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.