May 28, 2008

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.

50 comments:

  1. Great job! Too bad you were not a fan of the joconde texture. Glad you were daring and tried new things yet again!

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  2. You rose to the challenge in true Daring Baker style HoneyB!!

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  3. great job--though I felt very similarly about the jaconde and the glaze.

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  4. I agree - jocande is a very eggy cake. All in all, this is a pretty rich dessert, isn't it?

    Nice work on your photos HB!

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  5. mmmm the peach flavored buttercream sounds great! wonderful job!

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  6. Yummy! Peach shnapps buttercream! That must have been a tasty buttercream!

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  7. Well, even if it wasn't your cup of tea (or slice of cake), you did a fantastic job on it! Well done! :)

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  8. 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

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  9. Great job!!! We call my hubby grumpy as well - how funny.

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  10. I loved the cake as a whole and your looks cutely peachy! I too feel yours looks brown. Looks like the almond has been floured with the skin!

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  11. Glad I wasn't the only one who thought the cake was gritty. It got less gritty tasting over time.
    Looks beautiful!

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  12. Your cake looks terrific, and peach is such a nice idea. We're always our own worst critics, don't you think?

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  13. 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 =)

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  14. great job! Your cake looks delicious!

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  15. It looks wonderful, and I love the peach flavor! Good choice!

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  16. 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!!!!

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  17. 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!!

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  18. This was an interesting challenge for me, too. Yours looks good though, and it's good that your sweetie liked it, too!

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  19. Looks good to me! I want a huge slice of it right now! Please?

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  20. Your opera cake looks good! I like the sound of the peach buttercream.

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

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  22. 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!

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  23. 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! :)

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  24. I love peaches. Yours sounds and looks beautiful!

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  25. What a great opera cake & love the sound of your buttercream too :)

    Rosie x

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  26. I sort of feel the same way about the cake-- but I am really glad that I tried to make it.

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  27. It's too bad you didn't like the cake, but at least you found a buttercream that you love! Your cake looks wonderful!

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  28. 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:)

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  29. 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 ;)

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  30. Your cake looks delicious! Thanks for your well wishes and the tips on posting - we had a great trip!

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  31. Peach schnapp buttercream sounds incredible!

    Sorry you didn't like the cake overall, but great job with it!

    Christina ~ She Runs, She Eats

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  32. 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.

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  33. The peach sounds so good! Nice work!

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  34. Peach schnapps sounds positively inspired! Bravo!

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  35. thesugarysweetspotMay 29, 2008 at 8:09 PM

    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!

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  36. Oh, my, peach schnapps! I am afraid that none of that buttercream would have made it on my cake!

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  37. Peach schnapps! That sounds wonderful! I adored the buttercream too. I doubled the recipe and now I have enough for some cupcakes too. :)

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  38. Too bad you didn't care for the cake. It looks very decadent! Nice job on the challenge!

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  39. Peach schnapps buttercream, oh my! Sounds divine! Great job this month :)

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  40. Peach Schapps buttercream- oh mmmmm. Nice job on your opera!
    xoxo

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  41. 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!

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  42. 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

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  43. 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

    xoxo

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  44. Wow, this really seems like quite the challenge. You are a better baker than I, that's for sure. Great job!

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  45. great job! i didn't care too much for the texture of the joconde, either.

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  46. Way to go! Peach schnapps ... oh, yes.

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