Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Daring Bakers May 2008 Challenge



Ta Da!!!

This month's challenge was very satisfying. It is being called an Opera cake (click for pictures of a Google image search) but we had to make it in light colors- no coffee or chocolate. The recipe provided is insanely long- if anyone really wants it- shoot me an email.

The basics of the cake are joconde cake layers with buttercream, mousse and a glaze. The joconde is a sponge type cake made with ground nuts. Robb and I ruminated over flavor possibilities, and bizarrely agreed immediately on pineapple and coconut. As we kept chewing on the idea, we came around to creating what we hoped would be a Thai curry cake. Yes, you read that correctly: Thai curry and cake.

We used peanuts and almonds in the cake layer. Our buttercream was flavored with lime, ideally we would have liked to use lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves- at least that's what we had in mind. Lime juice and zest is a good approximation just to try it out. We can work on perfecting it in the future. The cake layers were brushed with a chile pepper syrup. The top layer was a coconut mousse and it was glazed with a pineapple glaze.

We liked the peanuts, the coconut mousse, the pineapple glaze and the texture and beauty of the cake. The flavors, all together, were really good. We were especially pleased because this was the first cake that we truly experimented with. We were totally winging it making the mousse. We initially tried one with grated coconut and hated it. We ended up using canned coconut milk, with Italian meringue and whipped cream. Who would have thought that Italian meringue would be something we have so readily available in our toolbox of tricks. What a very long way we have come!

We would have liked more chile pepper heat. We wussed out a little bit in soaking the cake layers. Next time, and there may be a next time for this one- we really like it- we will add more chile flavor.

After sitting out last month, this was a very fun challenge.

Janet

14 comments:

Marye said...

What a unique flavor combo! The chili is brilliant...I want to tr that with a dark chocolate version.
Great job...beautiful cake.
Marye
bakingdelights.com

chou said...

Oooh, now yours is one I actually want to eat. Yummy flavor combo, and a very innovative approach to problem solving. :) Kudos!

Christine said...

Your combo of flavors sounds yummy! Great job on a beautiful cake

Francijn Brouwer said...

Congratulations, your cake looks beautiful!

Dolores said...

Your flavor combination's one of the most intriguing I've run across today... great job!

Molly Loves Paris said...

That is a terrific looking white opera, and what a fantastic variation. Bien fait!

Barbara said...

Very cool flavor combination. I'd eat it. And your cake looks fabulous.

Lynn said...

oooh... I love when savory and sweet combine... I really like the idea of the chili syrup and your cake is very sleek... good work.

Lynn

http://gfgastronaut.wordpress.com

Sweet Tooth said...

Wow! What a nice experiment. I also changed the flavors but played it safer. Thai Curry would not even have crossed my mind. The combination you came up with sounds good - Pina Colada in new horizons.

Shari said...

Wow, that's creative. Glad you liked it!
Shari@Whisk: a food blog

Claire said...

I love the distinct colors of your cake...GREAT!

Rebecca of "Ezra Pound Cake" said...

Thai curry? Cool combination and beautiful, too.

Rebecca
http://www.ezrapoundcake.com

Sheltie Girl said...

Your Opera Cake is beautiful. Great job!

Natalie @ Gluten A Go Go

Debyi said...

Awesome flavor combination, way to be a daring baker. I would've loved to try it. I bet yours wasn't sickly sweet. Great job.