Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F) with the oven rack in the center of the oven. Butter three 18-cm (7-inch) round cake or springform pans. Line bottoms with parchment paper and dust the sides with flour. Set aside.
In a bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder and salt. In another one, combine the sugar and lemon zest. In a small bowl, combine the milk and oil.
In a large bowl, or bowl of you mixer, beat the sugar with eggs (add one at a time) and vanilla paste until smooth and creamy. Alternately add the flour and milk mixtures, beginning and ending with the flour, gently stirring between each new addition. (If using a mixer, mix on the lowest speed.)
Evenly divide the batter between the pans, smoothing the tops with a silicone spatula or back of a spoon. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (you can also check to see if the cake springs back when pressed lightly in the center).
Place the cakes (still in their pans) on a wire rack to cool for about 5-10 minutes. Then invert them onto plates, remove the parchment and re-invert cakes so that tops are right side up. Cool completely before filling. For overnight storage, first level cakes, then wrap in plastic wrap and store at room temperature until the next day.
Place cream and sugar in the bowl of your mixer, or in a large bowl if using a hand mixer, and whisk on low-medium speed until cream forms hard peaks. When the whisk begins leaving streaks in the cream, check if cream is whipped enough that it holds its shape, but be careful not to overmix it. It need to be smooth and fluffy.
Meanwhile, drain the pineapple preserves. Preserve the liquid and place the fruit in a separate bowl.
Place one cake layer on a serving plate and brush the top with pineapple syrup. Do it quite heavily, using at least 4 tablespoons, because the cake gets dry easily.
Spread about 2 cups of whipped cream all over the cake, top with pineapple chunks (use about 1/2), just enough so the whole cake is covered in an even layer. Spoon more cream over to fill the gaps.
Top with another cake layer, moisten it with pineapple syrup and top with whipped cream, followed by pineapple chunks (a little less than you used in the first layer) and more cream. Finish off with the last cake layer, brush with pineapple syrup and smear with leftover cream.
Smooth the sides and the top of the cake with a spatula, then chill the cake in the fridge for at least 2 hours, or even overnight.
Once the cake is chilled, keep it in the fridge as you make the ganache:
Place chocolate in a large glass bowl, set aside. In a saucepan heat cream over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it just begins to boil (you’ll see small bubbles on the surface). Remove cream from heat, whisk in about 1/4 teaspoon food coloring (or more if you wish), then pour it over the chocolate. Let sit for a few seconds, then begin stirring and do so until the chocolate melts.
Let ganache sit for a few minutes, so it thickens and cools a bit, stir occasionally.
Take cake out of the fridge, drop small teaspoons of ganache close to the edge of the cake. Gently push ganache drops over the edge with the back of the spoon, so it drips down. As the ganache slowly slides down the cake, place a few tablespoons on top of the cake (in the center) and spread it towards the edge using an offset spatula. (All the gaps should be filled and ganache should be smooth. If you see any empty spots, dip the spatula in the remaining ganache and add drops of it to those spots.)
Then do the rest of the decorating: Place mini meringues all around close to the edge of the cake, place macarons in the middle (gently press them in), then take the chocolate bark and stick it into the cake. (You want the bark to have sharp edges. If it won’t stay put, stick in a few toothpicks or place some extra macarons behind it to give it support.) Lastly press some sprinkles around the lower part of the cake.
Before cutting, chill cake for about 1 hour, until the ganache is completely set.
Store cake in the fridge, eat within 2-3 days.
Recipe for the cake layers only slightly adapted from Joy of Baking. The rest inspired by Rok’s grandmother’s recipe.