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Megans Cookin: L' Opera Cake

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

L' Opera Cake

This months Daring Bakers Challenge was the Opera Cake. To tell you the truth, I didn't know what an Opera Cake was. Come to find out, its an elegant French dessert made up of 5 components. There is a joconde (a cake layer), a syrup , a buttercream , a ganache or mousse and a glaze. Typically flavored with chocolate and coffee, our cake was to be made light. No dark colors at all. When I asked hubby what flavor he would like, he said vanilla bean. Since I have a rather large stash of vanilla beans, we went with vanilla bean. After seeing some of the amazing flavor combos on the DB private blog, I wish I would have done it differently. Maybe if there is ever a next time, I'll do it chocolate!

The one mishap I did encounter was, I made my cakes in too large of a pan. Instead of 10X15 pan, I used a 12X17. My layers were way too thin. But I didn't let that bother me, I just forged on! I made the cake and the syrup the night before I served my cake. My syrup was flavored with vanilla extract and brushed on each cake layer to moisten and flavor it. Next was the buttercream flavored with the vanilla bean to spread between the cake layers. Then it was chilled before adding the ganache layer. So far at this point, everything is O.K. (Besides my skinny cake layers)

Next came the white chocolate ganache. Flavored with, you guessed it, a vanilla bean. Spread out on the top of my final layer of syrup soaked cake. Here is where I messed up again. More chill time. Like 3 hours chill time to set the ganache. Oops! I didn't have 3 hours. I had like 30 minutes till serving time. So I stuck it in the freezer while I made my glaze.

The whole time I was making this cake, I kept thinking I should use some of my Chocolate Covered Strawberry Jam to flavor the frosting. But I was on a Vanilla Bean mission. Till I got to the glaze. The temptation over came me and I strained some of the jam to flavor the glaze. I was thinking I would get this pretty pink color. WRONG! Not the color I envisioned. But it tasted great. In fact, it was my hubby's favorite part of the whole cake.

I poured the glaze over the not chilled enough cake. It was a little sloppy the first serving, but the chilled leftovers sliced up great and looked real purdy.

I am dedicating this month's challenge to Barbara of winosandfoodies.
While Barbara is no longer an active member of the Daring Bakers, she'll always be an honorary Daring Baker 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 that supports the LiveSTRONG foundation started by Lance Armstrong. This year's LiveStrong Day is in May so we decided that we could show our support by dedicating our respective challenge posts to Barbara.
ht: Ivonne
Special thanks go out to Lis and Ivonne, our co-founders, as well as Fran and Shea for introducing my to the famous Opera Cake. You can get the recipe from one of these gals.
For a symphony of cakes, check out the Daring Bakers Blogroll. ******************************************************************
More Daring Baker Challenges

Bostini Cream Pie
Lemon Meringue Pie
Perfect Party Cake
Cheesecake Pops


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Blogger sher said...

I didn't know what an opera cake was either! Now we do. :) Your pictures are wonderful-I love the rose.

May 28, 2008 at 12:07 AM  
Blogger Y said...

Ooh I love your stash of vanilla beans. Doesn't it just make you want to grab the whole bunch and inhale deeply? :)

May 28, 2008 at 3:19 AM  
Blogger Ruth Strong said...

Sorry you didn't get the pink colour you were after, but I think it looks great!!!!! I really like the sound of the vanilla/chocolate strawberry combination. And I love the little flowers you used to decorate.

May 28, 2008 at 3:37 AM  
Blogger Gretchen Noelle said...

Great use of the vanilla bean. I rather like the top color of the glaze. Hope you all enjoyed the taste!

May 28, 2008 at 3:44 AM  
Blogger KJ said...

what? what was that? chocolate covered strawberry jam!!! YUM.

As for the cake, well it looks lovely. I love vanilla so I think it must also have been rather delicious.

May 28, 2008 at 3:57 AM  
Blogger glamah16 said...

Great job. I love the addtion of your chcoc/strawberry jam. Success!

May 28, 2008 at 5:18 AM  
Blogger Aparna Balasubramanian said...

I am hearing of chocolate covered strawberry jam for the first time! I think the colour of your glaze contrasts well with the cake and buttercream.

