This delicious opera cake features all the same components as the traditional opera cake from Dalloyau, with one crucial exception: chocolate. The combination of alternating layers of espresso and rich chocolate make for a luscious, irresistible combination. A slice of this mocha opera cake is all one needs for a gorgeous showstopper of a dessert.
Do not be afraid of the list of ingredients, they all come together beautifully and not as complicated as it seems at first.
- Almond Cake:
- 6 large egg whites (room temperature)
- 2 tablespoons sugar (granulated)
- 2 cups almonds (blanched, ground)
- 2 1/4 cups sugar (confectioners', sifted)
- 6 large eggs
- 1/2 cup flour (all-purpose)
- 3 tablespoons butter (melted and cooled)
- Espresso Syrup:
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons espresso (instant)
- Coffee Buttercream:
- 2 tablespoons espresso (instant)
- 2 tablespoons water (boiling)
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 14 tablespoons butter (at room temperature)
- Dark Chocolate Ganache:
- 8 ounces chocolate (bittersweet, finely chopped)
- 1/2 cups milk (whole)
- 1/4 cup cream (heavy)
- 4 tablespoons butter (at room temperature)
- Chocolate Glaze:
- 5 ounces chocolate (bittersweet, finely chopped)
- 1/2 cup butter
To make the almond sponge cake:
- Preheat the oven to 425F. Line two 15-inch by 12-inch pans with parchment paper and brush the surface with butter. Set aside.
- Using an electric beater, beat the egg white on high until they become foamy and start to expand. Sprinkle with the sugar, one teaspoon at a time, until all incorporated.
- Continue beating the meringue until it is glossy and holds stiff peaks.
- In a separate bowl, beat the ground almonds, sugar, and whole eggs on medium just until the mixture becomes light and foamy.
- Gently stir the flour into the batter.
- Gently stir 1/4 of the batter into the whipped egg whites. Then fold the remainder of the batter and cooled butter into the egg whites.
- Divide the sponge cake batter between the two pans and bake for 5 minutes, until the surfaces spring back from a light touch.
- Cover the top surface of each cake with a fresh piece of parchment and carefully invert them onto a clean surface.
- Slowly peel back the old parchment from the cakes and allow them to rest loosely over the cakes to prevent them from drying out.
To make the espresso syrup:
- In a small saucepan, over medium heat, bring 1/2 cup water, 1/3 cup granulated sugar, and 1 1/2 tablespoons instant espresso to a boil, cool for 5 minutes. and set aside.
To make the chocolate buttercream:
- In a clean bowl, beat the butter on medium high speed for 5 minutes, until light and fluffy.
- Lower the speed to low, and then add the remaining ingredients.
- Once the confectioners' sugar is completely incorporated, raise the beater speed to medium high and beat the frosting for 2 minutes, until it turns light and fluffy.
To make the ganache
- In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, bring the milk and cream to a boil.
- Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the chocolate.
- Continue stirring the chocolate for 2 minutes, to ensure a completely smooth texture.
- Stir in the butter and continue stirring the ganache for 90 seconds.
To assemble the cake:
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Cut one 10-inch by 10-inch square out of each layer of cake and place it on the baking sheet.
- Brush the first layer of cake with the espresso syrup.
- Carefully spread 3/4 of the chocolate buttercream over the surface of the cake.
- Place the two spare rectangles of cake over the chocolate buttercream, and then brush them with espresso syrup.
- Spread the ganache over the cake in a smooth layer.
- Place the last layer of cake over the ganache, brush with espresso syrup, and then spread it with a thin layer of the chocolate buttercream.
- Chill the cake in the refrigerator for 1 hour before glazing it.
To glaze the cake:
- Clarify the butter by boiling it and skimming off and discarding the solids.
- Melt the chocolate in a double boiler and stir in the clarified butter until the glaze is smooth.
- Pour the chocolate glaze over the cake and allow it to set in the refrigerator before serving.
|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|