Wednesday, May 28, 2008

daring baker's challenge: opera cake

A month ago I would never have been able to tell you anything about an Opera cake other than that it sounded fancy. Well, this month's DB challenge was just that. An incredibly rich and sweet French gateau. I completed the challenge back on Mother's day weekend as a dessert for dinner. My mom had asked for a lemon flavoured dessert so I thought it would be a nice combo with the almond flavour of the joconde (almond cake layer). In theory I thought this would work well, but somehow the sweetness of the buttercream was just too overpowering. The family enjoyed the cake, but when it came to the leftovers I think most begged out :(.


A traditional Opera cake to my understanding has the light jaconde coupled with a dark chocolate ganache. One of the requirements for the challenge, (in keeping with spring) was to keep the colours on the cake to the pastels. I think I prefer the contrast of the dark and the light. On my cake, everything just kind of melts together. I had the light yellow from the lemon buttercream icing, and I flavoured the ganache was a berry liqour, and topped the glaze with a strawberry (which my mom stuffed with sweet and tart cream cheese something...mmm).

Over all I thought the combination of white chocolate, with the richness and sweetness of the buttercream, was just too much.

I did however enjoy making the jaconde. I had never actually made a jelly roll cake before, so that was interesting, and I enjoyed grinding down the almonds into an "almond meal" was kind of fun. I think it would work really nice as a base for a somewhat nuttier version of strawberry shortcake.

For the full recipe check out the lovely blogs of this month's hosts: Lis, Ivonne, Fran and Shea
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9 comments:

Ma Baker said...

Your cake looks lovely.
I agree with you on the flavours of the chocolate and buttercream being to strong. They really overpowered the flavours of my cake as well.

Natashya said...

The lemon was a good idea, nice with the berry flavour. I agree the white chocolate makes for a very rich cake. We froze half of ours right away (as it makes a big cake) and have been carving thin slices and eating them frozen. We like it better this way, it doesn't seem so sweet. We ate out cheesecake pops frozen too.... must be a trend.

Barbara said...

It was indeed a rich cake, that's why I had lots of friends over to help eat it.

Heather said...

very pretty! the flavors sound really tasty :)

Lunch Buckets said...

I sorta wished I had colored my buttercream to make it look a little more interesting. It was pretty monochromatic, especially in photographs!

Shannon said...

The flavors sound good together. I also agree this was a very sweet recipe. I like the colors of your cake also.

Claire said...

Lovely cake...I'm glad that your family liked it...and that you had someone to share with!

Rebecca of "Ezra Pound Cake" said...

My family wasn't into leftovers, either. Maybe we'll get something more to their liking for next month's challenge. ;)

Rebecca
http://www.ezrapoundcake.com

Dolores said...

It's amazing how much knowledge the Daring Bakers can impart in a mere month, isn't it? Great job on your Opera cake, though I'm sorry it wasn't received more enthusiastically.