Opera Cakes


Desserts / Wednesday, May 28th, 2008

Opera Cake

Can you hear her?

Off in the distance, the fat lady is singing.

Yes, a mere hour from the deadline, I have completed my first Daring Bakers Challenge: an opera cake.

A traditional opera cake has layers of sponge cake, coffee buttercream, ganache, and a final glaze of chocolate. They’re usually decorated with a musical symbol, the word “L’Opera,” or a name – “Clichy.” Louis Clichy introduced the cake at the Exposition Culinaire in Paris in 1903.

The DB Challenge was to create a nontraditional opera cake: no chocolate, no coffee, no dark colors.

I decided on almond sponge cake moistened with vanilla syrup and topped with raspberry buttercream, framboise (aka Razzmatazz), and a white chocolate glaze.

Certifiably Daring Bakerish.

Unfortunately, the first sponge cake was a rubbery abomination. So flat you could roll it into a tube.

The second cake was perfect, but the fluffy pink raspberry buttercream tasted like a 3-day-old sink sponge.

The third cake had raw spots. The meringue deflated. The buttercream looked like cottage cheese. And the white chocolate chips wouldn’t melt.

I was ready to chuck the challenge. I was out of almonds. I didn’t think I liked cake anymore.

But this morning, I rallied. I didn’t want to wait another month to be a Daring Baker. I mean, have you seen the logo? It’s cute.

So, less than two hours from the close of Reveal Day, here are my mini opera cakes. I’m officially a Daring Baker!

The dirty dishes can wait.

P.S. The Daring Bakers are dedicating this month’s challenge to Barbara of Winos and Foodies. Barbara is the force behind “A Taste of Yellow,” a food blogging event that supports Lance Armstrong’s LiveSTRONG foundation.

84 thoughts on “Opera Cakes

  1. You are the epitome of what it means to be a Daring Baker! Not only is your perseverance inspiring, your finished result looks lovely!

    Welcome to the Daring Bakers!

  2. Welcome to the DB!

    So sorry you had so many troubles. It turned out quite lovely! The raspberrys really pop against the white.

  3. Way to stick it out ’til the end, kudos gf.
    I’m new too and totally agree, having that darn cute logo on your blog is worth the almond meal.

  4. Crimeny. The effort you put into this is mighty admirable. And you ended up with some gorgeous cakes to show for it. Good job pulling through!

  5. You rock! Well done for persevering in the face of difficulties! Your Opéra cake-lettes look adorable and I love the raspberry as decoration on top.

  6. Daring indeed! It looks beautiful, and I’m impressed at your perseverance! And yes, the dirty dishes can always wait :)

  7. Congrats on your first DB challenge! From the pics you would never know…they look perfect!

  8. Congratulations on your perseverance! I love the mini-cakes, whicha re easier to assemble, as well as eat!

    Welcome to the fold(ing). :)

  9. What beautiful mini cakes! They look so scrumptuous. Congratulations on the completion of your very first Daring Baker’s challenge. Great job!!

  10. Damn straight the dishes can wait. The fourth time’s the charm, and your “operettas” are delightful and undoubtedly delicious. Kudos to you for hanging in there!

  11. YAY!!! congratulations on becoming a daring baker!!! *washes some dishes for you* Your little cakes look AMAZING and you are right the logo is cute!! ^_^
    *steals one of your mini opera cakes*
    well.. welcome to the group and I hope you enjoy being with us!!!

  12. Congratulations! You are truly a Daring Baker. Your effort brings to mind the quote I put at the end of this month’s challenge blog-post: “Success is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm.” And your little operettas are adorable. After this you’ll think the next challenge is a piece of cake. Of course I don’t know what it is.

  13. WOW, admire your perseverance. Your Opera Cake looks so cute. Ha, Ha…me the fat lady will start singing now ;). Well done, cya at other challenges

  14. Well, bonus points to you for making it three times! I would have cursed and given up. But, alas, the cute logo won!! Congratulations – and the cake looks delicious!

  15. Wow, I say you get a gold star for making not one, not two, or three, but FOUR cakes. I woulda given up after number two (or maybe one, lol).

