A month ago I would never have been able to tell you anything about an Opera cake other than that it sounded fancy. Well, this month’s DB challenge was just that. An incredibly rich and sweet French gateau. I completed the challenge back on Mother’s day weekend as a dessert for dinner. My mom had asked for a lemon flavoured dessert so I thought it would be a nice combo with the almond flavour of the joconde (almond cake layer). In theory I thought this would work well, but somehow the sweetness of the buttercream was just too overpowering. The family enjoyed the cake, but when it came to the leftovers I think most begged out :(.
A traditional Opera cake to my understanding has the light jaconde coupled with a dark chocolate ganache. One of the requirements for the challenge, (in keeping with spring) was to keep the colours on the cake to the pastels. I think I prefer the contrast of the dark and the light. On my cake, everything just kind of melts together. I had the light yellow from the lemon buttercream icing, and I flavoured the ganache was a berry liqour, and topped the glaze with a strawberry (which my mom stuffed with sweet and tart cream cheese something…mmm).
Over all I thought the combination of white chocolate, with the richness and sweetness of the buttercream, was just too much.
I did however enjoy making the jaconde. I had never actually made a jelly roll cake before, so that was interesting, and I enjoyed grinding down the almonds into an “almond meal” was kind of fun. I think it would work really nice as a base for a somewhat nuttier version of strawberry shortcake.