is already available in British-Columbia and will be soon in Alberta.
You can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for the official release date.