Sunday, August 15, 2010

French Opera House Cake

What's Opera Cake?  According to  Wikipedia, Opera Cake is a type of French cake. It is made with layers of almond sponge cake (known as Joconde in French) soaked in coffee syrup, layered with ganache and coffee buttercream, and covered in a chocolate glaze.

Both of my daughters enjoy eating this cake, therefore, it was one of my to-do list for a long time but somehow, I always ended up baking other stuff.  The reason preventing me from baking this is it's quite complicated and time consuming because of many layers.
I've many variation of recipes on this since this is quite a popular cake, I chose this recipe as I was fascinated by the picture from one of the cookbook I have, it looks so appealing and tempting.  However, this recipe doesn't call for almond sponge cake, it's only asked for a normal chocolate sponge cake.   I guess overtime, the traditional recipe has been modified to suit individual taste and preference, as a result,  there are many different variations of the Opera Cake created in the market now. 
In view of the tedious process,  I baked the sponge cake a day before so that I could spread out the load.  For this sponge cake, I didn't follow the original recipe, instead I used the one for Chocolate Fudge Cake.   Overall, the cake turned out very delicious and yummy.  It's rich and complex, with each layer contributing  it's unique flavor and texture.  Coffee and chocolate always blend well and it'll not go wrong for dessert. My family likes this cake a lot and definitely, it's worth the effort!

Thinking of giving yourself a challenge?  Here you go..

French Opera House Cake Recipe

-    Prepare one 8" square chocolate sponge cake.  For method, pls refer to Chocolate Fudge Cake recipe.

Soft Chocolate Centre Ingredients and Method
-    160g whipping cream
-    40g fresh milk
-    200g dark chocolate (50-65%)
-    60g butter (softened)
-    1 tbsp corn syrup (optional)
-    20g rum
1.    Bring whipping cream and fresh milk in a saucepan to just boiling,   stir in dark chocolate and cook over low heat until all the chocolate has melted. 
2.    Remove from heat and stir in soften butter followed by brandy/rum. Stir over a bowl of iced water until thickened before icing)

Coffee Mousse Ingredients and Method
-    8g instant coffee powder      ]
-    10g  powder gelatine            ] boil together
-    90g water                            ]
-    360g whipping cream           }whipped together
-    10-25g caster sugar              }
-    20g rum (optional)
1.    Combine coffee powder, gelatine and water and double boil till dissolve.  Leave to cool.
2.    Beat whipping cream and sugar till soft peak (abt 2.5), stir in rum.
3.    Pour in coffee mixture (step 1)  and mix well to form coffee mousse.

To Assemble
1.    Slice the sponge cake into 5 layers.  Placae 1 piece of sponge cake into cake mould.
2.    Spread 1/3 (abt 150g) of coffee mousse, add a piece of chocolate sponge cake.  Freeze in fridge  for 5-10 mins till set if the mousse is too liquid  before next layer.
3.    Spread 2/5 (abt 180g)  soft chocolate centre.  Add another piece of chocolate sponge cake.  Repeat the above steps once more.
4.    Spread last layer of coffee mousse on the cake surface.  Chill in fridge for 10-15 mins or until set. 
5.    Pour remaining chocolate centre on top and chill for 4-5 hours before serving or décor.   

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