Matcha Opera Cake (Recipe)

Making entremets is addictive. They are easy, satisfying but tedious unless you spread the process across multiple days which you should.

Are these technically opera cakes? By the strictest of definitions I guess not. Blame my love for Praliné feuilletine. I’ve never met a person who doesn’t love it. Making two layers of this makes perfect sense and I would eat it by the spoonful if I had any to spare. Spoiler: I did because this recipe makes slightly more than enough precisely for that purpose.

Bottom to top:

  1. Matcha joconde
  2. Praliné feuilletine
  3. Red bean paste (optional)
  4. Matcha joconde
  5. Praliné feuilletine
  6. Matcha mousse
  7. Matcha joconde
  8. Chocolate Ganache
  9. Matcha mousse
  10. Matcha ganache

Matcha Opera Cake

Makes 1 18x18cm square cake 

Day 1: Florentines (optional)

Adapted from Sugar Spun Run

28g unsalted butter
50g light brown sugar
25g granulated sugar
44g light corn syrup
2g or 1/8 teaspoon salt
16g all purpose flour
45g chopped almonds or hazelnuts

Preheat oven to 180C/350F and line baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium-sized saucepan, combine butter, sugars, and corn syrup.

Cook over medium heat, stirring contantly, until sugar has melted and mixture just begins to boil.

Once boiling, remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract, salt, flour, and nuts, stirring until completely combined.

Last of the dough

Immediately start dropping 1/4 teaspoon pools of dough onto prepared cookie sheet, spacing cookies at least 5cm apart. It will be easier to drop at first but I transitioned into forming 1/4 tsp dough balls instead as the dough hardened which was so much easier.

Bake at 180C/350F for 6 minutes, rotating halfway through baking. You can usually tell the cookies are finished baking when they turn golden brown.

Allow cookies to cool completely on baking sheet. They won’t be crisp until cooled. Layer them with parchment in an airtight box and refrigerate till ready to use or eat.

Day 2: Pailleté feuilletine

Pailleté Feuilletine recipe, half the recipe is sufficient.

Day 3: Hazelnut Praline Butter

Adapted from Baking Like A Chef

200g hazelnuts, toasted
130g granulated sugar
Pinch of salt

  1. Heat a non-stick pan with a heavy bottom for a few seconds and pour one-third of granulated sugar. Cook over medium heat, swirling and shaking the pan over the stove. Once the sugar starts melting, add another third of the sugar and continue to swirl the pan. Do not mix the caramel (when the sugar melts) with a spoon or spatula! Add the last third of the sugar and continue to cook. The caramel might look lumpy and grainy, but it will melt at some point. Lower the heat and cook until the caramel gets the golden color. Add a pinch of salt at the last moment of cooking.
  2. Pour the caramel over toasted hazelnuts and cool completely about 20 minutes. Break the caramel plate into pieces and place it in the bowl of a food processor. Turn on low speed and get a praline powder first. Then switch to higher speed and process more until it turns into the praline.

Day 4: Matcha Syrup

Adapted from Cemoi

160g Water
120g Granulated sugar
12g Matcha powder

  1. Boil granulated sugar with water.
  2. Add matcha powder and filter through sieve.
  3. Cool down and refrigerate.

Day 5: Matcha Joconde & Praliné feuilletine

Matcha joconde (Adapted from Cemoi)
150g Almond powder
100g Granulated sugar
252g Whole egg (5 eggs)
36g Flour
12g Matcha Powder
30g Unsalted butter, melted and cooled
120g Egg white (3-4 egg whites) (meringue)
50g granulated sugar (meringue)

  1. To make meringue, beat 120g egg whites till fluffy, then add 50g granulated sugar and beat till stiff peaks.
  2. Mix 150g almond powder, 100g granulated sugar and 252g whole eggs in a separate bowl and beat till slightly bubbly.
  3. Add flour and matcha powder, mix till smooth
  4. Add melted butter, then mix with meringue (egg white and granulated sugar).
  5. Pour into parchment-lined baking pans and bake 10 to 11 minutes at 210°C.
  6. Let cool and remove parchment paper.
  7. Slice into the shape of the cake mould. You will need 3 layers i.e. three 18x18cm slices. I make the middle layer by combining two parts of the joconde to form the correct size/shape.

Praliné feuilletine
60 grams milk chocolate
26 grams butter
250 grams hazelnut praline butter
126 grams pailleté feuilletine

Melt the chocolate and butter over a double boiler. Stir in the praline butter. Gently fold in the feuilletine.

For 2 of the 3 joconde layers, brush one side with matcha syrup. These are the bottom and middle layers. Feel free to be generous with matcha syrup. Spread a layer of Praliné feuilletine, just enough to cover. Layer with parchment paper, wrap properly to cover completely and store in the freezer.

Day 6: Matcha Mousse & Chocolate Ganache

Matcha mousse
10 grams matcha powder
80 grams sugar
320 grams whole milk
12 grams sheet gelatin
240 grams whipping cream

  1. Mix matcha and sugar in a bowl and set aside.
  2. Heat milk in saucepan until bubbles begin to form, remove from heat
  3. Add the matcha powder and sugar, whisk till smooth.
  4. Add sheet gelatin, whisk till smooth and let cool.
  5. Whip cream until soft peaks
  6. Strain matcha mixture with sieve into whipped cream and fold together until homogenous.

Chocolate ganache
100g chocolate, in small pieces
100g whipping cream
Heat whipping cream in saucepan until just simmering. Pour over chocolate and whisk till smooth.

Remove the praline-topped joconde layers from the fridge.
Wrap cling film around the bottom of a 18X18cm square mousse mould and line the sides with plastic. This allows easy removal of the completed cake from the mold. Place this on a 8 inch square cake foiled cardboard.

Place one joconde layer at the bottom, praline-side up and naked side in contact with the cling film at the bottom. Spread a thin layer of red bean paste if using.
Top with second joconde layer. Pour matcha mousse mixture over the praline, just enough so you can’t see the praline anymore. Place in freezer until the mousse sets (about 15-20 minutes).
Brush one side of the third joconde layer with matcha syrup and place it syrup-side down over matcha mousse. Brush the exposed side with matcha syrup. Pour chocolate ganache over and let set in freezer.
When set, pour matcha mousse mixture over the chocolate ganache, just enough so you can’t see the chocolate ganache anymore. Let mousse set in freezer.

Day 7: Matcha Ganache

113g white chocolate, in small pieces
6g matcha powder
60g heavy cream
Mix 1 tbsp of the heavy cream in the saucepan with matcha until completely smooth. Add remaining whipping cream and whisk till smooth. Heat until just simmering. Pour over chocolate and whisk till smooth.

Pour over matcha mousse and set in freezer. Top with florentines to serve.

Slicing the cake

Bonus step: use leftover components and cake scraps to make mini-entremets. They look and taste great


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