Thursday, May 29, 2008

L'opéra est un succès!

I was so excited with the announcement of this recipe for May that I immediately churned fantasies of how my process will be. I’d make this cake with Pavarotti playing in the background, remember the Parisian opera cake I had last year with my favourite friends, and perhaps celebrate a special occasion with this cake.

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?


Dolores said...

I think planning ahead and approaching the recipe as a sum of parts was critical to success with this challenge. You did an excellent job with it.

Sheltie Girl said...

I'm delighted that your cake turned out so well. I made a few additions along the way...just because I thought it tasted better.

Natalie @ Gluten a Go Go

Barbara said...

I shared my cake as well. It was way too dangerous keeping something that good in the house with only two of us to eat it.

You did a great job.

Deborah said...

Great job on this challenge - it was a success!

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