Daring Bakers

May 28, 2008

This was my first Daring Bakers challenge – unfortunately I’m a little late posting, due to a rather unwieldy assignment worth 40% that I needed to finish – it just kept growing! However, now that’s out of the way I can share with you the details of… Opera Cake!

I decided to make this for Mother’s Day, so it was a couple of weeks ago that I took over the kitchen to make the various layers.

Firstly, a little about the group. Daring Bakers is a group of bloggers who attempt a challenging recipe each month, and then blog about their experiences. There are over 1000 members (you can view the blogroll here). Each month a member (or members) host a challenge, and although you have the whole month to make the recipe it has to be revealed on a set date towards the end of the month.

This month’s recipe is Opera Cake, which is a layered cake made from Jaconde (a type of sponge), mousse, buttercream, and glaze. It’s traditionally made with predominently chocolate and coffee flavours, but the Daring Bakers challenge was to make a light-coloured cake in honour of Barbara, who hosts the LIVEstrong food event, dedicated to those battling cancer. The Opera Cake challenge was posted by Fran of Apples Peaches Pumpkin Pie, and Shea of Whiskful, along with Lis and Ivonne, who administrate the whole thing.

I enjoyed making the cake, although it was somewhat time-consuming. The jaconde is made with almond meal, and the mousse and glaze with white chocolate, so I decided to complement those flavours with raspberry buttercream.

It was extremely rich, and very tasty – although the slices weren’t too big you didn’t feel like a second piece! (good for the waistline, right?) None of the components were particularly difficult; I was a little worried about the buttercream, as I don’t yet have a candy themometer, but guesswork served me well. Also, I’d recommend doubling the buttercream recipe, as I felt the layers were a bit thin (and it is very tasty!) – and I made it the night before, and tried to beat it back into shape, but it was a little lumpy still – the texture was perfect when I made it, so next time I’ll make it when I want it.

I’d like to try this again, but with milk and/or dark chocolate; I prefer the flavours, and think the richer chocolate might balance the sweetness a little. Also, aesthetically I like contrast – and you can’t even tell where the white chocolate mousse becomes a white chocolate glaze here. 😉 Still very tasty, though – thanks, Daring Bakers!

The recipe can be found here, if you’re interested, and be sure to check out the blogroll!



  1. This looks really cute :). I love the little musical note on top. The pink also works nice with the yellow buttercream :).

  2. Mmmm – white chocolate and raspberry butter cream…heavenly. Your cake looks so pretty and I love the note on top. Welcome to the Daring Bakers!

  3. Mmmmmh, the pictures made me salivate! Nom nom nom. Any leftovers? 😉

  4. Thanks Sophie – I liked the idea of a little pink so it wasn’t all shades of yellow – I like colour! 🙂

    Thanks Elle, it did taste pretty good too! 😉

    Sorry Oakley, all gone – maybe I’ll make another version soon… I have some Callebaut waiting for a purpose!

  5. Great job! I was nervous about the buttercream too. I just used a regular cooking thermometer for mine.

  6. This was a daring baking challenge! Love your treble clef!
    Shari@Whisk: a food blog

  7. It looks great, congratulations on your first challenge!

  8. Ithink it’d be fun to do the classic cake with peanut butter mousse. Your cake looks great.

  9. What a challenge! Lovely results.

  10. Wow, so many comments! Thanks for all the kind words – your cakes are all amazing too! Is it great the way this sort of event motivates us to do things we didn’t think we had in us? 😉

  11. Lovely Opera cake! I like the blonde on blonde finish and the raspberry buttercream sounds yummy. Probably feels good to get that assignment behind you too 🙂

  12. Thanks Gabi! It certainly did taste good… 😉

  13. Great job on your first daring baker challenge, and welcome to the madness!

  14. Thanks Dolores! Your lavender and honey combination sounds very tasty – I wish I’d thought of lavender myself!

  15. Very nice looking opera cake. I bet it tastes delicious too! Congrats on your first DB challenge, hope there’s more to come 🙂

  16. Thanks Joanna! I’m enjoying all the comment love from you fellow Daring Bakers! 🙂

  17. Your cake looks great! Great job on your first challenge.

  18. Thanks Debyi! 🙂

  19. This sounds scrumptious and looks divine!

  20. Thanks Karyn – it was quite scrummy; I’m looking for an excuse to make it again but there are so many steps I need a special occasion… 🙂

  21. Undeniably believe that which you stated. Your favorite reason appeared to be on the net the simplest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I definitely get annoyed while people think about worries that they plainly do not know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top and also defined out the whole thing without having side-effects , people can take a signal. Will probably be back to get more. Thanks

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