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Daring Bakers – Opera Cake

May 28, 2008

It’s Daring Baker time again! Each month, everyone makes the same recipe and we post about it on the same day. This month, we made an Opera Cake. The hosts provided the recipe, but each person was able to customize theirs by choosing how they wanted to flavor it. The only restriction was that the flavors were to remain light and springlike, nothing dark – no chocolate, coffee, or cocoa. I made the cake for Mother’s Day and since I just had twin girls in March and my life is inundated with pink, I choose raspberry as my flavoring component.

For the recipe, visit Ivonne at Cream Puffs in Venice.

An Opera Cake is made up of five components.
Joconde – I used two 10×15 jelly roll pans to bake my cake and they worked perfectly. I couldn’t find almond meal and so made my own which worked fine.
Syrup – I added 1/4 cup of seedless raspberry preserves to the syrup. The raspberry flavor was perfect, not too overpowering or sweet.
Buttercream – I researched a few different raspberry buttercream recipes to decide how to flavor this component. In the end, I threw in 1/4 cup of fresh raspberries in the final minute of creaming. Perfection!
Mousse – I would have liked to flavor this with an amaretto liquer, but didn’t have any hand so Chambord it was.
Ganache – This was white chocolate and required not extra flavoring.

With newborn twins at home I needed to be strategic about baking this cake. There was nothing incredibly difficult about any of the components, but there was a lot of moving parts. I did the syrup on Wednesday, the mousse on Thursday, the buttercream on Friday and the joconde and assembly on Saturday. This worked wonderfully except I didn’t allow enough time for the cake to set on Saturday before we ate it. The cake was good, but the mousse wasn’t how it should have been and the cake tasted *much* better on Sunday.

We loved this cake so much I’m planning on baking a slightly different version for the girl’s baptism in July. The white chocolate was a little too sweet for me. I’m excited to see how it will taste with a bittersweet chocolate ganache and mousse.

The assembly!
The first layer of cake and raspberry buttercream.

Second layer of cake, raspberry buttercream, and then the third layer of cake.

The mousse.

And finally the ganache! Unfortunately, we were crunched for time so I didn’t do any fancy decorations on top of the cake. I had planned to do fresh raspberries around the edge, but we just didn’t have time. For the baptism, I’m hoping to pipe the girl’s initials on each piece of cake.

Hello world!

May 30, 2007

I’ve been cooking for as long as I can remember.  When I was younger, it started out as cookies on a Saturday afternoon and turned into preparing dinner since I came home from school before my parents came home from work.  The more I’ve travelled, the more I explore with food. 

 Now I cook because I love to, but I don’t cook as often as I’d like to.  While I do dinner parties for family and friends, I’m hoping to push myself by simply cooking more.  I’m hoping this food blog will help.