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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Daring Bakers May Challenge - OPERA CAKE ! ! !

Last weekend the weather was really crummy, a definite a stay-home-all-day kinda day. What a perfect day to do this month's Daring Baker challenge since it looked like would take ALL DAY to make. This month's challenge: Opera Cake. I had never heard of such a cake before so this one was really interesting. The recipe was REALLY LONG, so I'll spare you the reading, since many of you reading this have already made one yourself. But if you must know, I'm sure one of my fellow bakers will have it posted. Check theirs out too. Some will blow you away. So, this is what the opera cake is about... it is (usually) made up of five components: 1) a joconde (sounds fancy, doesn't it?), the cake layer, 2) a syrup (to wet the joconde), 3) a buttercream (to fill some of the layers), 4) a ganache or mousse (to top the final cake layer), and 5) a glaze (to cover the final layer of cake or of ganache/mousse.)

This month's challenge is dedicated to Barbara of winosandfoodies.com, a former Daring Baker, who 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 in honor of that, the cake was made light both in color and flavor, instead of the traditional darker flavors of chocolate or coffee. So this opera cake consisted of the cake layer, buttercream filling, white chocolate mousse, and white chocolate glaze. Sounds sinful...
The joconde called for almond meal, but due to Emi's nut allergies, I subbed graham flour. The cake, therefore had this gritty texture that kinda ruined the cake. What a shame... I wonder if the almond meal would of had a similar texture.

On to the buttercream... I'm finding that I'm not a big fan of buttercream. I feel like I'm just eating spoonfuls of butter. I followed the revised version of the buttercream recipe, hoping for something good. But it just tasted really fattening.

The mousse was a new one for me too. I'm not sure if I did it right, but when I added the melted white chocolate chips into the whipped cream, they turned into chunks since the cream was cold. But it was good in its own way.

The glaze made quite a lot. It covered the entire cake plus left pools on the side. But it was still very yummy.

This cake was pretty big, a 10" x 10" square, which I halved so it could fit into a tupperware. I had just gone shopping so there were no room in the fridge. But it was cold enough outside, so I had it chill on my deck.

The cake was a mixture of both healthy (err... not too bad for you) and fattening. An interesting combination, and an interesting experience. Looking forward to next month's challenge!

9 comments:

Sheltie Girl said...

You did a lovely job on your cake. It was a wonderful challenge.

Natalie @ Gluten a Go Go

Christine said...

What a wonderful idea to substitute graham crackers for the nuts so the cake could be enjoyed by all! Great job!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Look like a grand opera cake! I'm not a big butter cream fan either.
Gosh, I think if we put our two decks together, yours freezing mine roasting we'd have one pleasant deck.

Mary Collier said...

Whoah! Could you bring some of that to the party next Saturday? You're always making tasty stuff - I like the part about having a little fat in it - I'm trying to bulk up. ;)

Kitchen Vixen said...

Hm, graham crackers? I'm trying to think of what that would end up like. I ground my almond meal myself, so the jaconde turned out kinda nutty, but I liked it the texture. (And then I threw it away.) I'm excited to see what comes up for DB in June...

Dolores said...

Hmmm... I'm sorry that the graham flour didn't work out better for you and that the buttercream was a disappointment. I'm glad you were able to enjoy the learning part of the exercise. Looking forward to seeing what you do with June's challenge.

Rebecca said...

I really wasn't a huge fan of my opera cake, but we rose to the challenge! The slice looks yummy.

Nangil Girl said...

Hi! Thanks for the comment! Its wasn't so bad once I read it couple of times for couple of days..lol.. It was a good experience.

Shari said...

Graham crackers sound like an interesting alternative! Great job.
Shari@Whisk: a food blog