The Story of an Opera (Cake)

It is that time of the month again when almost 1000 Daring Bakers reveal their baking creations to the world. This month’s challenge was hosted by the founders of this amazing group, Ivonne and my lovely and beautiful friend Lisa and co-hosted by Fran and Shea (did I mention we are almost 1000 members?) There is a lot going on in the Daring Bakers community, a new forum, soon a new website, lots of food talk and, of course, lots of baking. So what challenge did our lovely Daring Baker mothers choose for this month? Another snobish delicious French dessert, Opera Cake.

This challenge was special because it was dedicated to Barbara. She will always be a honorary DB for her bravery and character in the face of a challenge. Barbara is the force behind the food blog event called A Taste of Yellow (you’ve heard of it) that supports the LiveStrong Foundation started by Lance Armstrong. That’s why we were encouraged to make our cakes with a yellow flavor (or at least not dark chocolaty) What did I do for this challenge? An orange-white chocolate Opera Cake.

What is an Opera Cake? Opera Cake is a layer cake made with a sponge cake or joconde, syrup, buttercream (have you noticed that the Daring Bakers like buttercream a lot?), a mousse and a chocolate glaze. Making this cake wasn’t really hard (after all, we’ve made the different components of the cake in past challenges), it was only time consuming. It took me almost a whole day to make it. That’s why I didn’t really worry about making it look pretty. We had a cook out that day and after making this cake, a mango guacamole, a tropical salad and all the cooking and baking of last week I wasn’t really in the mood for decorating (my baking Achilles’ heel)

But how did it taste? I only had a little tiny piece (I am still trying to lose those last stubborn extra pounds), but I give it an 8 out of 10. The orange, almond and chocolate flavors blended really nicely, though the cake was a little bit on the too sweet side. This cake was worth making because of the learning process, but if you don’t have the time or patience to bake this kind of cake, there are lot of other options out there that require less time and effort with very similar results. But if you want to impress somebody with your snobby French baking skills, this is the cake to bake. (please note that this is my very own and humble opinion)

For the complete recipe, please visit Ivonne’s blog. I am so excited because I was invited by my lovely friend Kelly to co-host next month’s challenge. Don’t miss out, It is going to be a lot of fun!

Buen Provecho!


  • Your will power amazes me! I kept slivering mine to death. Cant wait to see what the next challenge has in store for us. Any hints?

  • Good job! It was sweet I’ll agree. Orange and white chocolate sounds wonderful!

  • Your cake looks yummy!!!!!!

  • Great job Ben!…sounds like you’ve been doing some mad coking around your place. And yes! I too admire your will power.

  • Great job on the cake Ben…I can;t wait for the next challenge. I guess I should start earlier!

  • Yes, it was definately a learning process for sure! So many components to one cake! Yours looks really tasty though! yum yum!

  • My family thought it was to sweet. I wouldlike to revisit this and make it less sweet and more fruity perhaps. Great job Ben.

  • Yes, Ben, I agree with you…too sweet! But at least we accepted the challenge, that’s the whole idea, right? I would love to make this cake with dark chocolate and coffee, like the original recipe calls for.

  • Your cake looks tempting and the flavours sound really good- I am a person who likes more cake in my cake so this was too sweet to be my favourite also. Glad to hear you’ll be co-hosting next month :)

  • Orange and chocolate is a good combination. I used mango and cardamom.
    And what are you going to challenge us to, I wonder? Can’t wait.:)

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