Well, this was a very, very good cake indeed. My opera cake did have a touch of brown however. I used almond meal that was ground from unblanched almonds – I had a lot left over from a previous recipe, and really had to use them up. And then I ran out of white sugar and decided to use brown sugar for the syrup. For the flavouring, I kept it really simple – just real vanilla all the way through with a touch of orange flower water.
I didn’t make the cake with Pavarotti in the background. The weather wasn’t great over the last weekend – in fact, it was downright dreary. I was filled with doubt about whether I could pull this cake off. There’s something intriguing about my baking exploits – on some level, I’m sure it’s possible, but that feeling is never quite as loud and resonant as that part of me that’d focus on the seemingly endless layers and components and steps as if they were insurmountable obstacles.
Therefore, I decided to break the challenge up into two temporal parts. I made the syrup, joconde, buttercream and ganache the night before, and assembled them the next morning for this gathering that I was going to. This was a good idea, except I ended up not being able to distinguish the buttercream from the ganache in the morning!
When I got to the venue with the cake, the ganache started slip-sliding off the cake. It did look a mess, but the taste made up for it. I was getting heaps of compliments for the cake - and it once again reminds one how gratifying it is to make a good cake. Because it is an offering to your friends!
I think being in DBB has changed my baking mental framework forever. Why ever bake for yourself when you can be baking for everyone else?