Thursday, July 1, 2010

Opera Cake

I follow a few women's blogs that have created a little baking group amongst themselves. Each month they each post amazing things from their kitchens and they work individually yet together to create wonderful, delicious looking baked treats. I have been so enamored by these ladies and their baking club that I was inspired to start one of my own. Where did I turn in order to find ladies, such as myself, who love to bake and spend time in the kitchen and are as insane as I am?? Facebook of course! I called out to all my Facebook followers and found a few friends who would join me in my quest!

Can you believe I actually found six ladies who would join me in this baking challenge?? Awesome right!?!? I thought so. Last month we did this Tres Leches cake. That one was my choice. This month, one of the other girls decided she wanted to do an Opera Cake that we found on The Daring Kitchen site.

I was definitely excited about this cake but I knew it would be a lot of work. And a lot of work it was! It took me about 4 hours of work to make this cake. But I'm so glad I did it. I learned so much about different techniques for cooking and baking. And I have to say the cake turned out quite yummy too.

The cake is, obviously, three layers. You make a pretty dull tasting spongey cake that was super thin. (I actually burned one of them) You make two cakes and cut them in such a way to make three layers. You have to make a syrup with which you moisten the cake layers. Then the layers are separated by a homemade buttercream. Topped with a whipped cream topping. Then sealed with a white chocolate glaze that acts as a kind of shell. Are you tired yet?? I sure was after making this.

I have to say this was pretty tasty though. I was inspired by the Ferrero Garden white chocolate and coconut candy that was given to me as a hostess gift. This candy is so delicious. So I made a coconut syrup to moisten the cake layers. The whipped topping was made with an Amaretto syrup. The buttercream was made with coconut flavor as well. Then the white chocolate glaze pretty much speaks for itself.

This recipe was NOT easy. It was labor intensive. Just finding the ingredients (i.e. the almond flour) was a challenge in and of itself. The buttercream ended up thin and kind of grainy. Like I said earlier, I burnt one of the cakes. And the whipped topping had no thoughts of setting until I threw it in the freezer for a while.

I am glad I did it though. I've been having a good time with The Daring Kitchen lately and I love my little baking group now (we are always accepting new members as well so if you are interested let me know). I wish I could offer you links to the other baker's in my group but alas, none of them blog. They are all through Facebook.

But I will say...if you are ever feeling brave and want to challenge yourself. You should go ahead and try to make this cake. But make sure you set aside about 4-6 hours of time to complete it. The recipe is intense. The recipe is so long I won't post it within this post. But if you are interested you can find it here.

Thanks to Monica, Ingrid and Michelle for inspiring me to get in my kitchen and bake and pass on the passion of baking to others. It's because of you that I started this baking group!
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