© A delicious. Year
Photo by A delicious. Year – Katren

Gateau Opera

Serves 6

85g caster sugar
3 eggs
3 eggwhites
100g almond meal
30g plain flour, sifted
1/4 tsp baking powder
150g dark chocolate, melted, cooled

Butter Cream:
55g caster sugar
2 egg yolks
3 tsp instant coffee powder
140g unsalted butter, softened

Ganache:
70g dark chocolate, broken up
85ml milk
170ml thick cream, whipped

Syrup:
1 tsp instant coffee powder
100g caster sugar

1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Grease and line base of a 20cm square cake pan.
2. Beat the sugar and 3 eggs in an electric mixer for 5 minutes or until pale. In a separate bowl, whisk eggwhites until stiff peaks form, then fold into the egg mixture. Combine almond meal, flour and baking powder and carefully fold into egg mixture. Spread into pan and bake for 20 minutes or until cooked. When cool, remove from pan and carefully cut into 3 thin layers.
3. To make butter cream, heat sugar and 100ml of water in a saucepan over low heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Increase heat and boil for 5 minutes or until thick and sticky. Remove from heat. Whisk egg yolks, then pour into hot syrup. Continue whisking until thick and cool. Dissolve coffee in 1 tablespoon of boiling water and whisk into egg mixture with the butter. Cool completely.
4. To make ganache, place chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (don’t let the bowl touch the water), until the chocolate melts. Bring milk to the boil in a separate saucepan then combine with chocolate. Remove from heat and cool, stirring occasionally. Fold cream into the chocolate mixture.
5. To make syrup, place coffee, sugar and 100ml of water in a saucepan over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Increase heat and boil for 2 minutes, then cool.
6. Place the base layer of cake on a serving plate. Brush with 1/3 of the syrup, spread with all the butter cream, then carefully place another layer of cake on top. Brush with another 1/3 of the syrup and spread with ganache. Place final layer of cake on top and brush with remaining syrup. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to firm. Spread the melted chocolate over cake, reserving a little to be placed in a piping bag. Pipe the word ‘opera’ on the cake.

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