E 80 cake

Exactly twenty years ago Elemér Auguszt the member of the famous Hungarian pastry dynasty was given a special cake for his 80th birthday with the following text on the top: “Happy Birthday, Elemér! 80”.

It was the delicious E80 cake as we know it today. This cake is the symbol of the traditionalism and professionalism of the sophisticated Hungarian pastry arts.  It is made with a rich chocolate filling and a thin marzipan layer in the middle and covered with light coffee cream.

DSC_9849 Continue reading

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Much ado about nothing

As I have plenty of time I wanted to try a special recipe, something new, possible a technical challenge. I opened my chocolate book out and was looking for the right recipe. I was sure I found it, but honesty, I think the result looks like a simple, good quality chocolate sponge. Maybe it is a little bit moister and heavier. Anyway, if you want to make nice sponge takes twice as much time as it normally does, this recipe highly recommended.

Ingredients for 12 slices:

Cake:

  • 40g butter
  • 60g flour
  • 4g baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 60 g granulated sugar
  • 70 g chocolate (70%)
  • 60 ml whipping cream
  • 2 egg white
  • 2 handful of berries

Almond streusel:

  • 30 g brown sugar
  • 30 g ground almond
  • 5 g cocoa powder
  • 40 g flour
  • 30 g butter

Combine the sugar, almond, cocoa powder, flour in a mixing bowl. Cut the butter into small dice and mix it in using your hand. You should get crumbly texture. Chill for at least 30 minutes.

Heat the butter in a saucepan until it is just melted. Mix the flour with the baking powder.

Whisk the eggs with the sugar until thick and pale. Add the almond and the other dry ingredients. Stir them in until just mixed.

Melt the chocolate in a bain-marie. Heat the whipping cream and combine it with the chocolate. Add the ganache to the dough and stir in the melted butter.

Whisk the egg white and fold it in carefully.

Preheat the oven  to 150°C.

Line the tin with parchment paper. Pour the butter into the bottom of the pan, scatter the fruit on the top of the cake, then sprinkle the streusel over it. Bake for about 1 hour.

Opera cake

DSC_0437Opera is a sophisticated French-style layer cake with almond sponge,(officially Cocoa Joconde sponge) white chocolate-coffee and dark chocolate ganache. 

It is worth using good quality espresso as its flavour is an essential part of the cake. And as Italian would say: “il caffè è un piacere, se non è buono che piacere è?”

According to many opinions the best one was made at Dalloyua in Paris. As I have never tried this cake outside my kitchen I have to believe others. Once I must visit the place and investigate. 

I did not find reliable description of the origin of Opera so I am left wondering where this name came from. 



Ingredients (8 slices)


Almond sponge

  • 2 eggs
  • 3 egg whites
  • 65g ground almond
  • 65g+25g granulated sugar
  • 20g unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 25g flour
  • 25g butter


Whipped white chocolate-coffee ganache

  • 100ml espresso coffee
  • 140g white chocolate 
  • 220ml whipping cream


Bittersweet chocolate ganache

  • 110g chocolate 70%
  • 20g granulated sugar (optional)
  • 100ml milk
  • 110ml whipping cream


Coffee syrup

  • 120ml coffee
  • 20g granulated sugar


Tempered chocolate


Whipped white chocolate-chocolate ganache

Brew the espresso.

Make the ganache with white chocolate and coffee. It is the same technique I used with dark chocolate ganache in other recipes but now use the coffee as a liquid. Incorporate the cold whipped cream and leave to set for at least 3hours in the refrigerator.

Bittersweet chocolate ganache 

Use the chocolate, sugar and milk to make the ganache. Add the cold whipping cream and leave to set in the refrigerator.

Almond sponge

Preheat the oven to 220ºC.

Beat together the 2 eggs, almond and sugar(65g) until it is pale and thick.

Beat the egg whites, add the sugar gradually until they form soft peaks.

Melt the butter and leave to cool to room temperature.

Sift the flour the cocoa powder together.

Fold in one-quarter of the egg whites into the egg and almond mixture. Then incorporate the dry ingredients and the remaining egg whites. Add the melted butter and continue mixing gently.

Spread the batter over the baking sheet and bake for 8min.

Leave to cool on a rack and cut out into three equal rectangles.

Coffee syrup

Make the espresso and mix in the sugar.

 

Assemble

Whip both kind of ganache until they are light and thick.Place a layer of sponge on a baking sheet or any other flat surface that fits in your fridge. Moisten the sponge with syrup using pastry brush. Spread out half of the white chocolate-coffee cream over the first layer of sponge.Place another layer over the ganache and moisten it with coffee syrup. Spread out the rest of the coffee ganache. Place the third layer of sponge over this and moisten it with syrup. Cover the dessert with bittersweet chocolate ganache and leave to set in the fridge overnight.

Next day prepare the tempered chocolate and spread out it over an acetate (same size as your cake). Leave to set at room temperature. When it is ready, remove the acetate carefully and place the chocolate layer on the top of the cake. 

Use a warm knife to slice it.