Desserts and Pastries — By Ben on 28 May 2008
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!

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grew up around food. His family owned a restaurant in Mexico City and he spent a big deal of his childhood helping and learning after school the art of creating delicious dishes from simple ingredients. He created this blog to share his kitchen adventures with the world.

(45) Readers Comments

  1. I agree about the sweetness. And yes, I sure have gotten familiar with buttercream since joining the DBs! I’m looking forward to seeing what you and Kelly have in store for us next month.

  2. Looks like a great challenge and I love the flavor combination!

    Can’t wait to find out about next month’s challenge . . . I’m guessing not French or snobbish? :) Looking forward to it!

    Best,
    Sarah

  3. It looks gorgeous! This cake was off the hook in terms of difficulty. I bow down to all of you!

  4. If you ask me, it looks so yummy that there is no need to decorate it, I think it is elegant

  5. Beautiful cake, Ben! And how cool that you’re hosting next month!

  6. ¿cómo que quedó demasiado dulce?? que mala onda, tan rico que se ve con el chocolate blanco! jejeje!

    Que padre que te toca el próximo mes!! dime que es!!!!!! :)

    Saludos!

  7. Looks good! I like the sound of the orange and white chocolate flavour combo.

  8. w00t! Ben. Orange in a dessert like this always makes me think of 50-50 bars. YUM. Count me in as a bonafide snob. I love me some French pastry. Uh-huh! And cheers on our upcoming challenge!

  9. Your cake is beautifully executed Ben. I love your chopice of flavours. Well done my friend:D

  10. While your cake may not be the prettiest I’ve seen (don’t worry, mine won’t be winning any competitions either) it certainly sounds delish (I love oranges)! Looking forward to what you and Kelly throw at us next month. Can’t wait!

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