What an "opera"tunity!
The Daring Bakers are at it again. This month we took on the Opera Cake. The challenge was to create an Opera cake using only light, spring-y colors.
The cake consists of three layers of almond joconde with buttercream in between topped with an optional mousse and a ganache layer.
I chose to use raspberry and lime as my flavors. I added lime zest to the cake, made a lime simple syrup to moisten the layers, and then strained the juice from a bag of frozen raspberries to add to the buttercream (classy, right?) I used my own version of fool-proof, no-cook buttercream.
Problems - I made the buttercream and then added the raspberry juice. It was about a 1/2 cup of extra liquid. This made the buttercream runny...So I added more sugar.
I attempted to make the mousse but when I added the almost cooled white chocolate to the whipped cream it turned very lumpy and greasy. So I tossed it! The cake didn't need it anyway. Other daring bakers said that they put the mixture into the fridge to set up and then re-beat it. They said it worked great. Oh well!
Taste - Too sweet. I am not a huge fan of white chocolate and the glaze was TOO sweet. The cake tasted the best when served cold. The raspberry and lime flavors were subtle but blended well.
Difficulty - This cake was much easier than I thought it would be. The hardest part was forking out $10 for my almond flour. The joconde came together nicely. I just wish that I had baked them separatly rather than at the same time on different racks. The top one browned a little much on the top with a moist bottom and the bottom layer was too brown on the bottom with a very light top. The glaze poured on nicely. I chilled it and then trimmed the sides of the cake. It cut very well after being chilled.
Overall - Fun challenge...Thank you co-hosts Lis and Ivonne (daring bakers founders) and Franand Shea. I had always wanted to make an opera cake and here it is! I can't wait to make a more traditional one with chocolate and coffee flavors. THANK YOU!
*check out Ivonne's blog for the recipe.