May 28, 2008

Kabuki?!-Daring bakers challenge


It's that time of the month again...only this is good. =P I love the end of the month when the daring bakers show off their babies. This month's challenge is L'opera. I have never had an opera cake before, so I'm not sure how mine compares..but as a cake, it was pretty good. I chose to make a Japanese version of the L'opera, which is why I'm calling it Kabuki =P

I made the opera cake with a green tea buttercream and white chocolate mousse. I decided not to make the glaze in the end because I ran out of white chocolate. This cake came out a lot sweeter than I would normally like, but it was still very good. A small piece will satisfy your sweet tooth. I also halved the recipe because the original recipe is for 20 servings. If you would like the original recipe, you can find it here. Here's mine:

L'Opéra!
For the joconde
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
1 tbsp. granulated sugar
1 cup ground blanched almonds
1 cups icing sugar, sifted
3 large eggs
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled


1. Position the rack to the middle of the oven.

2. Preheat the oven to 425◦F. (220◦C).

3.Line one 12½ x 15½- inch (31 x 39-cm) jelly-roll pans 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 meringue 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 almond mixture and then fold in the melted butter. Pour the batter into the pan and spread it evenly to cover the entire surface of each pan.

8. Bake the cake until they are 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 edges 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 cakes. Let the cakes cool to room temperature.



For the syrup

1/4 cup water
33g granulated sugar
1 tsp green tea powder


1. Stir all the syrup ingredients together in the saucepan and bring to a boil.

2. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.



For green tea buttercream

2 teaspoons green tea powder
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon water
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 large egg yolks
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes and softened


1. Stir together green tea powder and 1 tablespoon water until powder is dissolved. Bring sugar and remaining 1/4 cup water to a boil in a very small heavy saucepan, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Boil, without stirring, washing down any sugar crystals on side of pan with a pastry brush dipped in cold water, until syrup registers 238°F on thermometer.

2. While syrup boils, beat yolks in a large bowl with cleaned beaters at medium speed 1 minute.

4. Add hot syrup to yolks in a slow stream (try to avoid beaters and side of bowl), beating, then add green tea mixture and beat until completely cool, 3 to 5 minutes. Beat in butter, 1 piece at a time, and beat until thickened and smooth.



For the white chocolate ganache/mousse


3.5 ounces white chocolate
½ cup plus 1 ½ tbsp. heavy cream (35% cream)
1 tbsp. liquer of your choice (Bailey’s, Amaretto, etc.)


1. Melt the white chocolate and the 3 tbsp. of heavy 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.

Assembly
I split my cake into four layers and it went like this:
Jaconde, syrup, buttercream, jaconde, syrup, white chocolate mousse, jaconde, syrup, buttercream, jaconde, syrup, white chocolate mousse.

Note:
  • It took my jaconde 7 minutes to bake. If you're making your own almond meal, be sure to grind it very fine, otherwise your cake won't be as light.
  • The recipe for the syrup makes more than enough, I might decrease the amount if I make this cake again.
  • The white chocolate mousse was very sweet, I might dilute it with more whipped cream next time.

4 comments:

Christine said...

I never had an opera cake before! Yours looks delish and I like the green tea buttercream!

Dolores said...

I love your flavor combinations and the French-Japanese influence. I'd actually planned something similar flavor-wise to serve in celebration of a completed Kaizen project at work... but a heatwave foiled my plans.

Rebecca said...

I love those layers! The colors are so gorgeous and well-defined. Total Kabuki envy. ;)

Shari said...

Your green tea buttercream looks pretty as a layer in this cake.
Shari@Whisk: a food blog

 

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