The Opera Cake

by katerina on May 28, 2008

This month’s Daring Baker challenge was something I hadn’t even heard of before. Opera Cake. This is a serious cake to make for someone whose dessert baking is generally brownies or cookies. I liked what a marathon it was but as a disclaimer I am really more of a bread baker. In fact I think it was the pretzels that made me want to become a Daring Baker in the first place so this challenge really isn’t my style or forte. That said it wouldn’t be very Daring to not try.

I always have such troubles with these writing up these challenges because it is usually weeks after the fact that I try and remember exactly what happened. So this time I planned ahead and did a little diary which is below.

Thursday 12:30pm -1:30pm: Made buttercream. Isn’t this supposed to be easier? Its not like this is the first time I have.. Oh I see, it is real buttercream a little different then the kind I have made before.

1:30pm: Licked bowl and whisk. Stirred cream to keep it thick and let it set.

1:45pm: Don’t feel so good. Damn my lactose intolerant love of dairy. Suddenly realize that something called buttercream probably is the definition of what I should avoid.

Friday 6pm: Crap, have I really not gotten any further with this cake thing? Guests coming in 4 hours, so decide to attempt to make the cake.

6:20pm: I have two 17×11 pans and no 12.5×15.5 pans. Screw it, this is fine.

6:25pm: Whites done and the rest is whirling away, ahhh now I feel calm and totally in control.

6:26pm: Shit, forgot to add sugar to whites, whisk it in by hand.

6:35pm: All done, ready to add melted butter. Darn it the recipe calls for cooled melted butter. Put butter outside.

6:40pm: Add in butter, cakes in oven. Time for a glass of wine!

9:00pm: Made syrup. Even I could do that.

9:15pm: Assembled cake and put in fridge after some very creative re-arranging. Actually quite easy to get cake assembled and move around the large pieces.

9:45pm: Made glaze, also easy and Tasty.. hmmm…

All and all this wasn’t a hit for me or my household. I liked it but not enough to eat more then a small piece or two. I have also never been a big fan of white chocolate so I think if it was coffee or dark chocolate flavoring it would have been more to my taste. I should have adapted it more to my tastes as some of the other bakers did. Ultimately half of it went in the trash.

I have already seen several posts with fabulous pictures go by, and you should check them out to so check out the blogroll.

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

steph- whisk/spoon May 28, 2008 at 7:14 am

“diary of a DB”…i like that! i always scale these challenges way back. 2 sheet pans of cake–you’d need a family of 10 to eat that much! even if you weren’t nuts about it, i agree that it was very daring to give it go!!


Bellini Valli May 28, 2008 at 1:13 pm

I licked my beaters too:D Excellent job with the challenge!!!


maybelles parents May 28, 2008 at 1:14 pm

I think your pictures are very nice–but I would agree this wasn’t my favorite cake.


Natalie May 28, 2008 at 1:50 pm

I did not make the cake size in the original recipe because of pan limitations and I think that was a good thing. White chocolate is too sweet for me also. I tried cutting it with lemon but white chocolate is white chocolate!


Lou @ The Higher Nest May 28, 2008 at 2:36 pm

This was my first DB challenge and I can’t wait to try something savory (over sweet). The vibe over at my house was pretty much the same as yours: not much of the cake was eaten and the white chocolate…I mean, I love it, but it really overpowers the entire cake, no?


StickyGooeyCreamyChewy May 28, 2008 at 4:27 pm

Great post! Your cake looks lovely! I licked a lot of whisks, spoons and bowls in this one too!


Mary May 28, 2008 at 6:26 pm

I was licking everything I could while making this cake! Yours looks delicious!


Jen May 28, 2008 at 6:28 pm

I totally agree with your assessment of the cake- I felt the same way.


Augustina May 28, 2008 at 7:38 pm

Too bad the cake didn’t suit your taste buds but your end product still looks great!


Pam May 28, 2008 at 9:10 pm

Too bad you didn’t care that much for the cake. I can’t decide which is prettier, the plate or the cake!


Christine May 29, 2008 at 12:48 am

The diary was a great idea! The cake looks beautiful! Sorry you didn’t care for it.


Kevin May 29, 2008 at 1:58 am

Your cake looks good!


Ginny May 29, 2008 at 3:42 am

well, it looks good and i liked the diary entries…i have a similar problem when i finally get around writing my DB post…I can never think of what to write!


Katerina May 29, 2008 at 5:44 am

steph – I should’ve scaled back too.

Bellini – Thanks Bellini, things
always taste better off the beaters.

Maybelles parents – thanks!

Natalie – lemon, that would’ve been a good idea.

Lou – a savoury one will happen soon I am sure of it!

StickyGooeyCreamyChewy – thanks, I licked the bowls too of course!

Mary – thanks!

Jen – yeah it wasn’t for me, but it was a fun adventures

Augustina – it wasn’t all bad!

Pam – The plates were my great grandmothers and I just love them to death.

Christine – thanks I think I will diary again next time.

Kevin – thanks.

Ginny – it is the worst right? and then you don’t have much to say.


Dolores May 29, 2008 at 7:27 am

Funny… your cake baking diary reads a lot like you were standing in my kitchen watching me…complete with the colorful expletives and the wine. :) I procrastinated a bit longer than you did with it… but now we can BOTH say we have an Opera in our repertoire. Great job!


Deborah May 30, 2008 at 9:53 pm

I love the diary – such a great idea! It looks beautiful!


Shari May 31, 2008 at 4:56 am

Fun to see how you tackled this daring project! Great job!
Shari@Whisk: a food blog


Barbara May 31, 2008 at 3:00 pm

Great post! Like you, I am more of a bread baker so this was a bit intimidating at first. Looks like you did very well.


Rebecca June 1, 2008 at 10:01 pm

I love your diary! Lactose intolerance!!!


Claire June 4, 2008 at 2:34 am

I love that plate…it’s so pretty! Fun post with the times and all. Great job!


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