Wednesday, May 28, 2008

May Daring Bakers Challenge and My Fallen Opera Cake

I was really excited when the May Daring Bakers Challenge was revealed in the beginning of the month. It is L'Opera, the cake that I have always wanted to tackle, but have constantly putting off because of the many components it requires. Now that our hostesses Ivonne and Lis, together with co-hosts Fran and Shea have chosen it as our May challenge, it gives me the necessary nudge to make it. No excuse to sit on it anymore.

My Opera Adventure

Except, I actually did sit on it until the last minute. Even though I have gone through the possible flavor combinations of the Opera cake for no less than 10 times in my mind, I didn't get to tackle it until 2 days before the posting date. Life is so unpredictable, and May just happens to be a month full of emotional roller coaster rides.

Unlike the classical Opera, in which chocolate and coffee are the dominating flavors; Our hostesses stressed that only light colors are allowed in this challenge. The reason? We want to dedicate our individual Opera Cake to Barbara of Winos and Foodies, the force behind "A Taste of Yellow", a food blog event that unites food bloggers around the globe to rally for LiveStrong Day. "It is Lance Armstrong Foundation's one day initiative to raise awareness and fund for the cancer fight". You can read more about LiveStrong Day here

slices of opera

I settled on a french vanilla buttercream and rhurbarb mascarpone mousse combination for my L' Opera. They tasted exquisite on their own, so I have high hope that the cake would turn out a huge hit. The buttercream was on the runny side when I made it on Monday midnight, but I thought it would firm up once it's chilled. And with that optimistically naive mindset, I charged on and assembled the cake.

slices of fallen opera

As you can see, the buttercream didn't firm up, and I have a fallen Opera cake. Did I tell you that I didn't halve the recipe? The original recipe is good for 20 servings. Arghhhh...I am debating what to do with the rest of the cake. I hate to waste food, so I am risking my reputation (even though I doubt I have any)to shove the cake to OCT new colleagues.

So my first Opera Cake adventure isn't as successful as I have hoped for, but I certainly have fun putting it together. I finally tasted Pierre Herme's French Vanilla Buutercream and the Tartelette inspired rhurbarb mousse. I will certainly try making it again because I love all the components here, or perhaps I will do one with coffee and chocolate, or one with Asian inspired flavors. The flavor combinations are endless if you check out the Opera Cakes our 1000+ Daring Bakers have come up with for this month's challenge. You can check out their fascinating Opera Cakes here

29 comments:

Shilpa said...

I love the red color and writing on the cake. Simply beautiful.

Renee said...

It's a very beautiful fallen Opera Cake. I looks like it tastes delicious!!!

Patsyk said...

It may be a fallen cake, but I think it turned our quite beautifully!

Gretchen Noelle said...

I am glad you enjoyed putting this together. It does look delicious even if it didn't set up quite right.

Mehgan said...

Don't be too hard on yourself, your cake looks great! I would love a slice right now, in fact...

Elle said...

Wonderful flavors, even if the cake wouldn't hold still for it's photo shoot...flighty opera cake...you know those divas! Never tried the Pierre Herme buttercream, but I'm sure it was delish. The rhubarb mousse is a stunning idea and the writing is lovely, too. A good challenge all in all, except for that diva.

Happy cook said...

You are courageous enough to try it.
I love what you DB girls come up with everymonth.

Anne said...

It' beautiful!...the melting part makes it more appealing!

Patricia Scarpin said...

Mandy, I think you did an amazing job. Don't be sad! The cakes look super yummy - I'd love to have a slice of it right now!

Christine said...

I think that it is a beautiful cake! Looks delish!

Cookie baker Lynn said...

I love the flavors you chose. I hope you took it to your colleagues because I'm sure it was delicious. The writing on top is lovely, too.

Venus ~ Vi said...

Hi Mandy~

I sit on it until the very last minute too because I was struggling between take on or pass on the challenge ;)

mmmm..rhurbarb mascarpone mousse sounds delicious. I love the spring decoration too!!

farida said...

No worries, we are in the same boat:) I had the same trouble with my cake - the butterceam was not firm enough, the cake was sort of messy, and I spent a lot of time on it. Those who tried the cake said the taste was delicious, but I would still argue and say any other cake with the amount of ingredients used in this cake and the time and effort spent on making it, would taste better. I don't know, I am just not in love with this cake, at least with this recipe. Yours looks delicious, although not in perfect shape:) I like your decoration a lot:) Cute!

Tartelette said...

So your Opera had a scratchy chorus...no big deal because I *know* it tasted fabulous with such brilliant favors. I think you are ready for an encore!

Clumbsy Cookie said...

I'm sure it tasted great! That vanilla showing in the buttercream is way stronger than any falling thing!

Stardust said...

It may have fallen, but I applaud you for your creativity and effort.

Besides, it's really beautifully fallen, must be delicious too. I'm sure you'll do better next time!

RecipeGirl said...

Oh, your poor little cake!! I'll bet it was still delicious. What a bummer for you. On to the next challenge!!

Dolores said...

I also think it's beautiful, even fallen. Perhaps especially fallen... it exposes its fragility. And I love your combination of rhubarb and mascarpone.

Mevrouw Cupcake said...

Well, I'm all about taste and that looks and sounds so good, you can slide some right over here onto my plate, thank you very much! I'd love to have the french vanilla butercream recipe if you're sharing, because it sounds divine and specks of real vanilla, always make my heart go pitter-patter!

bp said...

Mandy, I think you did a great job with this cake, as always! =)

Manggy said...

Despite everything, the flavors still sound super-heavenly (Masacarpone, vanilla? I'm seriously drooling here!) :) Joconde, buttercream, and mousse all freeze well, so maybe once you've assembled it next time you can cut up the frozen block, then it'll only take a short bit for it to thaw perfectly :)

Shari said...

The flavors sound delicious!
Shari@Whisk: a food blog

Barbara said...

Despite the falling cake, it looks delish! Great job!

Piggy said...

It still looks beautiful despite the runny buttercream.

Kate / Kajal said...

hey it doesnt always have to be perfect. its just gr8 the way it is :P

Rebecca said...

Rhubarb mascarpone mousse? Save me a slice!

Deborah said...

Regardless of the problems, I still think it looks wonderful! And your flavor combination sounds wonderful!

Jacque said...

It looks positively delish! I love the pinkish glaze on top

creampuff said...

So very pretty!

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