I have to admit, I was a little hesitant about completing this month’s Daring Baker’s Challenge. Well, maybe intimidated is more accurate! I mean, could I possibly pull off such a complicated sounding recipe such as this Opera Cake? I had never even heard of such a dessert until a little less than a month ago when our lovely hosts Ivonne, Lis, Fran and Shea announced that this would be our challenge for May. I initially read the recipe over a couple times and each time thought, 'this sounds too hard!’ I didn't pick up the the recipe again until a few days before the long Memorial Holiday weekend and this time, after a few more reads, I actually felt excited about attempting this challenge. This is gonna sound corny but as I was reading the recipe for the third and fourth time I began to think about what being a Daring Baker means and why I joined DB in the first place. I knew one reason I joined was to stretch and challenge myself in the baking arena; another was to learn more from others who shared a passion for baking; and most of all, I joined the DB'ers to have fun! And was this Opera Cake FUN to make! Yes, it did entail many steps, and YES, I did have some frustrating moments especially when the butter cream which turned out so lovely on Saturday night, did not look so hot on Sunday morning. Still though, this recipe allowed me to be a little more creative by choosing the flavorings which was an orange and almond theme. I chose to add some Mandarin oranges in between the layers of the jaconde, added Grand Marnier to the white chocolate ganache, almond extract was used in the syrup, and I topped the finished cake with almond slices and more oranges. Oh my gosh, this cake was delicious! The Opera Cake made its "debut" at a family get together this past Sunday and was a huge hit! The flavors worked well together and despite all the butter, cream and chocolate, there was still a lovely lightness to the cake. Are you up for the Opera Cake challenge? If so, you can find the full
recipe on Ivonne's site if you click here. I'll see you at the Opera!