Now, I don’t know about you, but here at the Jersey Lavender Farm we LOVE The Great British Bake Off! And after this week’s fabulous semi-final we were even happier to see lavender featured in Frances’ (Soap) Opera Cake.
OK, so Frances may not have got it quite right; Paul Hollywood commenting that the lavender flavour was not coming through against the overly sweet white chocolate. But everyone knows that with any flavour combination it’s all about balance. So Frances, here’s our plan for a truly delicious lavender, lemon and white chocolate Opera Cake…
- Work on your syrup! Each layer of sponge in an opera cake should be painted with a flavoured syrup, so it’s here that you get a great opportunity to get your flavourings just right. We’ve already talked about the wonder of lavender syrup to add a dash of deliciously floral lavender flavour to your desserts, so try making your basic syrup and then adding lemon and more/less lavender until the flavour is just right. You want a real hit of lavender with a underlying balance of lemon so that it can stand up to the flavour of the sponge.
- Go for alternating layers of lemon and lavender buttercream. Not only will this give a lovely appearance with the pale yellow contrasting against the pale lavender colour of the buttercream, but through a bit of double tasting, you can make sure that each flavour compliments, and doesn’t overpower, the other. Also to make a great lavender buttercream, why not try whizzing up some of our lovely dried culinary lavender to a really fine powder and folding that into your buttercream and then add a little lavender syrup added to get it to the correct consistency.
- Finally be careful with that white chocolate ganache! Remember Frances, sometimes less is more!
The result should be a beautifully delineated opera cake with subtle and complimenting flavours of lavender and lemon and a finishing touch of smooth sweet white chocolate.