Do you know the leaning Tower of Pisa? Finally the small village I live has a similar attraction: My leaning Opéra. Fortunately it took me not 177 years to build. It costed me just some hours and nerve.
Of course you already know why I did this construction: The Daring Bakers challenge – this month hosted by the founders Ivonne and Lis and two newer members Fran and Shea – asked for an Opéra Cake. Another scary recipe with buttercream and tons of calories! I hope next month we will get a more bikini-friendly recipe. ;-)
Once I’ve finished the building work, and cut the edges of the cake, it looked not so bad anymore.
I did just 1/3 of the joconde, so I’ve got a very thin biscuit. The batter seemed too liquid to me, I added 20 g flour. Accidentally I used salted pistachios, but I did notice this only before baking. It didn’t matter, the final joconde tasted good also with salted pistachios. Lucky me!
Then I started with the buttercream, of course I did 1/3 of the recipe, too. Instead of a 1/3 egg I just used the remaining egg yolk of the joconde. I added bitter orange zest and Cointreau to flavor the buttercream. It came out just perfect, but not enough quantity for the joconde.
I cut the joconde again, but still it‘ wasn’t enough buttercream. I did an additional batch of buttercream, and instead of 3 layers I did 4.
On one layer I spread some homemade Bitter Orange Marmalade, too.
Can you still follow me?
I skipped the syrup and soaked the cake directly with Cointreau: We are grown-ups en la casa de zorra!
The white chocolate ganache/mousse was optional.
But for this challenge I did the full program.
Et voilà, L’Opéra de zorra:
makes 1 small cake
2 egg whites, at room temperature (M)
10 g granulated sugar
75 g ground salted pistachios
60 gramm Icing sugar, sifted
2 eggs (M)
50 gramm All-purpose flour (+ 1 tb)
1 tb unsalted butter, melted and cooled
30 g Cointreau
100 g inverted sugar (homemade)
2 egg yolk
140 gramm Unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tb Cointreau
White chocolate ganache/mousse
100 g white chocolate
70 g whipped cream + 1 tb cream
1 ts Cointreau
50 g white chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 tb crème fraîche
1 ts walnut oil
1. Divide the oven into thirds by positioning a rack in the upper third of the oven and the lower third of the oven.
2. Preheat the oven to 425 F. (220C).
3. Line one 12½ x 15½- inch (31 x 39-cm) pan with parchment paper and brush with melted butter.
4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or using a handheld mixer), 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 eringue into another bowl and set aside.
5. If you only have one bowl, wash it after removing the egg whites or if you have a second bowl, use that one. Attach the paddle attachment to the stand mixer (or using a handheld mixer again) and beat the almonds, icing sugar and eggs on medium speed until light and voluminous, about 3 minutes.
6. Add the flour and beat on low speed until the flour is just combined (be very careful not to overmix here!!!).
7. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the meringue into the pistachios mixture and then fold in the melted butter. Divide the batter between the pans and spread it evenly.
8. Bake the cake layer until it is lightly browned and just springy to the touch. This could take anywhere from 5 to 9 minutes depending on your oven.
9. Put the pan on a heatproof counter and run a sharp knife along the edge of the cake to loosen it from the pan. Cover with a sheet of parchment or wax paper, turn the pan over, and unmold.
10. Carefully peel away the parchment, then turn the parchment over and use it to cover the cake. Let the cake cool to room temperature
1. Whisk the egg yolks and inverted sugar at high speed in the bowl of your mixer using the whisk attachment. Whisk them until they are pale and foamy.
2. While the egg mixture is beating, place the softened butter in a bowl and mash it with a spatula until you have a soft creamy mass.
3. With the mixer on medium speed, begin adding in two-tablespoon chunks. When all the butter has been incorporated, raise the mixer speed to high and beat until the buttercream is thick and shiny.
4. At this point add in your flavouring and beat for an additional minute or so.
5. Refrigerate the buttercream, stirring it often, until it’s set enough (firm enough) to spread when topped with a layer of cake (about 20 minutes).
1. Melt the white chocolate and 1 tb of cream in a small saucepan.
2. Stir to ensure that it’s smooth and that the chocolate is melted. Add the tablespoon of liqueur to the chocolate and stir. Set aside to cool completely.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip the remaining 1 cup of heavy cream until soft peaks form.
4.Gently fold the whipped cream into the cooled chocolate to form a mousse.
5.If it’s too thin, refrigerate it for a bit until it’s spreadable.
6.If you’re not going to use it right away, refrigerate until you’re ready to use.
1. Melt the white chocolate with the crème fraaîche and walnut oil. Whisk the mixture gently until smooth.
2.Let cool for 10 minutes and then pour over the chilled cake. Using a long metal cake spatula, smooth out into an even layer.
3. Place the cake into the refrigerator for 30 minutes to set.
Assembling the Opéra Cake:
(Note: The finished cake should be served slightly chilled. It can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 1 day).
Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper.
Cut and trim the cake so that you have 5 pieces
Place one square of cake on the baking sheet and moisten it gently with the Cointreau.
Spread about three-quarters of the buttercream over this layer.
Top with the two rectangular pieces of cake, placing them side by side to form a square. Moisten these pieces with the flavoured syrup.
Spread the remaining buttercream on the cake and then top with the third square of joconde. Use the remaining syrup to wet the joconde and then refrigerate until very firm (at least half an hour).
Prepare the ganache/mousse (if you haven’t already) and then spread it on the top of the last layer of the joconde. Refrigerate for at least two to three hours to give the ganache/mousse the opportunity to firm up.
Make the glaze and after it has cooled, pour/spread it over the top of the chilled cake. Refrigerate the cake again to set the glaze.
If necessary cut and trim the edges of the cake.
Serve the cake slightly chilled. This recipe will yield approximately 20 6 servings.
This piece of cake is for you!
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More entries and recipes in English.
November 2007 Challenge – Tender Potatoe Bread
December 2007 Challenge – Yule Log
January 2008 Challenge – Lemon Meringue Pie
February 2008 Challenge – French Bread
March 2008 Challenge – Perfect Party Cake