DB Challenge #3 = Opera Cake

Our challenge this month was the Opera Cake. An Opera cake is an extremely elegant and polished French dessert that is believed to have been created around the beginning of the 1900s. Many people credit a gentleman by the name of Louis Clichy with inventing the cake and that’s why it’s sometimes referred to as Clichy Cake.

It is made up of 5 componets: Jaconde (the cake), a syrup, buttercream, mousse and a glaze.

I admit the part I was most afraid of was the buttercream because it was yet a different buttercream recipe from last month’s. When it came right down to the time to make it, I decided to go with the original buttercream recipe and I am SO GLAD I DID! This buttercream was awesome. I flavored mine with peach schnapps and I could have eaten the whole bowl without the cake!I did not go with the mousse as I didn’t have heavy cream and didn’t want to make a trip to the store just to get it. Therefore, when I made the glaze, I used 2% milk instead of the heavy cream also. My only regret was that I did not make double the buttercream. I ended up with 4 layers because my cake pans were smaller than the recipe called for so I was sparing with the buttercream in order to get it on all layers.
When all was said and done, I didn’t care for the Jaconde or the glaze. Grumpy on the other hand, seemed to like this cake (he ate all the sides that were cut!) The Jaconde was too “gritty” for me and I figure it was because of the almond meal and the glaze was way too sweet. My favorite part was the buttercream. I will be keeping that recipe around for future use in other cakes!
Thank you to Ivonne of Cream Puffs in Venice, and Liz of La Mia Cucina co-founders of the Daring Bakers and hosts of this month’s challenge. You can view the recipe on Ivonne’s website! Because the Daring Baker group has grown so much, they asked Fran of the blog Apples Peaches Pumpkin Pie and Shea of the blog Whiskful to co-host! Click here for the rest of the DB’s challenge for this month!

I would like to dedicate this post to Barbara of winosandfoodies.com. Barbara is the force behind the food blog event called A Taste of Yellow that supports the LiveSTRONG foundation started by Lance Armstrong.


  1. says

    Great job! It looks so pretty & perfectly square. Peach Schnapps – how clever! I love that. I’m glad that Grumpy liked it. For the amount of work involved you’d hat to see no one eat it.

    xoxox Amy

  2. says

    I didn’t like the jeconde as well! There has got to be a less troublesom way to make a layer of almond sponge; for the amount of work that went into the jeconde, the result was sure disappointing! But great job on the cake anyways =)

  3. says

    Ok, TOO WEIRD, I am reading your post and I get an email on a comment awaiting approval, lo and behold it was you commenting.
    I always read your forum posts, you are such a positive sweetie!!
    Glad “Grumpy” thought the cake tasty, sorry it didn’t seem to your liking tho, but I gotta agree, that Buttercream is a definite keeper!!!!
    Keep Smiling and Keep the Flour Flyinig!!!!

  4. says

    I’m also not totally convinced by the joconde texture, but I have this feeling that if I had been a bit better at really getting the syrup into the cake it would have been fine. But i don’t know.. (so I might have to try again).
    Anyway, great job!!

  5. says

    Your cake couldn’t have been too bad, someone liked it. Maybe the next challenge (whatever it is) will turn out to your taste.:)

  6. says

    Sorry that you didn’t cake for the cake. Did you make your own almond meal?

    I still like your flavors… you’re the first DDB that I’ve seen use peach!

  7. says

    Even if you didn’t love it, I’m glad you stuck with the recipe because it still looks wonderful. Great job on this challenge! :)

  8. says

    I agree, I was not in love with the jaconde texture either. There should be another way to make it. Your cake looks nice though:)

  9. says

    You did a great job! Looks like I would like it, especially all the parts you didn’t, so next time, keep me in mind, for “cleanup”.
    To help grumpy 😉

  10. says

    Your cake sounds good; was the top glaze peach as well?

    I think I preferred my joconde to my cake. I don’t have an acute sweet tooth, so it was a little too too for me.

  11. thesugarysweetspot says

    Thanks so much… I agree with you about the buttercream, that and the mousse were my favorite parts. I didn’t care for the Jaconde either, glad I wasn’t the only one. :) Yours looks great!

  12. says

    So you liked the buttercream? I was to afraid to go with that one. But now you have convinced me that I need to at least try it.

    I have to say that Peach Scnapps in the buttercream sounds really good!

  13. says

    Thank you everyone for your comments!

    Last evening while visiting with my Aunt, Grumpy brought up how much he liked the cake. I was saying I would rather try the original – and he told me he probably wouldn’t eat it if it was chocolate! Oh well, I don’t know how we live together in this household with such different tastes! LOL

  14. says

    I felt the same way you did.. I wasn’t particularly fond of the texture of the jaconde. I’m not a nut person so that might be why. I also thought it was too sweet.

    But will this stop me from making the traditional Opera? Nope.. I’m so looking forward to it.. I figure with dark chocolate and coffee I can’t go wrong, right? hehehe

    Love your layers and glad Grumpy enjoyed it! hehe


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