Eric bakes this classic almond, chocolate and coffee gateau with the British Council bake club on Baking Mad with Eric Lanlard
For the coffee buttercream
For the ganache
Heat the oven to 220°C/gas mark 7 and line 2 lipped baking trays with non-stick baking parchment.
In a clean bowl whisk the egg whites and caster sugar until stiff peaks form. In a separate bowl mix together the almonds and icing sugar, then add the eggs and whisk until pale and doubled in volume. Sieve in the flour and fold to incorporate, then gently fold in the egg whites followed by the melted butter.
Divide the mixture between the baking trays and spread out evenly. Bake for 7-10 minutes, but watch carefully as it cooks quickly.
For the coffee buttercream, mix the sugar and 30g water in a pan and heat to 120°C, or until syrupy and almost a caramel. Add the vanilla to the syrup once the mixture is thickening then remove from the heat. Whisk the egg and egg yolk in a bowl then pour on the hot syrup with the beaters still running. Once the mixture is fluffy allow to cool a little then beat in the butter. Stir through the coffee then leave to cool.
For the ganache, heat the cream and milk and when almost boiling pass through a sieve onto the chocolate. Stir until melted, smooth and thick.
To assemble, using the base of a 20cm cake tin as a stencil, cut 2 discs from the sponge sheets, and a third one made from 2 halves cut from the remainders of the sponge sheets. Place the first disc in the bottom of the 20cm mould then mix together the coffee, rum and sugar and brush over the sponge. Cover with a layer of ganache then add the second sponge disc – the 2 halves at this point. Brush again with the rum mixture then add the coffee buttercream. Top with the final disc then brush with rum mix and spread the ganache over the top. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes to set.
To decorate, melt the white chocolate and dark chocolate in 2 separate bain maries. Add the clarified butter to the dark chocolate and stir to combine. Remove the gateau from the fridge and pour the dark chocolate mixture over. Allow to set then remove the mould from the gateau using a blow torch or the heat of your hands.
To finish, spoon the melted white chocolate into a piping bag or food bag with a hole snipped in the end. Pipe the word 'opera' onto the gateau and serve.
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