Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Daring Bakers - Opera Cake


Cake Love.
=)

What a wonderful month this was - apart from the bliss of being in Japan, this has been my favorite Daring Baker`s challenge so far!  It was hosted by our wonderful co-founders, Lis and Ivonne, as well as Fran of Apples Peaches Pumpkin Pie and Shea of Whiskful, and they chose to have us make Opera Cake!  This is a cake that is traditionally made with chocolate and coffee, but the hosts specified that we keep the cakes light in color and flavor.  Apart from that, the flavors and decorations and all that were up to us!  And oh... what that led to... a ton of amazing and very unique cakes!  

I was so excited to make this that I couldn`t decide on what flavors to use, so I kind of just gave in to my indecisiveness and made two.  And what a delicious indecision it was...


I made the first cake with a pistachio jaconde, a vanilla and lemon buttercream, a strawberry lemon syrup, a strawberry glaze, fresh strawberries in the layers, and chopped pistachios on top.   


The syrup for the buttercream looked so cool when it was boiling that I had to take a picture...


I had been wanting to try pistachios and strawberries together for a long time, and thought this was a perfect opportunity because of the nut based cake and... strawberry season!  Also, I wanted to use a fruit glaze instead of white chocolate because my mom is one of those white chocolate haters, and I was actually at home and baking for my parents when I made this.  


But of course, I love white chocolate, and of course, there was another flavor combination that I have been wanting to try forever that works so perfectly with this cake.  Yes, it's green tea and white chocolate...  I think a ton of other people have done this, too... as well they should, because it is seriously amazing.  And what can I say, I made this the day before I left for Japan, so it was probably the Japan excitement that made me do it.  (mmm Japan excitement is a glorious thing!)


I did an almond and green tea jaconde, a white chocolate and green tea buttercream, a vanilla and jasmine syrup, and the white chocolate mousse and glaze. I actually finished this cake 2 minutes before bolting out of the door to catch my flight to Japan, so I was only able to taste one bite of it, but it was an amazing bite! The green tea went perfectly with the white chocolate, and the jasmine gave the whole thing a wonderful flowery essence underneath the big flavors.


mmmm green tea buttercream.... amazing.  

I said that this was my favorite Daring Baker's challenge to date, and that's because I feel like I have accomplished so much with it!  I made both cakes without any problems, they tasted amazing, and I think they are pretty much the most aesthetically pleasing things to ever come out of my kitchen (I'm always so bad at making stuff pretty...).   

Plus, I had never even heard of an opera cake before this challenge, so it opened my eyes to a piece of pastry I had never before known, and I always love it when that happens!  It's happening every day I'm here in Japan, by the way. =)

So thank you, wonderful hosts, for another fantastic Daring Baker's challenge!  I loved it, and I look forward to seeing everyone's cakes!

If you want to try your hand at opera cake, see here for the recipe!

29 comments:

steph- whisk/spoon said...

wow--they look fantastic! i'd love to try the green tea version!

Dolores said...

I seriously considered the green tea and white chocolate combination myself... based on your recommendation I'm going to have to try it soon. Great job!

Megan said...

I'm impressed you made two cakes. I should of tried another because I wasn't thrilled with my flavor choice. Both of yours sound wonderful!

Cakelaw said...

Wow, both cakes look great. I particularly love the strawberry one, which is visually stunning. Well done!

maybelles parents said...

gorgeous! and we did green tea and almond for one and mango for another. i definitely prefered the green tea.

~Amber~ said...

Beauitful looking cakes! Excellent job.

Rachel said...

Wow two cake..good job on both of them.

Aparna said...

Not one, but two Operas and both so beautiful. I've got to hand it to you.
I'll be posting my cake in a couple of hours.

Tanya said...

Those look great! I'm impressed that you were able to make two cakes. I love the idea of making a pistachio joconde.

sher said...

I loved looking at your pictures! And you made two cakes-both equally tempting. I can't get over how gorgeous they both are.

Jade Is Green! said...

Oh how I envy how easy it must have been for you to find matcha in Japan haha. Your cakes sound and look great! So glad to find a fellow power metal lover too! Those albums I promise will not disappoint.

Jenny said...

Wow two cakes! They look great.

sarahmarie said...

beautiful job! the strawberries add so much to the cake visually. The green tea with Jasmine sounds...yummo!

Bumblebutton said...

Two? And a big trip to boot! Wow, you and your cakes are really something!

Christine said...

Looks fantastic! Yum!

Vera said...

Two cakes instead of one! And they both look (and I'm sure, taste too) fantastic! Great job!

francijn said...

Your strawberry-opera-cake is very beautiful in colors! Congratulations!

Astra Libris said...

WOW! Not only did you bake TWO incredible, beautiful, ingenious cakes... you baked them right before flying to a new continent! You go girl!! You rock!

marye said...

wonderful job!

HoneyB said...

Love the look! They look awesome.

Shari said...

Green tea buttercream sounds delicious! Love your shot of the pistachios!
Shari@Whisk: a food blog

Candace said...

Looks delicious... especially the strawberry one with the red glaze... very nice!

Barbara said...

Both your cakes look delicious! Great job.

Claire said...

Wonderful. The straberries ended in a perfect pattern!

Rebecca said...

Oh, I'm loving the look of that strawberry-pistachio cake! Can't believe you did two. Whoa, Baby.

Debyi said...

Your cakes look amazing! I also did matcha and white chocolate, such a good combination. I made 2 cakes by accident, I thought my jaconde didn't come out the first try, so I made another one. They were both the same flavors though. Great job! Have a great time in Japan.

coco said...

Hey!
How have you been? I've been MIA for quite a while, just getting back to some cooking. I'm so jealous of your visit to japan! I'm sure you're having a ball. Have fun! :)

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