Daring Bakers - Challenge ONE!

The challenge for month of May is ... *drum roll* ... Opéra Cake!!

For ya'll who don't know, I joined an online baking community called The Daring Bakers and every month we are set a challenge to bake something, and this was my first challenge! I was meant to reveal it on the 28th but I'M SO LAME AND EXAMS SUCK AND LIFE SUCKS so I forgot, and did it 2 days later.

Sorry guys!!

Anyway, traditionally the Opéra is a beautiful cake made of layers of almond sponge (a.k.a. joconde), filled with coffee buttercream and covered with a dark chocolate glaze and/or ganache. However, for a lovely little twist (and lots of PAIN) this month's theme was White Opera, so no dark ingredients!! Vanilla buttercream and white chocolate only!!

Now, I will slowly guide you through this amazing journey to create magical cake, even though I'm supposed to be studying for my first semester finals. Joy!

First up, ingredients!

Yolks! (I'm quite tired, so don't expect much talking :P)

Egg whites! At soft-peak level!

Egg-whites! With sugar, at stiff-peak level!

Almonds! I blanched myself!

Almond meal!

Fluffy ingredients! Pre-folding/mixing!

Ingredients! Folded/mixed!

Joconde! Being BAKED in my shitty oven!

Then in between that lots of crap happened I can't be bothered talking about (SORRY I'm so damn tired! Uni is stress!) like I made buttercream (super new cool type with sugar syrup and EVERYTHING) and ganache (I hate white chocolate. Bleh.) and mixed them all together, and tasty free! Amen!

This was the first end result:

A "meh" result. I didn't really put much effort into decorating it, and the layers were SO bad. It tasted nice though. I made a second attempt where I made it nicer, and I used the technique of piping lines of buttercream then smoothing with a palette knife for a more even result, and it turned out heaps prettier but I took photos which somehow got deleted and hence I'm angry, but too tired to care, so you'll just have to enjoy this.

Ah well. Here's to better future DB challenges!


Augustina 30 May 2008 at 6:47 am  

I like the step by step photos of your cake baking process and the final product looks lovely! Great job!

Christina 30 May 2008 at 7:36 am  

Sorry about the other pictures, but I'll take your word for it that looked better. Your first try didn't deter from the taste, though! And, gosh, epic props for making this twice!

Good luck with studying. If you really need a break, just go outside for at least 5 minutes. It doesn't matter what the weather, but it usually helps to clear my mind when I'm stressed.

Christina ~ She Runs, She Eats

Miss Ifi 30 May 2008 at 1:16 pm  

That is so sad that your pictures got deleted!!!
Still.. you are a brave Daring Baker to do a challenge while you are also in exams!!
Congratulations your cake looks really nice!!! I hope you enjoy being part of this amazing group!

dailydelicious 30 May 2008 at 10:41 pm  

Very good indeed, and I must say that I'm late all the time, even I don't have anything to do. I just forget about it.

Aparna 31 May 2008 at 1:48 am  

After seeing your pictures at the forum, I was wondering where your post was.
I'm sorry your pictures got deleted, but I saw them and your cake looked good.
Sometimes things get a little overwhelming but that's okay.

Mcwhisky 31 May 2008 at 11:43 am  

Congrats on your first DB challenge! Pretty good looking opera cake you have made. The glaze is so smooth and neat, unlike mine. Love the glaze and how the whole white cake turned out! ;)

Shari 1 June 2008 at 2:56 am  

Good for you to squeeze in an opera cake in-between exams! You are daring!
Shari@Whisk: a food blog

Barbara 1 June 2008 at 12:04 pm  

Congrats on your first challenge, especially squeezing it in with exams.

Rebecca 2 June 2008 at 8:50 am  

Sometimes, you just need things to be DONE. On to the next challenge!

Brownie 2 June 2008 at 11:14 am  

Pretty! Your glaze looks perfect!

Ahmad 3 June 2008 at 1:19 am  

Augustina: Thanks!! I was going to do it a bit more thoroughly but I couldn't be bothered. LUL.

Christina: I know I made it twice and almost died from the effort. Bleh. And walking does take the stress away. Just not walking to classes. :P

Miss Ifi: Thanks! I hope I enjoy it a lot too :)

DailyDelicious: LOL! But I hate being late! OCD OCD :D

Aparna: Heh true. Baking is usually what I do to relax. It doesn't really work though when you have to make million layered opera cake and your oven sucks LOL.

McWhisky: Indeed! My cake's only redeeming factor is the smooth glaze. Win!

Shari: Aren't we all? ;D

Barbara: Thanks!


Brownie: Thanks! I hope yours turned out nice too :)

silverrock 3 June 2008 at 4:45 pm  

Congrats on becoming a new DBer. Your cake looks to be a success from where I'm standing. Hopefully June's challenge works out better for you!

Claire 4 June 2008 at 1:38 pm  

Glad you finished exams and got to do the challenge. You did a great job!

Fran Z 7 June 2008 at 12:33 pm  

your opera turned out lovely!the buttercream was my favorite part.

Fran Z 7 June 2008 at 12:34 pm  

Oh yes - and WELCOME to DB!