Special thanks to Fran of Apples Peaches Pumpkin Pie and Shea of Whiskful for this challenge!
…or in layman’s terms, “Opera Cake.” Or, in hubby’s and my terms, “super yummy cake.” I was petrified of doing this cake…really petrified. The rules are intense and long, very explicit detail of the do’s and don’ts of the cake…I was sure I wouldn’t survive! Once I realized that the rules were really options that could be omitted at will, I breathed a sigh of relief, and took the easy way out–I omitted all the options. :D I’m feeling terribly burned out from trying to hard to healthify so many other things for hubby’s new diet, to add a cake in the mix seemed daunting, but I wanted the challenge. So, I chose an Orange-Almond themed cake, based on the fact that my favorite cookies in the whole world are Orange-Almond-Oatmeal, but hubby doesn’t like them, so I don’t make them too often.
Let’s remember…I’m a whiz at making things taste good, but as for presentation? I’m still in Kindergarten; probably the kid in the back of the room eating paste, instead of using it. I am totally OCD about the flavor, but as for decoration, I don’t really bother. Not very OCD of me, huh? I’ll have to work on that.
Getting back to L’Opéra, it was so easy! Like all good things, it took time, but absolutely worth it. Definitely different, but truly one of the best cakes I’ve had. And, as you’ll see below, I totally “healthified” it, due to the health changes we’ve had to make in the house.
Small-Batch Easy-Peasy L’Opéra
- one egg white
- 5 grams sugar
- 38 grams almond meal (or any ground nut of choice)
- 38 grams confectioners sugar
- one large egg (I used three tablespoons Better’n Eggs + 1 teaspoon extra-light olive oil)
- 12 grams all-purpose unbleached flour
- 8 grams butter (I used 6 grams extra-light olive oil + 2 grams water)
- Line jelly roll sheet with buttered parchment paper (I used PAM Butter Spray).
- Beat egg white to soft peaks; add 5 grams sugar and beat until stiff peaks have formed.
- Beat almond meal, confectioners sugar, and egg until light and fluffy. Add flour and gently mix in. Fold in egg white mixture. Add and gently mix in melted butter.
- Pour batter onto prepared cake pan and spread evenly. Bake cake layer until golden brown, and springy to the touch (about seven minutes).
- Use knife to gently separate cake form edges of pan, then turn over to cooling rack and peel off parchment paper. Allow to cool to room temperature.
- 21 grams water
- 11 grams sugar
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- Stir all ingredients together in small saucepan. Bring to rolling boil, then set-aside to cool to room temperature.
- Two ounces butter, room temperature
- pinch of salt
- Four ounces confectioner’s sugar
- Half-teaspoon orange oil
- Beat butter and salt until well-blended and light in color. Add orange oil and mix until well-blended. Add sugar and fold into butter mixture until fully dissolved. Set-aside.
Assembling the Opéra Cake
- Cut cooled cake into two large squares, with excess rectangular pieces (these can be assembled in additional layers to form a square).
- Place first square to baking sheet and moisten gently with flavored sugar syrup. Spread 1/3 buttercream atop layer.
- Repeat with remaining layers, sugar syrup and buttercream.
- Upon completion of assembled layers, place in fridge (cake tastes best cold).
- Enjoy! Sharing Optional.™
Thats so cool. I love the mini cake.
I’m there with you – decoration, not so much. Well really, take a look at mine, I didn’t even bother cutting off the edges. Why waste perfectly good cake? I love the step-by-step photos!
I really liked your healthier version of this cake and super yummy seems to describe it perfectly.
Well your cake most certainly did NOT taste like the paste you may have eaten as a child! Love your flavors–and all the photos are terrific!
Your cake looks wonderful, congratulations on a job well done.
Great job! I love your step by step photos!
I’ve been meaning to do an opera cake too, but I want to do the whole shebang – transfer pattern on the joconde, the whole works. Which explains why I’ve yet to do it…I should probably follow your example and just make one to EAT not to look at.
Wow, great step-by-step instructions! Orange and almond sound delicious together.
Shari@Whisk: a food blog
Great job! Thanks for the step by step photos!
Great instructions! You did a great job with the photo journal.
I may try your recipe. I don’t think I’d be as overwhelmed. Thanks for the instructions!
What a gread photo essay! A relief for sleepy eyes who have read 100 opera cake recipes in 2 days. Very clever to make it healthier and smaller. Well done.
Yummy, indeed! Love the step by step pics! Great job! :)
Superyummy indeed…..lovely presentation
You can’t go wrong with oranges and almonds, you did good!
I’m with you on the flavour. That’s were I concentrate too. When something looks particularly nasty, I console myself by saying “plastic fruit looks perfect but no one eats it!” ;-)
I like your step by step pictures and your flavours. You did a great job.
Ulrike from Küchenlatein
Great job with the opera challenge! I LOVED the cake piece of this, and I’m glad to see it’s not difficult to make a little healthier. I see your version in my future… stacked with summer peaches and drizzled in honey…
I love your blow by blow photos. Here’s to a challenge well done.
Oh, YUM. I am loving those photos.
looks SO good!
btw, i tagged you for a meme—if you have time for such things! http://www.thecleanplateclub.net
great job! love your mini opera cake!
(ps you forgot to acknowledge the other hosts of this month’s event – lis and ivonne, our DB founders!)
Really impressive step by step photos. I did the mini thing too (but I made 3 of them).
Improving presentation is my current goal.
Kudo’s for taking the challenge and it looks like you did an outstanding job!
Your cake may not be fancy, but it sure does look yummy! Great job. Orange almond sounds really good too.