28 May 2008

Daring Bakers: Opera


Opera is a dessert I always wanted to try, but never found the courage! It is one of those dessert so complicate dan with so many different passages and layers, that, honestly, if it wasn't for the Daring Bakers, I would probably be still here wondering about it!
Funny thing is that before to make it, I wanted to compare the given recipes, a mix of Dorie Greenspan and Tish Boyle and Timothy Moriarty's recipes, with the French recipes, but I couldn't find it!
Among my cook book collection, I have to French desserts bibles: Ph10, by Pierre Hermè and Larousse de desserts. None has the recipe for Opera. And that looked strange, given the fact that both books are filled with monstrous recipes, so difficult that sometimes I read them, I think about them I dream them, but I do not dare making them (and I'm not revealing which one is the most dreaded, because it will be my choice for the Daring bakers challenge I'm going to host in 2009!)! I wanted to have a look at the French recipe not because I wanted to change the recipe of the challenge, but just for comparison. Has it never occurred to you to have in front of you a recipes, especially desserts, and want a "second opinion", just to be sure, just to have a different view? To me it happens all the time!!! :)
So my only reference for this traditional French dessert were American recipes! Perfect! I mean, my French husband wasn't so sure about it, but I mean, is HE the daring baker??? No, he's not, he's just French! :P
And as the recipe turn out PERFECT, he could say nothing!!!!

The only problem I had was the fault of the white chocolate: I like the taste (even if sometimes it tastes too much of vanilla!) but I hate working it! It spoils in a matter of seconds!

I did a big rounded cake (jelly rolls are rare and difficult to find in Italy), and bakes the joconde in 3 different pan: 2 of the same size and one tinier, as I had only 2 pan of the same size.
But I solved the discrepancy among the 2 different size with blueberries!
My layers, from bottom to up:
- joconde, big size (wet with syrup)
- buttercream
- joconde, little one (wet with syrup), with a round of blueberries on the side
- buttercream, covered with blueberries
- joconde, big size (wet with syrup)
- chocolate mousse
- chocolate glaze

As it was made of different joconde size, I had to restrain the cake in a ring, so I could fill it in a easier way.
Of course, as usually, I unmoulded to fast, and the chocolate glaze went on the side... After this challenge I can say with no doubt that I'm not cut for good and perfect looking desserts: I just cannot! I'm a pasticciona!!! (that in italian means kind of goofy but that makes mess all the time!)