Four Layer Opera Cake
After a day of a fully rested body.. i woke up today feeling better.. lately i get tired pretty easily and now I am back taking my energy boost pills which i had abandoned 6 months ago..
I guess its the age thingy but hb kept on saying that its just me who doesnt know how to rest.. oh well.. i still think its the age thing tho.. anyway guess what happened earlier today? u remember how it is with Sonia and electrical gadgets?? well her "best friend" decided to die on her earlier today..
At least twice a week i will take Sonia to the indoor playground at our place.. thats where our gym is and opposite the gym area theres a fairly big fish pond full of hungry fish.. and when i say fish.. i dont mean tiny tiny fish.. these fishes are huge.. eh lemme correct myself.. these fishes are humongous!!
So ok.. today she decided that she wanted to take along her iTouch which i only realised when we got to the pool area.. i reminded her to hold on to it tightly and that if shes not careful she might end up with an iTouch filled with water.. long story short.. we then went down to the fish pond area to feed the hungry fish.. by then i was holding on to my iphone and her iTouch in my hand.. while feeding the fish.. she got really excited and out of the blue accidentally knocked my hand and guess what happened next?? yep yep.. my iphone dropped next to my leg.. her itouch flew into the fish pond.. i got really panicky.. had i quickly dug my hand into the pool.. the hungry fish would definitely nibble on my hand which is a big no no.. yikes! i then quickly ran to the other side of the pond.. threw in fish food and as soon as i saw the fishes swim towards the food.. i dug my hand in the pond and took it out.. of cos the next thing i did was to quickly try to "revive" it and of cos that didnt work.. i then looked at Sonia with an angry face and guess what she said to me?? "Mama why did u drop my iTouch.. spoil already!"... grrrr.. kids!! they say the darnest thangs!
Anyway back to what i baked today.. i had actually wanted to bake African Gateau but had a change of mind when i saw pics of Opera Cake fm my previous post.. i knew at that instant that i had to bake it again and this time around i wanna do the original version of it.. jaconda with mocha buttercream and ganache.. i had used recipes fm different sites, change a few steps, added a few more ingredients, changed it to four layers instead of six and this is what i came up with..
200g finely ground almond
100g caster sugar
50g butter, melted
60g all purpose flour
115g egg whites
55g confectioner sugar - i used caster sugar
-Preheat oven to 200C.. Prepare two pans (20 x 20 cm), greased and lined with baking paper.
-In a large bowl combine ground almond, caster sugar and 3 eggs, beat at high speed for 10 minutes, scraping often.
-Add remaining eggs one at a time, continue to beat for another 10 minutes.
Stir in 4 tbsp of almond mixture into melted butter and mix till well combined, set aside.
-Add sifted flour to the remaining almond mixture, mix well... put aside
In another bowl, beat egg whites til foamy, add sugar gradually and continue to beat until soft peaks formed.
-Take 1/3 of egg white and pour into almond mixture and mix it gently.. pour back almond mixture into the remaining 2/3 egg white mixture and continue to fold in gently.. dont overmix or u might deflate ur egg white..
-Divide and spread into prepared pans, bake both pans at once for 20 mins in 175C. Cool completely, remove from pans, discard paper and slice it into total 4 layers.
After making Joconde, here are the key components you cant't skip at all:
100ml hot brewed espresso - u can of cos use 15g of instant coffee with 100ml hot water
100g egg whites
300g unsalted butter - cubed and chilled and let it out once u start to whip ur egg white/sugar
1/2 tbsp mocha paste
1tsp coffee oil - u can use coffee essence/flavor if u cant find coffee oil
200g dark chocolate compound
200g milk chocolate compound - i used a mixture of 70%, 64% and 55%)
75g unsalted butter
250 ml fresh cream - i used double cream
Mix all ingredients, stirring until sugar dissolves. Set aside.
1. Using double boiler.. heat egg white and sugar till sugar dissolved - use ur thermometer ok.. heat till 65C..
2. Pour egg white mixture into ur mixing bowl and whisk using high speed till mixture turns glossy.. add in cubed butter one at a time and continue to beat till its slightly fluffy.. (buttercream texture)
3. Add in coffee oil, mocha paste and 50ml of coffee syrup into buttercream.. stir till well combined.. set aside
1. Chop the chocolate into small pieces.
2. Heat cream until warm. Remove from heat and pour it over chocolate.. let it sit for 5 mins and stir
3. Add in butter and continue to stir well again.
4. Put it aside till it thickens.
There are various way to assemble Opera, you can find many on internet. Heres my version..
- Place one sheet of joconde upside down (top of the cake on bottomside).
- Brush thoroughly with coffee syrup until moist.
- Spread one part of coffee cream evenly over the cake.
- Cover with another sheet of joconde, always upside down.
- Brush thoroughly with coffee syrup until moist
- Cover with thick ganache and cover with another sheet of joconde.
- Repeat above steps until all joconde, coffee cream and ganache are stacked completely. Chill for 10 minutes.
- Double boil remaining ganache over low heat just until simmer, pour evenly on the top. Chill for another 30mins.
- Trim the sides thinly to remove excess cream & ganache to reveal the layers of art and delicacy.
Serve it as a luxurious semifreddo dessert on your special occasion.
Tastewise?? need i say more?? hehe