Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Cosmos at the Opera : Daring Bakers

I have a confession to make.
As a woman living in New York, and a borderline scary obsession with shoes, I'm not much of a 'Sex and the City' watcher. The series started in my cable-free days, and I just never got into it. I do watch an occasional episode when its on re-runs, but its not something I seek out.

I have another confession to make.
Of all the things Sex and the City brought into the pop-culture spotlight (Manolo, anyone?), Cosmopolitan Martinis would have to be near the top of my list.

I have a few friends that share my love of 'girly' drinks, and we get together once a month or so for "Cosmo Night." While we don't always drink cosmos, we do drink something fruity and alcohol laden (unless someone is 'expecting' - then we switch to fruit smoothies in a show of support), and we always have a copy of Cosmopolitan magazine to read from. Cosmo magazine is 1000% more enjoyable when read aloud. With alcohol. With 5 women pantomiming the '65 hot new sex tricks' and wondering what level of yoga you need to achieve to actually use the tips.

This month, as I read the Daring Bakers assignment of an "Opera Cake," I excitedly pondered my flavor options. I wanted something light and fruity. I also was trying to think of the best occasion to bring these to, trying to pawn off some calories. We had a cosmo night planned for memorial day weekend, and I figured, with the upcoming movie, what better a theme than 'cosmo?'

For the uninitiated, our tried and true cosmopolitan martini recipe is as follows:

Cosmo Martini

4 parts Vodka
2 parts Triple Sec
2 parts Cranberry Juice
1 part Lime Fresh Juice

Shake all four ingredients with ice, serve.

I decided my primary flavors would be cranberry and lime. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done. Everywhere I looked, there were flavor extracts for every fruit under the sun, except cranberry. In desperation, I ended up settling for a bottle of heavily concentrated cranberry. The label calls for 1 part concentrate to 5 parts water, so I figured this was as close to 'extract' as I was going to get. I was a little scared of the potency since most extracts are alcohol based and this was pure cranberry, so I used 1 teaspoon of the concentrate in the syrup. For the lime, I added 1 limes worth of zest to the buttercream. Both added subtle but not overpowering flavors to the cake.

For presentation, I like anything miniature or 'single serving.' It makes you feel a little better when you eat 3 of them over the span of a day. But with the towering layers the recipe called for, I feared anything too small would turn into the leaning tower of opera cake.

My largest round biscuit cutter fit the bill, and with 10x15 inch pans, I got 6 rounds from each layer. Assemble was pretty straightforward, though I was a little worried about adding too much syrup and causing the whole thing to crumble.

The cakes were a big hit, and rather than do the 'ladylike' thing of plates and such (who wants to do the dishes anyhow?) we just grabbed forks and dug in. 7 sets of 2 thumbs up all
around!


For more information or recipe, please visit The Four Hostess blogs.





33 comments:

Clumbsy Cookie said...

That pastry brush is something else! And the little Operas look so cute as well!

Madam Chow said...

I've never had a cosmo - believe it or not! Something that I may have to remedy with your recipe!

Bumblebutton said...

I'm going to have to have a cosmo night too! How funny! And what a nice inspiration for your lovely cake, which is beautiful!

Engineer Baker said...

I love the back story! And seriously, what level of yoga would be necessary? I don't know anyone who's that advanced to do all of the things that magazine dreams up!

Chantal said...

those are so cute! when i try this again i think i'm gonna go mini

Shari said...

What a great idea to use a cosmo theme for this cake! Very creative!
Shari@Whisk: a food blog

sketchy said...

I love the chef hat, that's great. A good cosmo is a great thing - and this is coming from a guy. My wife and I drink them every now and then. I love the little cake idea. Was it hard to get the glaze even, or did you just wing it?

Jeanine said...

What beautiful cakes! Very creative, and they turned out fantastic! :)

Renee said...

Cosmos and Opera Cake! How festive is that!! I loved reading your post!

Heather said...

Great flavor idea! Your little cakes are so cute!

pixie said...

Very interesting choice of flavors! I love it!

Angela said...

Cosmo flavoured?? I may swoon! It sounds and looks utterly fabulous!

Judy @ No Fear Entertaining said...

Great flavorings for this. They look terrific!

one spicy mama said...

What a great idea - I love it! Great job!

Madeleine said...

I love Sex & the City!!

Great idea for the opera cake!!!

Sarah said...

Yum! Cosmo flavored cakes sound right up my alley . . . I made mini cakes as well and they were a hit!

Avery Yale Kamila said...

Those look amazing!

shellyfish said...

I don't know much about 'sex & the city', but I love cosmos! Beautiful job!

Katie said...

Awesome idea! I can't wait for the movie!

Mary said...

Whoa the cosmo night sounds like fun and your little opera cake looks fabulous! I love your pastry brush!

Kristen said...

Mmm, cranberry and lime, sounds delicious!! Love the round opera cakes too. Great job!

glamah16 said...

This was a fun post to read. I love the Cosmo comcept. Sex and The City is a sort of Soap Opera. I love the mini concept.

toontz said...

What a great flavor combination, and I love the little round cakes.

HoneyB said...

Great post!

BA Gourmet said...

What a great ideal for the flavors, you are very creative.
This weekend I am going to try your cosmo recipe before I go see "Sex in the City" and maybe after as well.

Katie B. said...

That might be the cutest pastry brush I have EVER SEEN!!! Your cakes are darling, too! :)

Candace said...

Nice job... Love it! Also love your pastry brush!

ostwestwind said...

I am jealous about your pastry brush ;-).

Your round shaped cakes look so delicious!
Ulrike from K├╝chenlatein

Mevrouw Cupcake said...

I do a weekly Cosmo Girls get-together with two of my girlfriends, where we take turns hosting and drink cosmos while watching trashy TV like Ugly Betty or Grey's Anatomy. It's so much fun! I'm so inspired by your flavor combo, I'm going to have to make this for my friends, too! Well done!

Lunch Buckets said...

They're very pretty! I have to confess though, I though a cosmopolitan was raspberry flavoured - obviously I don't get out much :)

Christine said...

I am definitely going mini next time! Your cakes are perfect!

Fran Z said...

Lovely little cakes! Great job!

Rebecca said...

Mmmm, cosmo cake! I love the little slice of lime on the top. Gorgeous!