Opera cake is a beautiful multi-layered French dessert. It is flavored with delicious coffee buttercream, rich chocolate ganache, and light almond sponge cake soaked in coffee syrup.
This cake needs time and patience no doubt about that, but the outcome is really pleasing and rewarding.
You can prepare the buttercream, ganache, and syrup ahead of time to make the process less complex. This dessert is hard to not like by anyone out there.
I absolutely loved the homemade version and seeing all the gorgeous colorful layers!
Almond Sponge Cake (Joconde)
- 5 eggs separated
- 1 cup granulated sugar 200g
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup milk
- 200 g ground almonds sifted
- ½ cup self-rising flour sifted
- ⅔ cup water 160ml
- ½ cup sugar 100g
- 3 tsp instant coffee
- 2 egg yolks
- 75 g granulated sugar
- 1 ½ tbsp water
- 1 tsp instant coffee
- 140 g butter softened
- ⅔ cup cream 160g
- 160 g chocolate
- 200 g dark chocolate
- 1 tbsp oil (I used sunflower oil)
Almond Sponge Cake (Joconde)
- Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease and line with parchment paper two 9×13 inch baking pans.
- In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Slowly add 4 tbsp of granulated sugar a spoon at a time, and beat on high speed until egg whites are stiff but not dry. Keep aside.
- Beat egg yolks with ¾ cup sugar until yolks are pale yellow. Stir in ½ cup milk and 1 tsp vanilla.
- Fold the ground almonds and flour into the egg yolk mixture, then gently fold in the egg white mixture with the spatula until it is all incorporated.
- Divide the batter evenly into prepared pans and spread out evenly. Bake the cakes for 10-14 minutes until lightly golden brown. Leave the cakes to cool completely. When completely cooled cut each cake as ⅔ and ⅓ portions. (you will get 2 full squares and 2 halves).
- Place the water, sugar, and coffee into a small saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil and simmer for a few minutes until syrupy.
- Whisk the egg yolks in a heatproof bowl until light and creamy.
- Heat the granulated sugar and coffee in a saucepan over a gentle heat until the sugar has dissolved, then bring to the boil without stirring until the temperature reaches the soft-ball stage (when you drop a little of the caramel into a glass of cold water it will form a soft-ball or 119°C in a candy thermometer.)
- Pour it gradually over the creamy egg yolk mixture while beating continuously. Whisk until the mixture is light and voluminous and has cooled completely.
- Slowly add in the butter a spoonful at a time whisking all the time until the butter is all incorporated, and then whisk on high speed until light and airy. Chill in the refrigerator.
- Place chocolate into a bowl. Heat cream into a small saucepan until it starts to boil, pour it over the chocolate. Stir until completely melted. Set aside to cool at room temperature.
Assemble the cake
- Place one square on the cake board, then brush generously with coffee syrup. Spread half of the buttercream evenly.
- Place the two halves of the cake on top of the first layer, soak with the coffee syrup and, spread the ganache evenly.
- Place the final cake and brush slightly with the syrup. Spread the remaining buttercream evenly on top using an offset spatula. Chill the cake until buttercream is firm.
- Melt the chocolate in a bowl over simmering water, then stir in the oil.
- Place the cake over a cooling rack and then pour the glaze over the chilled cake, do not worry if it runs down the sides of the cake as you will trim the cake before serving. When you are ready to serve, trim away the sides of the cake to make them neat.
- For an elegant finish pipe the word "opera" on top of each piece using the glaze or decorate it however you'd like and Enjoy!
Have a blessed day and happy baking 😊