28 May 2008

Daring Bakers: Opéra

When I was in Secondary School, there was a somewhat decadent European coffee shop a few blocks from school where we'd sometimes hang out. Lovely cream-filled cakes, the best coffee, good hot chocolate. It was there I had my first slice of Opéra.

It seemed a very grown-up dessert--a departure from the cakes I was used to--homemade slabs or store-bought sandwich cakes. This was different: layers of joconde--not quite cake, not quite biscuit sandwiching layers of rich, sweetened cream, all in white chocolate couvertature (which I think may have had something fruity in the mix, but I could be confusing it with another of their desserts).

When
Fran, Ivonne, Lis, & Shea announced this month's Daring Baker challenge was the Opéra, I was immediately taken back to being 17 years old, in the café's dining room--my mind's eye has it with reddish carpeting, creamy yellow walls, and heavy, heavy dark wood furniture complete with teenaged aesthetes, Symphony patrons who never really figured out that the café was just that much too far from the hall and self-proclaimed philosphes.

I decided to make a round cake, not a rectangular one as in the instructions. I didn't take care in my calculations and wound up with not enough batter for proper-heighted jocondes, so I had very thin slabs, which I brushed with a honey-vanilla syrup. Oh well...I guess to keep everything in proportion, I just had to use less butter cream--that's not a problem. I decided to try a two-toned glaze and marbled melted white merkens with lilac ones--the lilac melted a little darker than I'd hoped so I lightened it a touch with some of the white. It's the first time I'd tried marbelling and I thought I did rather well.






Our fearless hostesses' instructions were straightforward enough and allowed some variances--the big rule, or so I read it, was not to make it too dark. It's Spring up here, so keep the colours and flavours somewhat light.

In other words: less Wagnerian and more Gilbert and Sullivan..ian.

Hmmmm…

Three Little Cakes (to the tune of "Three Little Maids" from The Mikado)
With apologies so W.S. Gilbert, Arthur Sullivan and my friend Ori.

Dedicated to Barbara of Winos and Foodies: foodblogger, fellow DBer, and founder of A Taste of Yellow.

Three little joconde cakes are we
Part of a Clichy cake can be
Filled to the brim with butter cream
Three little cakes now cooled

Everything is a sweetened fun
Nobody wants, for we all get some
Here’s a gateau that's worth the crumb
Three little cakes now cooled

Three little cakes all light and airy,
Brushed with a syrup? Yes! We swear-y
Soaked with sweetness very dare-y
Three little cakes now cooled
Three little cakes now cooled

One little cake is a treat, Yum-Yum
Two little cakes in assemblance come
Three little cakes is the total sum
Three little cakes now cooled
Three little cakes now cooled

`Tween two little cakes a sweetened cream
Ganache or mousse on top, it seems
Cover’d in choc’late glaze all smooth and clean
Three little cakes now cooled
Three little cakes now cooled

Three joconde cakes all light and airy
Swathed with butter cream? Yes! We swear-y
Made by Bakers oh so Dare-y
Three little cakes now cooled
Three little cakes now cooled

To read what the other DBs did with this challenge, take a meander through our
blogroll.


cheers!

jasmine

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47 comments:

Gretchen Noelle said...

I thought and thought about doing a round cake. Yours looks great. And wow! the marble topping is so very impressive!!

glamah16 said...

I love your marbeling. Such beautiful colors. And your operetta was cute! Well done.

Dolores said...

Wow... your marbled cake is stunning. Score one for Gilbert & Sullivan-ian!

Bron said...

I shall be singing "three little cakes now cooled" for the rest of the evening now...hehe classic, well done!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

What fun Jasmine! Love the lavender!
Beautiful cake and opera!

Baking Soda said...

Oh the marbling! The colours! Swoon! You did great girl!

Dharm said...

Haha! Your mini operetta is so cute! and your cake itself is lovely! There's nothing quite as special as a cake that takes you down memory lane... Well Done!

Barbara said...

The Daring Bakers are so sweet to honour me this way. Thank you so much Jasmine. I love the cake.