    They are positively adorable! They looks delicious and sweet.

  16. Yowzer – great job – your finished product is really beautiful and we already know it tastes amazing. This was my first challenge too – at first didn’t really think I’d live through it but hey….we’re still around to talk about it.

  17. LOL, the logo IS cute, agreed!

    Glad to hear you stuck with it. They look darling.

  18. If I were queen, I would grant you titles of nobility for your amazing stick-with-it-ness. Not to mention the sheer cute factor of itty bitty opera cakes with giant raspberries on top. Yum!

  19. Those are beautiful little opera cakes and those reaspberries look so vibrant. Yum. Also as a literature graduate, I love the name of your blog.

  20. Wow! I admire the fact that you made this recipe 4 times! That must have set you back money-wise quite a sum. On the up side though you are officially a daring baker and your cakes look awesome! Godd luck next month!

  21. Ooh! I missed this when I visited you the other day-they look so lovely–especially how the light glints off the berry–wouldn’t have guessed that you had issues with it.

    Congratulations on your first challenge.

    BTW–I LOVE the name of your blog. Actually made me laugh aloud.

    j

  22. Welcome to DBs, Rebecca, dear! Your mini-Operas look grand. I love them & even better that you have a saga to go along with the Opera – how apropos!

    xoxox Amy

  23. You are truly an amazing DB’er! Way to tough it out. I’ve been participating for a few months now and I thought this was the hardest challenge by far. AND your mini opera cakes are adorable!

  24. “I was ready to chuck the challenge. I was out of almonds. I didn’t think I liked cake anymore.”

    These two sentences made me laugh!

    Good work on your challenge- your verve is inspiring!

  25. Congratulations on your first challenge, I did not have problems THIS time , but I amost quit, this cake is too hard to do in one day…I am ashamed… You did a great job your cake turned out so beautiful despite all the problems you had,your perseverance is inspiring,thanks for sharing :)

  26. Hi Rebecca! The end result of your mini cakes is testimony to the fact that perseverance does pay off! They look so lovely, with the raspberries on top :)

  27. Wow, such dedication, the end result looks beautiful! Mini is always the best ;)
    Congratulations on your first challenge!

  28. Your end result looks great! Thought I figured out what I did wrong, I wasn’t so much up to trying again…though in your case it sure paid off! Looks great!

  29. What was it this month? Nothing came together for me either. But your final product looks really cute!!!! Anywhoo, thanks for stopping by my disaster :-)

  30. Thanks for stopping by the blog – I’m so glad I got to see your opera interpretation, I absolutely LOVE the mini cakes!! – they look beautiful, I love the white glaze…and the raspberries make the perfect garnish and flavour foil to all that sweetness. Gorgeous! Love your blog title too, very clever :)

  31. Ohhhh, I’m waiting to actually complete a challenge to put up the logo! I admire your willingness to get back in the kitchen and actually put this thing together- I was out of eggs and patience! Your little cakes are beautiful.

  32. Wow!! Talk about perseverance. The cake looks good. My first try at the buttercream was a disaster. Second time I tried it, it came out well. But 4 times, I don’t think so..lol.. Like you said, the logo is worth it :)

  33. Good on you- you DAring Baker you :)
    That’s the spirit- and BTW they’re beautiful!!!
    Thanks for swinging by to visit mine.
    xoxo

  34. I loved reading about your experience of this month’s challenge! Too funny! I’m glad you persevered because your cakes look delicious.

  35. Oh my! Your Opera cakes do look delicious, really. Too bad you had to go through all that trouble, but the picture really makes it seem worth it in the end. I hope it was.

  36. That’s what being a DB means! Welcome to the bunch! You did great with the Opera Cake – your minis are just adorable.

    Thanks for passing by my blog and leaving a nice comment. :)

  37. I love your flavor combination, but then again, I love anything with raspberries. Four attempts??? Did I read that right? You are my hero. Way to persevere.

  38. Congrats on first challenge! and OMGOSH great design!! I love the little cute cakes! Individual serving are so much in vogue right now! ;)

  39. Wow!! I can’t believe you made the cake four times!!! they look wonderful!! Great job and welcome to daring bakers!!

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