This will be my last entry for this year.. this year?? haishh it feels like yesterday that i wished everyone a Happy New Year..
Year 2011 in particular has been pretty challenging for me.. the year where i started my online store.. the year that i started taking orders again (after not doing so for 10 years).. a year that saw a lot more laughter in my family .. a year that gave me the opportunity to get to know alot more ppl than during my schooling times.. a year that my hubs had to be hospitalised... my dear son having two bike accidents.. and at the same time a year of a few disappointments.. i am not gonna dwell abt the disappointments cos really.. they are not worth a second of my thoughts.. what matter most is that I know by now who is who..who is sincere and who is not..
Anyway lets sum it up by saying.. it has been an eye opening year for me.. i look forward to a brand new year .. am praying for good health.. good piggy bank.. may the new year bring happiness and may Allah bless all of us.. Insyallah...
What is ur new year resolution?? same like last year?? hehe... me too! bake more?? hehe certainly! I dont think i will ever stop? the urge to keep on trying new recipes is like a burning fire.. I am so looking forward to next month cos hb said he has a surprise for me and it involves baking.. hmmm cant wait!
This Opera Cheesecake will be my last bake for this year.. err not really cos tmrw morning i hv to bake lapis legit prune for an order but yeah.. basically this cake is my last bake for my family.. it took me a total of 4hrs to get it done and lemme warn u.. this cake has a lot of steps that u need to follow carefully.. follow the steps properly and i am pretty sure u will get it right..
The Joconde Sponge Cake recipe is adapted from Dalloyau from Paris Sweets: Great Desserts from the City's Best Pastry Shops by Dorie Greenspan (Broadway Books, 2002) and the cream cheese layer recipe is fm a book called Cheesecake Seduction by Catherine Lau which i bought like 4yrs ago.. combined them together and i got a yummylicious Opera Cheesecake..
6 large egg whites, at room temperature
2 tablespoons (30 grams) granulated sugar
2 cups (225 grams) ground blanched almonds
2 1/4 cups (225 grams) confectioners sugar, sifted
6 large eggs
1/2 cup (70 grams) all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons (45 grams) unsalted butter, melted and cooled briefly
The coffee syrup:
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons (7 grams) instant espresso or coffee
The chocolate ganache:
8 ounces (240 grams) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup (125 grams) whole milk
1/4 cup (30 grams) heavy cream
4 tablespoons (2 ounces; 60 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
90g castor sugar
4 egg yolks
3 tbsp instant coffee powder mixed with 1 1/2 tbsp hot water
1 tbsp powdered gelatine dissolved in 80ml water - next time i will use 2 tbsp of powdered gelatine
2 egg white
1/8 tsp salt
40g sugar dissolved in 30ml water
250g cream cheese
500ml thickened cream - i used dairy whipping cream
150g dark couverture chocolate
To make the cake:
1. Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Line two 12 1/2-x15 1/2-inch (31-x-39-cm) jelly-roll pans with parchment paper and brush with melted butter. (This is in addition to the quantity in the ingredient list.) - i used one 40x30cm pan and bake it at 200C for 8 mins.
2. Working in a clean dry mixer bowl fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Add the granulated sugar and beat until the peaks are stiff and glossy. If you do not have another mixer bowl, gently scrape the whites into another bowl.
3. In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the almonds, confectioners sugar and whole eggs on medium speed until light and voluminous, about 3 minutes. Add the flour and beat on low speed only until it disappears. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the meringue into the almond mixture, then fold in the melted butter. Divide the batter between the pans and spread it evenly to cover the entire surface of each pan.
4. Bake the cakes for 5 to 7 minutes, or until they are lightly browned and just springy to the touch. Put the pans on a heatproof counter, cover each with a sheet of parchment or wax paper, turn the cakes over and unmold. Carefully peel away the parchment, turn the parchment over and use it to cover the exposed sides of the cakes. Let the cakes come to room temperature between the parchment or wax paper sheets. (The cakes can be made up to 1 day ahead, wrapped and kept at room temperature.)
To make the syrup:
Stir everything together in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Cool. (The syrup can be covered and refrigerated for up to 1 week.)
To make the ganache:
Put the chocolate in a medium bowl and keep it close at hand. Bring the milk and cream to a full boil, pour it over the chocolate, wait 1 minute, then stir gently until the ganache is smooth and glossy.
To glaze the cake:
Bring the butter to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove the pan from the heat and clarify the butter by spooning off the top foam and pouring the clear yellow butter into a small bowl; discard the milky residue. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over—not touching—simmering water, then stir in the clarified butter - i used ganache for the topping.
To make fillings
Bring milk and half the sugar to the boil. Remove fm heat. Set aside. Beat egg yolks till foamy. Pour in hot milk mixture while stirring. Whisk over simmering water till thick and smooth. Stir in coffee mixture. Remove fm heat. Mix in gelatine mixture. Leave to cool.
Beat egg whites until foamy. Add remaining sugar and heat till stiff. Set aside. Bring syrup to boil. Pour onto beaten egg whites while beating. Mix until mixture has cooled. Set aside.
Beat cream cheese till smooth. Stir in egg yolk mixture. Blend in thickened cream. Fold in egg white mixture. Set aside.
Line 10x10" cake ring or a false bottomed cake pans with plastic sheet extended abv the rim of opposite sides. Tape down extended sheet onto outside of pan. Place a layer of sponge cake in each pan. Brush with some coffee syrup and top with some ganache. Brush again with coffee syrup and top with cheese filling. Place third layer of cake on top and brush with remaining coffee syrup. (After cheese filling I placed my cake into the freezer for half an hour before placing my third cake layer - to improve stability) - i used 7" cake ring
Heat remaining ganache and pour onto cakes. Leave to set at room temp. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Remove cakes fm pans and peel off plastic sheet. Decorate as desired bef serving.
Glazing - which i didnt use
Lift the chilled cake off the parchment-lined pan and place it on a rack. Put the rack over the parchment-lined pan and pour over the glaze, using a long offset spatula to help smooth it evenly across the top. Slide the cake into the refrigerator to set the glaze and chill the cake, which should be served slightly chilled. At serving time, use a long thin knife, dipped in hot water and wiped dry, to carefully trim the sides of the cake so that the drips of glaze are removed and the layers revealed.
Note: will only make half of the filling recipe if i am using 7" cake ring.
Pheeww finally am done! hehe.. do bake it if u feel like challenging urself cos its worth the effort.. ty Rossyn for the macs, apple pie, chocolate caramel cheesecake and also fudgy brownies order.. hope u girls have a wonderful time tmrw.. to Ima .. ty for the macs order.. dont forget to sms me ok and ty Latiffah who will be my first customer in 2012 for the lapis legit prunes order..
Last but not least.. to all my beloved readers... thank you for your support and...
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! ALL THE BEST FOR 2012!