Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Daring Bakers - May Challenge

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.


So here's the verdict:
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.

32 comments:

Gretchen Noelle said...

It is all about the challenge of it and you faced it well. Too bad that is turned out too sweet for you. The raspberry and lime does sound like a perfect combo with this cake!

Katy said...

looks great, and i can't wait to see your chocolate and coffee version! you need to find some way to use up that almond paste, right?!

Renee said...

I agree, the white chocolate is soo sweet. Your cake looks so yummy!

Scuttle said...

I agree the Floor was a bit pricey but ooo so worth it. I really like the colors of your cake esp. plated!

jamiegates said...

Beautiful cake! I agree it was far too sweet. I love the idea of lime with the raspberries, very refreshing flavors.

Natashya said...

Mmm, raspberry and lime, makes me want a daquari. What a great combo of flavours for the summer. I agree that white chocolate is really rich, and this must have been the most expensive cake that I have made (except maybe one with mascarpone) but it was lots of fun. Especially to have folks like you to share the adventure with.

Em said...

Yay! Congrats! Nice job!!
I struggled thru this month's challenge and in the end figured I had learned a lot so it was worth it :)

Love your colors!

Patsyk said...

Your cake turned out beautifully! I also love your flavor combination - yum!

Patti said...

Pretty, pretty cake. Congrats.

Bumblebutton said...

It was fun, and your flavors seem like they might have toned down the sweetness...imagine if you made another choice! Looks terrific!

Sarah said...

Yum! Looks like great flavor combinations . . . might you be participating with this in the Foodie Joust this month? :)

Lesley said...

It's so pretty and perfect! I used raspberry too, with rose. Very nice!

Anita said...

Such a pretty pink! And I love the flavors!!

Suzana said...

It’s a beautiful cake. I love the combo you chose, maybe with another type of glaze it gets less sweet. ;)

one spicy mama said...

Opera cake sure is pretty in pink! My buttercream got a bit funky from the raspberry juice too. Great job!

The Baker & The Curry Maker said...

Mmm - great flavour combo! Well done! I'm not a huge fan of white chocolate either. Can't wait to make a traditional one!

Vera said...

The flavors are very well chosen. And the cake looks great!

Foodie Froggy said...

Oh, it is so "pretty in pink" !!

Mcwhisky said...

Great combination you have there! And I do agree with the overly sweet glaze. Love the smooth glaze of the cake, mine doesn't turned out as smooth as I've wished though.

April said...

Your cake looks great! I love the sound of raspberry and lime. I may have to try those flavors. Time ran out for me, so I am plannin on making this cake over the weekend. And, I love the new look of your blog!

Mary said...

Your cake looks beautiful! The raspberry and lime flavor combo sounds great!

Laurie said...

Raspberry and lime are wonderful flavors! Your cake and presentation are beautiful!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Excellent! Your cake looks perfect!

Marc @ NoRecipes said...

Oooo raspberry and lime sounds delicious.

Lunch Buckets said...

It looks really pretty - if I was going to do it again, and I'm not, I would bake the layers separately too.

Hannah said...

Just gorgeous! The colorful layers of buttercream are really nice, and it sounds like the flavors were delicious.

Nan said...

Hey, I'm not judging you for using juice from frozen raspberries, I'm impressed with the idea! Beautiful cake, and good job this month :)

Shari said...

Raspberry and lime sound great!
Shari@Whisk: a food blog

Rebecca said...

Your layers look so perfect! This one was way sweet, but raspberry and lime still sounds like an awesome combination.

Brownie said...

I'm not a white chocolate fan either, way too sweet for me, but your cake looks amazing! I love your flavor combo! I skipped the white chocolate in the glaze on mine and used blood orange juice instead and that definitely helped with the sweetness issue. Look forward to seeing your coffee and chocolate version!

April said...

You have been tagged!

Colette said...

It's so pretty!! Pink's my absolute favorite color, so your cake looks just perfect! I love raspberry flavor, but I've never had a lyme flavored dessert. Sounds like it would be delicious!