May 28, 2008

what's opera, doc?


when i think of opera, i think of bugs bunny in drag and elmer fudd in a magic golden helmet with horns. for as long as i can remember, "what's opera, doc?" (circa 1957) was always one of my favourite cartoons. another favourite of mine is "the rabbit of seville".

i love chuck jones. there's more bugs opera here. check out this creepy stop motion jim henson version of "carmen" from sesame street. i saw this as a little girl and to this day i cannot hear the main theme without seeing that creepy orange in my mind. but you didn't come here for an animation history lesson...
no, luckily this month's daring baker challenge i didn't have to recreate a cartoon opera, but make an opera cake.i had never heard of an opera cake before and was quite frightened! but, after reading the recipe i noticed that the cake itself was very much like my dad's traditional german black forest cake i made for his last 2 birthdays. the main difference was the almond meal in place of cocoa. it baked very fast, in only 7 minutes (man, i love my new oven), and had a very nice crumb to it. the simple syrup i infused with strawberry liqueur. after it cooled i put it into a measuring cup so i could make sure that each jaconde layer had equal parts of the syrup.i wanted to keep the flavours simple, and not over-power the white chocolate, and we were required to keep the colours "light". i love white chocolate. i also love strawberries. on my second trip to the liquor store looking for a strawberry liqueur, i had the tough decicion between a strawberry liqueur or a tequila-strawberry cream liquer. i didn't have any limes at home, so marie brizard it was. i macerated some sliced strawberries in sugar overnight and pureed them with the juice of one lemon the next morning. after straining the puree, i added it to the buttercream. i had a bit of trouble really understanding the recipe for the buttercream (i've never made an italian buttercream before), and, since it was allowed, i used the buttercream from the perfect party cake challenge. mmmmm!
the assembly was very straight forward and simple- once i found a ruler long enough to measure where to cut! i did decide to do the "mousse" layer: callebeut white chocolate and whipped cream. i added a touch of pink gel paste food colouring to the glaze layer to make it pink, and i sprinkled pretty pastel dragees.
*the only thing that i didn't really like was the ganache-type glaze on top. now, i don't know if it was because the cake was just out of the fridge, or because of the amount of white chocolate in it, but it was a bit gummy and smushed the mousse layer when we dove into it.
i'm not sure i'll make this again, even though it was very fun to make. who knows... maybe i'll try it in chocolate and mint! a big thank you to this month's hosts, ivonne and lis, and fran and shea for a great challenge, and don't forget to check out the other daring bakers! the recipe is quite long so if you're interested, it can be found on one of the hosts' sites.

14 comments:

Marye said...

I agree with you about the glaze. Mine smooshed a little int he cutting as well.
Yours is so pretty! Nicely done.
blessings,
marye
bakingdelights.com

Lou @ The Higher Nest said...

The pink is darling...I wish I had used a pretty color like that, too!

Mary said...

Your cake is so pretty! I love the sprinkles!

Francijn Brouwer said...

Very nice, your colors and decoration! Congratulations!

Francijn Brouwer said...

Very nice, your colors and decoration! Congratulations!

Christine said...

Your layers look so even! Great job your cake is beautiful!

takethecannoli said...

So pretty with the pink glaze! Wonderful work!

Andrea said...

Your cake looks so pretty in pink! Nicely done!

Sheltie Girl said...

What a lovely version of the Opera Cake. I love the sprinkles and pink glaze...very pretty.

Natalie @ Gluten a Go Go

Barbara said...

Your cake turned out lovely! I really like the pastel decorations.

Lisa Thibault said...

Your cake is so pretty - I love the sprinkles on top. Chocolate and mint sounds like a good idea - maybe I'll try that if I ever dare make this again...

Shari said...

I love the sprinkles. Looks whimsical!
Shari@Whisk: a food blog

Claire said...

Attack of some sweet and sticky fingers!!! Your cake is just "pretty"...I love it.

Rebecca of "Ezra Pound Cake" said...

Looks lovely! I love the closeup with the sprinkles.

Rebecca
http://www.ezrapoundcake.com