Passionate baker...& beyond said...

Loved your pretty marbling & your poetic dedication to Barbara! The Opera rocks & I love the bagful of meories that came with it...cheers!!

joanne at frutto della passione said...

The cake looks wonderful and I loved the operetta!

Laura Rebecca said...

Your cake is so pretty! I love that you took on the challenge of making it round AND marbled the top.

K & S said...

bravo!!

Dianne said...

Very G&S! It looks fabulous! :)

Y said...

Great idea, with the marbling. And the accompanying song :D

Dana McCauley said...

Nice work! I like how you kept yours so traditional looking but still avoided it looking fussy and manufactured.

Lou @ The Higher Nest said...

Oh my! The color and marbling is to die for. You really did an amazing job.

creampuff said...

I would say that you have hit every note perfectly!

Lovely ... I would have expected nothing less!

Kim said...

Beautiful cake to go with a splendid Opera, well done. Love the round shape so pretty.

pixie said...

the marbling on top is very beautiful! amazing!

breadchick said...

Now I'm going to be singing "three little cakes" and "I'm the very model of modern marbled jocandes" all day!!

What a lovely cake you have.

Sarah said...

Love the marbling and the song! Nice job!

Christine said...

Your marbled cake is beautiful! Love the round cake next time that is what I will do!

Jenny said...

Such a vibrant lilac color, and great marbling. Looks a bit like my front yard trees, the two lilac bushes side by side.

Andrea said...

I would you did VERY well with the marbeling. Very daring!! And that Gilbert & Sullivan-esque poem reminds me of my community theatre days. Love your post and your cake!

francijn said...

I definitely like your marbled glaze!

Speedbump Kitchen said...

You are one funny bird! I love the marble! I love the G & S. Congratulations!

giz said...

You clearly have a calling in the Opera, if not as a singer at least as a writer/composer. Love that marbling - another skill I have yet to master. So nice to meet this whole group of very interesting and likeable people.

Lisa said...

A tempting as your photos are, your description of this cake especially encourages me to seek out this delight.

Engineer Baker said...

I love the color and patterning on top! What a wonderful way to reminisce.

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

Not only is that glaze absolutely gorgeous, but now I have "Three Little Maids" running through my head -- and I'm a big G&S fan, so this is not a bad thing!

Helen said...

I had to google the music while reading this :)
I love your cake and your write-up!
The cake turned out perfect!
P.S: thank you for your email last week...I am behind in responding, obviously and I am sorry about that.

linda said...

Love your marbleling action, your cake look very pretty!

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

Now THAT is a stunning cake!

Madam Chow said...

Purple is one of my favorite colors. Lovely cake - it reminds me of those Venetian papers with all the swirls!

Deborah said...

I love the marbling! It's just gorgeous!

Meeta said...

Jasmine, I love the look of this cake. the marbling effect is spectacular.

Sheltie Girl said...

You did a beautiful job on your cake. I love the swirled glaze, it makes the cake look extremely yummy!

Natalie @ Gluten A Go Go

Morven said...

You've given me an "ear worm" now with your three little... ditty :-)
The marbled decoration is gorgeous. It look like the inside paper of a posh hardback novel.

Bellini Valli said...

The marbling is an inspired touch Jasmine. I also love the twist on the song. You have been very busy:D

Shari said...

Great poem! Love the lilac marbling on top!
Shari@Whisk: a food blog

Clumbsy Cookie said...

Oh wow! Love your marbling effect, the color is so eye-catching!

Barbara said...

Your cake looks like Spring with the beautiful lilac marbling. Great job.

Lis said...

I LOVE the marbeling effect, sweets! And I also like the non-traditional round version.. so pretty!

Beautiful job, my love!

xoxo

Claire said...

Cute song! I love the swirly purple...great!

Rebecca said...

Marbled white chocolate and lilac–looks gorgeous!

madcapcupcake said...

Your Opera Cake is a thing of beauty - I love that it is done in the round, and the top is exquisite.

jasmine said...

Thanks all!

j