May 28, 2008 at 5:22 AM  
Blogger Renee said...

I love the idea of the jam in the glaze. Your cake look beautiful. Nice touch with the flowers!

May 28, 2008 at 5:43 AM  
Blogger Lou @ The Higher Nest said...

My layers were too thin, too: boo. Guess it does matter if the pans are not the exact size called for. But I guess learning is part of the whole Daring Bakers process,right? Congrats on yours!

May 28, 2008 at 6:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't naysay your vanilla choice - it's classic!

I like the colour of you cake very much.

May 28, 2008 at 7:01 AM  
Blogger Thistlemoon said...

I think your glaze is beautiful - kind of like a dusty rose! I love vanilla bean too - I would have loved to try a taste of yours!

May 28, 2008 at 7:42 AM  
Blogger Sara said...

Really beautiful--love the touch of the flower on top and the jam in the glaze!

May 28, 2008 at 7:47 AM  
Blogger Patsyk said...

You wouldn't know that you ran into any problems from your pictures! Great job, it's still a purdy cake! :)

May 28, 2008 at 9:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks wonderful! Love the way you decorated it. Maybe you didn't like the colour of the glaze that much but I like the pale pink a lot, it's very pretty and fragile looking.

May 28, 2008 at 11:23 AM  
Blogger myriam said...

that rose is so cuuuuute. good job!

May 28, 2008 at 11:38 AM  
Blogger Helene said...

Glad you finally discovered the world of Opera you did a wonderful job! Love your choice of decoration and flavors!

May 28, 2008 at 12:44 PM  
Blogger Suzana said...

It’s a lovely Opera cake. Great job!

May 28, 2008 at 2:18 PM  
Blogger test it comm said...

Nice looking opera cake!

May 28, 2008 at 6:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your's is the best I've seen! Wow. Love the height you got. Nice job.

May 28, 2008 at 8:48 PM  
Blogger April said...

Your cake looks great!!

May 29, 2008 at 5:17 AM  
Blogger BC said...

I have vanilla bean envy now!

May 29, 2008 at 5:18 AM  
Blogger Deborah said...

I think that vanilla bean sounds delicious! In fact, at the Cheesecake Factory, my favorite has always been the plain vanilla bean. Gorgeous cake!

May 29, 2008 at 9:07 AM  
Blogger Shelby said...

I think it looks great! I need to get me some vanilla bean! The rose on the top sets it off nicely!

May 29, 2008 at 10:09 AM  
Blogger Christine said...

I think your cake looks great! Good job!

May 29, 2008 at 10:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like the layers of the cake very much.

May 29, 2008 at 3:09 PM  
Blogger Susan @ SGCC said...

Your cake looks lovely. I like the thinner cake layers. The buttercream and ganache are the best parts anyway! ;)

May 29, 2008 at 6:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks fabulous.. I like the hint of color in your glaze!

May 30, 2008 at 6:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Definitely real purdy! And you are one smart cookie in the vanilla steal. Jeez. I agree with you on the cost of vanilla. Highway robbery. Nice job on the challenge. Now to go back and take a gander at that slurpdillicious chocolate covered strawberry jam. OMG.

May 30, 2008 at 12:11 PM  
Blogger Dolores said...

One can *never* have too much vanilla bean. But I'm intrigued by your glaze... Chocolate covered strawberry jam?!? I have so-oooo bookmarked that recipe!

May 30, 2008 at 2:48 PM  
Blogger Carla said...

I never heard of an opera cake either. Good use of vanilla beans I bet! I still have mine to use. I'm hoping I can get around to using them next week.

May 31, 2008 at 10:13 AM  
Blogger Morven said...

Bravo! What a pretty cake.

May 31, 2008 at 1:58 PM  
Blogger Sihan said...

hey Megan! you've been tagged for a meme! please refer to the questions on my blog to complete!

btw, your opera looks divine. Now u're reallie tempting me to try that. hehe.

June 1, 2008 at 9:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree, if there's ever a next time, I'm doing chocolate! ;)

June 1, 2008 at 9:06 PM  
Blogger Shari@Whisk: a food blog said...

Great job!
Shari@Whisk: a food blog

June 3, 2008 at 5:29 PM  

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