As of today's post, I guess I am officially a DARING BAKER, having taken on this month's challenge of the Opera Cake. And a challenge it was! As I've said before, I consider myself a rustic baker and an Opera Cake would not fall into the category of rustic baked goods. There are many steps in making this cake -- jocande layers, sugar syrup, buttercream, mousse and glaze, but most of these components can be made several days ahead of assembly. We were instructed to keep this Opera Cake "light in color", using white chocolate instead of the traditional darker chocolate. But everything else was basically up to us.
My version was decorated with sugared violets from Laduree and Fachon in Paris. Is there anything I would do differently if I were to make this cake again? Yes... absolutely. I would not color the buttercream that was spread between the jocande layers. I feel the end result was too busy. Because of the size, I had several seatings of friends over a couple of days to eat l' Opera Cake. The first serving had been setting at room temperature the recommended amount of time, but this is Minnesota. It was still a little too cold and I wasn't at all thrilled with it. The second time, however, the cake was at room temp much longer and I thought it was very, very good. It was extremely rich, but that's o.k. You don't eat an Opera Cake every day.