>> Wednesday, May 28, 2008
This is a slice of Opera Cake.
This is most of the whole cake. Minus the trimmings.
I made it but I don't know why it's called an Opera Cake.
I do know why I made it.
Lis and Ivonne and Fran and Shea all got together and cooked up a 9 page Daring Baker challenge for us this month.
And Opera Cake was the result.
The recipe was long long long long. And very long. So I won't type it out here. Because I suffer from sloth. And it's long.
The cake layers are made from almonds. Apparently almond meal is only sold by prescription in Arizona because I couldn't manage to score any and ended up grinding up sliced almonds I bought in bulk - thank God I finally got a food processor! Note to self: those scoops in the bulk bins at Sprouts hold twice as much as you think they do. You're supposed to add melted butter at the end. I suggest adding it prior to spreading the batter out in the pans but you go your own way.
The whole cake was liquored up pretty good with a Amaretto infused syrup and Cointreau in the kumquat buttercream. Oh, if you ever need to get back at your spouse for something; ask him to stop in at Whole Foods after hockey and see if they happen to have any kumquats. If you're lucky your spouse won't really know what a kumquat is and will in fact feel shame at even saying the word. If you're really lucky he'll then get berated and belittled by the help for asking for something that's -clearly- not. in. season. Oh yes, fun times. Anyway, back to the cake.
I made a vanilla buttercream for the bottom layer, then added kumquat preserves to the buttercream for the second layer. Oh my lands was that spoon-lickin' good! Oh alright, I put my whole face in the mixing bowl. Like you don't. The third layer is what I'm choosing to call coconut mousse. I suppose in reality it's more like coconut flavored whipped cream but whatever - freakin' delicious is what it was. I made it by reducing a can of coconut milk down to about half and folding it into lightly sweetened whipped cream. It was absolutely perfect and I'm sure to find another excuse to make it.
The whole she-bang is covered in a white chocolate glaze and topped with some toasted coconut. The mousse was supposed to be white chocolate but I cheaped out when I found I would have to buy a whole nother 14 ounce block of the stuff to have enough for the mousse and the glaze. Heck I'd already spent 40 bucks on liquor! Not that I'm complaining. I guess when it comes to having either extra liquor or extra white chocolate around the house my vote is with the alcohol.
Much like your own private Cheesecake Factory this cake is a testament to excess. The butter, the cream, the eggs, the butter, the chocolate, the butter. All in all this wasn't a difficult recipe despite the lengthy recipe but the sum of the parts didn't really add up to much more than the sum of the parts. In other words it didn't transcend. I'd make it again but only if someone asked for it, and only if I get a square cake plate.
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