Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Daring Bakers May Challenge - L'Opera Cake



The Daring Baker challenge for May encompasses all the things I love about being a Daring Baker – it challenged me to make something I would probably not have tried, but for the challenge. This month it was L’Opera cake. Now, the cake you see in the photos probably doesn’t look all that complex, and to be honest, the individual components are not that hard, but put them all together and the Opera cake is quite a feat.



An opera cake consists of five components – a sponge cake made from ground nuts rather than flour, a sugar syrup which is used to moisten the sponge, a buttercream to sandwich the first two layers of cake together, a chocolate mousse and finally a glaze to top the cake. The main DB rule was that the cake had to be a light coloured cake. I based my cake around some little icing flowers I had made a few weeks ago that are a pretty pale pink colour, making my cake rose flavoured.



I didn’t have anything special to make the cake for, so decided to make only a third of the mixture. It made a nice loaf sized cake. The sponge was fairly easy – a nice light almond sponge which was then moistened with sugar syrup to which I added some rose water. The butter cream was made using egg and a sugar syrup. I think it was the best butter cream I have made – it was lovely and thick and creamy rather than buttery. I tinted the butter cream pale pink and also flavoured it with rosewater.



The mousse was made by folding melted white chocolate into beaten cream. This gave an almost ganache like mousse. I also tinted this pale cream. The glaze was actually a bit thicker than I thought it would be. It was ganache like as well. I went a bit crazy on the food colouring in the first attempt, so I re-made it. It still turned out a bit darker than I would have liked. I think I would also add a bit more cream to the glaze to make it a bit thinner.



The verdict? This cake was delicious. I took it into work and it was a hit – at least with the women. I heard through the grapevine that my business partner thought it tasted like hand cream! At least he got that it was rose flavoured! This is a real special occasion cake. I would make it again and would be interested to try different flavours – I think a chocolate one would be particularly nice. I really enjoyed making this cake and I enjoyed the challenge of trying to make it look as good as I could. Thanks again to the Daring Bakers for another fun challenge! You can see the other DBs’ Opera cakes here.

27 comments:

Cakelaw said...

Hi Tammy, Your Opera Cake is very pretty - well done!

steph- whisk/spoon said...

i think it looks lovely, all pink and girlie!! (handcream-- hmpf!)

if you like coffee and chocolate, definitely try making a traditional one sometime...it will blow you away!!

rainbowbrown said...

Well, my stars thats pretty. Really. Great great job. I love the idea of adding rose water to this.

Megan said...

Your cake is beautiful! I love the flowers on top.

Gretchen Noelle said...

Great looking opera cake!! I like the pinkness and the pretty flowers! Great job!

Heather said...

Your opera cake looks great! The layers are lovely!

foodlovers said...

Tammy this is beautiful - well done!
I came here to comment on the gorgeous baby biscuits but find you are already two blogs on!

maybelles parents said...

beautiful. We toyed with doing rose. If somehow, I recover from making an opera, I will put rose on my list.

Bumblebutton said...

Bravo!! Beautiful cake! Love the flowers, and love the pink!

Dolores said...

Tasted like hand cream... I *love* it. Your rose-scented opera is perfect for spring. Great job!

mimi said...

what a beautiful opera cake, love the flowers on top.

Morven said...

Wow! Yours is the first cake I've viewed of this round and I'm certainly impressed. Very pretty.

ostwestwind said...

I love the flowers on top and the colours you chose. Great work!

Ulrike from Küchenlatein

Engineer Baker said...

Rosewater sounds YUM. I love the pink flowers on top too!

Mary said...

Your cake is so pretty! And I love the idea of flavoring it like rosewater!

Shari said...

Your opera cake looks very pretty!
Shari@Whisk: a food blog

Elle said...

So pretty1 I love your flower decorations. And hand cream? sheesh, hehe. I'm sure it was delicious!

Madam Chow said...

I think the cake looks wonderful - I love the colors!

Anonymous said...

Gosh girl - you really excelled yourself. Stunningly beautiful. Can see your cake decorating classes are coming in handy. Raewyn

Anonymous said...

You have stunned us yet again Tammy, very girly & pretty & I too love the flowers on top. I would love to have tasted this one.Lyn

Molly Loves Paris said...

You cake is darling, kind of like a fairy cake. I love the colors.

Deborah said...

Wonderful job! I especially like the flowers - gorgeous!

How To Eat A Cupcake said...

It's so beautiful! Great job!

Mevrouw Cupcake said...

Love the your L'Opera in all it's pink girliness, it's just lovely!

Jaime said...

love how you decorated it! so cute!

marye said...

Rose and almond is such an elegant combo. Well done.

Andrea said...

Love the flowers on top! I went with rosewater as well (and raspberry and lychee) but thought it really needed more tart raspberry to find balance.
Yours looks so good.