My sister-in-law, who’s just moved with her family to a town just outside Handel’s birthplace, Halle, recently gave me a kit to make a ‘Händel Torte’ (most definitely not a Kuchen).
Reasonably easy to make, the Torte is basically a two-layered cake, the sponge full of crunchy poppy seeds, the sandwich cream infused with marzipan. And a card stencil of Handel himself delivers the final coup de théâtre when sieving cocoa powder on the top. Hallelujah!
Music to listen to while making it: The Hallelujah Chorus from Messiah
Frances Quinn's 'Soap Opera Cake' from the 2015 season of the Great British Bake Off
The ingredients list for an Opera Cake reads like a heart attack in the making. Almond sponge, coffee syrup, coffee buttercream, chocolate glaze… It was invented in 1955 by Cyrique Gavillon and dedicated to Paris’s Opéra Garnier, the layers representing the house’s tiers, the coffee intended to keep audiences awake during performances of, say, Meyerbeer or Berlioz.
The Great British Bake-Off contestants were challenged to make it in 2015, with Frances Quinn making a Soap Opera cake. Not enough lemon or lavender in it, according to Paul and Mary.
Music to listen to while making it: Overture to Meyerbeer’s Robert le Diable
The composer of Carmen, The Pearl Fishers and the Symphony in C has a rather dank soup named after him – and a cake. The Bizet Cake, however, is little more than a glorified meringue with some buttercream spread between the two halves; presumably, though, you can put anything you want in them – or just make yourself a Händel Torte. Confusingly, the band Cake once recorded a song called ‘Commissioning a Symphony in C’.
Music to listen to while making it: Symphony in C
We all know about the Mozartkugeln or ‘Mozart Balls’ that you can find all over Austria. But did you know about the Mozart Cake? As one website says, ‘This is for people who love spending time in the kitchen and love seeing a delicious fancy cake emerge.’
Although it depends who’s making it. As far as we can see, the ingredients comprise chocolate, chocolate and chocolate, with eggs and flour and stuff just to make sure it can be officially called a cake.
Music to listen to while making it: Introitus from Mozart’s Requiem
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