This is my first daring baker's challenge. In light of celebrating spring, we had to keep to non dark colors. So I chose green tea- what other than green reminds you of the springtime. It's not as pretty as those bakery opera cakes, but it will do as my first.
green tea opera cake
- 6 large egg whites, at room temperature
- 2 tbsp. (30 grams) granulated sugar
- 2 cups (225 grams) ground blanched almonds
- 2 cups icing sugar, sifted
- 6 large eggs
- ½ cup (70 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1tsp matcha
- 3 tbsp. (1½ ounces; 45 grams) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- Divide the oven into thirds by positioning a rack in the upper third of the oven and the lower third of the oven.
- Preheat the oven to 425◦F. (220◦C). Line two 12½ x 15½- inch (31 x 39-cm) jelly-roll pans with parchment paper and brush with melted butter.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or using a handheld mixer), beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Add the granulated sugar and beat until the peaks are stiff and glossy. If you do not have another mixer bowl, gently scrape the meringue into another bowl and set aside.
- If you only have one bowl, wash it after removing the egg whites or if you have a second bowl, use that one. Attach the paddle attachment to the stand mixer (or using a handheld mixer again) and beat the almonds, icing sugar, eggs, and matcha on medium speed until light and voluminous, about 3 minutes.
- Add the flour and beat on low speed until the flour is just combined (be very careful not to overmix here!!!).
- Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the meringue into the almond mixture and then fold in the melted butter. Divide the batter between the pans and spread it evenly to cover the entire surface of each pan.
- Bake the cake layers until they are lightly browned and just springy to the touch. This could take anywhere from 5 to 9 minutes depending on your oven. Place one jelly-roll pan in the middle of the oven and the second jelly-roll pan in the bottom third of the oven.
- Put the pans on a heatproof counter and run a sharp knife along the edges of the cake to loosen it from the pan. Cover each with a sheet of parchment or wax paper, turn the pans over, and unmold.
- Carefully peel away the parchment, then turn the parchment over and use it to cover the cakes. Let the cakes cool to room temperature.
- ½ cup (125 grams) water
- ⅓ cup (65 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 to 2 tbsp. of vanilla directions
- Stir all the syrup ingredients together in the saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.
- 1 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
- ¼ cup (60 grams) water
- 1 tsp matcha
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1¾ sticks (7 ounces; 200 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- Combine the sugar, water and matcha in a small saucepan and warm over medium heat just until the sugar dissolves.
- Continue to cook, without stirring, until the syrup reaches 225◦F (107◦C)6 on a candy or instant-read thermometer. Once it reaches that temperature, remove the syrup from the heat.
- While the syrup is heating, begin whisking the egg and egg yolk at high speed in the bowl of your mixer using the whisk attachment. Whisk them until they are pale and foamy.
- When the sugar syrup reaches the correct temperature and you remove it from the heat, reduce the mixer speed to low speed and begin slowly (very slowly) pouring the syrup down the side of the bowl being very careful not to splatter the syrup into the path of the whisk attachment.
- Raise the speed to medium-high and continue beating until the eggs are thick and satiny and the mixture is cool to the touch (about 5 minutes or so).
- While the egg mixture is beating, place the softened butter in a bowl and mash it with a spatula until you have a soft creamy mass.
- With the mixer on medium speed, begin adding in two-tablespoon chunks. When all the butter has been incorporated, raise the mixer speed to high and beat until the buttercream is thick and shiny. At this point add in your flavouring and beat for an additional minute or so. Refrigerate the buttercream, stirring it often, until it’s set enough (firm enough) to spread when topped with a layer of cake (about 20 minutes).
- 4 ounces white chocolate, coarsely chopped
- ½ cup heavy cream
- Melt the white chocolate with the heavy cream. Whisk the mixture gently until smooth.
- Let cool for 10 minutes and then pour over the chilled cake.8 Using a long metal cake spatula, smooth out into an even layer.
- Place the cake into the refrigerator for 30 minutes to set.