Opera Cake

Opera Cake

Opera Cake is finally taking shape!
Phew!!!! I can NOW take a breather.....Thought this post will never make it to the blog... You'll understand why when you reach the end... ;P
My son turned 21!!!!
Oh why, the exclamation mark!!!
...because I just couldn't believe it either that he is TWENTY-One years of age!!! If I can have my way, I don't want them to grow at all, stay forever in a time capsule as a 1 or 2 year old... just not 21!

Being 21 is a huge milestone for my baby 'insert buckets of tears here", and you deserved a special treat.
If you are expecting... a key to that 'FOUR RINGS' luxurious car in that birthday card or first class ticket to discover the world...
Sorry to disappoint you, my baby :(
...what you get is just my unconditional love...
...and I have a few words to say to you.

Remember me and remember everything I taught you
Be good, be kind, be generous, be truthful
be respectful, be grateful 
And always be thankful

Opera Cake

A special bake for that special someone, who filled my life with love, pride and joy (at times.. a pain in my **** too! it all comes in a package deal ;p) ~ Opera Cake.

Adapted from Joe's Pastry, I was  hooked at the same time, overwhelmed... it seemed like an elaborate, laborious cake to bake.
"To bake or not to Bake?"... "am I able to put it together?"...went through my head over and over again:.
Took me at least a month to go through the steps, planning on what to do, how to execute and so forth, for this is the first time I am baking an Opera cake and certainly I do not wish to make any boo-boo.
Scroll for recipe below... then you'd understand why :P

Would I bake this cake again? Yes, I'd bake it again, it was an excellent bake... rich but nice ;P  

Opera Cake

I tried to make the recipe as simple as possible and as long as you follow the steps in order, you are good to go... but if you spotted something amiss... do give me shout.

Ingredients for Joconde

    6 room temperature egg whites (approx 195g)
    30g caster sugar
    225g almond meal
    6 large eggs at room temperature (290g)
    70g plain flour
    225g icing sugar
    45g clarified butter (David Lebovitz)

French Buttercream
6 egg yolks at room temperature (85g)
1 cup caster sugar
1/4 cup water
450g unsalted butter
2 drops of vanilla paste

220g dark chocolate
180g thickened cream

Coffee Flavoured syrup
3 tablespoon instant coffee
1 cup water
1/2 cup caster sugar

Chocolate glaze
170g dark chocolate
30g butter

Gold sheets or flakes to decorate

Day 1
Prepare Joconde
  1. prepare clarified butter (David lebovitz's)
  2. Line 2 Swiss roll pans with greaseproof baking paper.
  3. Pre heat oven to 180C
  4. Using stand mixer (or equivalent) whip egg whites to soft peak
  5. Add sugar and continue to whip to stiff peaks
  6. Transfer the meringue into another bowl.
  7. clean and wipe dry (or use another bowl) 
  8. use paddle, mix almond meal, icing sugar and eggs on medium speed until light and increased in volume. 
  9. on low speed , add flour and stir until flour just combined.
  10. gently fold in meringue
  11. add and fold in clarified butter.
  12. Divide the mixture into 2 swiss roll pans.
  13. spread as evenly as possible. 
  14. Bake for 12 minutes.
  15. repeat for second pan.
  16. Remove joconde from oven. 
  17. Cover with another greaseproof paper, flip joconde upside down.
  18. Carefully peel off the greaseproof paper and place it back on the joconde (so that the paper will not stick to joconde as it is cooling)
  19. leave it to cool
  20. Wrap in cling film, place on the Swiss roll pan again, refrigerate for use next day.
Day 2:
A)Coffee syrup
  1. mix coffee granules, water and sugar in a small saucepan
  2. Bring mixture to a simmer, until sugar dissolves
  3. keep aside to cool
B)French Buttercream
  1. Using stand mixer (or equivalent) whip egg yolk on high speed for 5 minutes or until light in color.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare sugar syrup, by combine water and sugar in saucepan. 
  3. Must use sugar thermometer !!!! bring the syrup to 115 C / 238F.
  4. Remove from heat and drizzle into the whipped egg yolk in a thin stream while keeping the stand mixer running (so NOT to have the egg cooked ;p). 
  5. Keep the stand mixer running on low speed (to avoid splatter).
  6. Keep on whipping until the egg-syrup mixture until its cool (ideally room temperature)
  7. Change to paddle and add butter, piece at a time.
  8. Beat for few minutes until homogenous mixture is achieved and 'hangs' off the paddle/ beater .
  9. Add vanilla paste.
  10. Mix again.
C) Ganache
  1. Break chocolate into small chunks (easier to melt) into a heatproof container
  2. Add cream in another small saucepan and bring to boil.
  3. Add piping hot cream into the chocolate chunks
  4. let it sit for 5 minutes
  5. Stir until all chocolate melts into the cream
  6. Set aside to cool (I refrigerate mine, as it was a HOT summer day in Perth!!)
D) Time to assemble the cake
  1. Halved each joconde into 2 equal size (4 joconde pieces in total)
  2. Brush 1st joconde with generous amount of coffee syrup (give it a good soak)
  3. Spread buttercream (try to spread evenly....obviously i failed to achieve that :( )
  4. Place 2nd joconde on top.
  5. again soak with coffee syrup
  6. Spread chocolate ganache
  7. Place 3rd layer joconde and generously brush in coffee syrup
  8. spread buttercream
  9. Place 4th layer and again brush (generously) coffee syrup.
  10. spread a thin layer of buttercream to create a smooth surface.
  11. Pour and spread tempered glaze chocolate (recipe below)
  12. refrigerate before trimming off the edges.
E)Tempered Glaze Chocolate.** (prepare after putting together the cake)
  1. Using a heatproof container (preferably that does not retain heat), break 80g dark chocolate into chunks. 
  2. Microwave on HIGh for 10 seconds. 
  3. Check after 10 seconds and microwave again if required.
  4. Stir
  5. When the chocolate has almost melt, add the remaining chocolate chunks and stir until all melted and smooth. 
  6. Note : prepare a bowl of ice and a bowl of hot water if needed. When chocolate gets too hot, rest the heatproof container in ice-bowl to cool and vice versa.
  7. Stir in clarified butter


  1. That's a great cake to celebrate the birthday!

  2. A belated birthday wish to one very lucky boy!
    Bestnya... mama dia sanggup bertungkus lumus buat cake ni, tengok saja dah tau susah. I would happily choose your cake over any car anytime

  3. Wow, this looks so good, I would love to make this. Unfortunately, I hate coffee. Do you have any suggestions how to substitute this? I was thinking about hot chocolate or almond syrup instead of coffee syrup. What do you think??

    1. Hi Joanne,
      I don't like coffee either! and I find it 'tolerable' :P
      But you can substitute with something else. I usually use chocolate :)


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