Daring Bakers May: L’Opéra Cake


It’s terrible but it’s the truth. I almost didn’t attempt to veganize this month’s Daring Baker Challenge.
Daunting to say the least when a cake has a dozen eggs in it to somehow replace. (…And that’s not including the other two that were in the buttercream recipe.)

After making the original version I had to share. I mean, what’s the point of this site if everyone can’t share good food together?

I halved the recipe (because the other cake was enormous) and started in on my trials. I stuck to the traditional recipe as close as I could without those eggs but having had the other I had a general idea as to what I was after. This cake is very light without too much flavour. It’s a perfect canvas to add your own and it this case we, The Daring Bakers, were able to get creative just as long as we kept it light in colour. Again having the other version I knew what I liked and didn’t so choosing a flavour this time around was pretty easy. In my traditional version, I really wanted to go give it a Taste of Yellow in honour of one great and Daring Baker, Barbara of Winos and Foodies, who hosts the Livestrong event. For that I made an Earl Grey with a lemon buttercream so for this version I wanted to keep the citrus but add some kick with just a little brandy syrup, and boy did my little cake sing.

L’OPÉRA CAKE

JACONDE

1 Cup Ground Almonds
1/4 Cup Confectioners Sugar
1/2 Cup Cake Flour
1 1/4 Cups Soy Milk
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 Tablespoon Vinegar

Preheat oven to 400ºF.
Line a 5 x 8 inch loaf pan with parchment then lightly spray with oil.
Add the dry ingredients together into a large bowl.
Combine the soy milk and the vinegar, then add to the dry.
Mix vigorously with a fork.
Once combined, consistency will be similar to a pancake batter.
Pour about 1/2 cup of batter into the prepared pan to cover the bottom to the edges.
Bake for 5 – 7 minutes or until the top appears golden, begins to dry and the edges come away from the sides.
Loosen edges with a knife, if necessary and top with an additional sheet of parchment or waxed paper.
Flip pan to remove the cake, cooling on a rack to room temperature.
Reline the pan and repeat with the remainder of the batter, baking three cakes.

COGNAC SYRUP

4 Tablespoons Sugar
1/3 Cup Water
1-2 Tablespoons Cognac

Add everything to a small saucepan and bring to a boil.
Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature.
(May be made in advance and kept covered in the fridge for up to a week.

ORANGE “BUTTERCREAM” ICING

2 1/2 Cups Confectioners Sugar, sifted
1/2 Cup Earth’s Balance Margarine, room temperature
Juice and zest of one large orange
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla

In the bowl of an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, combine half of the sugar with the margarine.
Add the orange zest and juice and mix on a medium-high setting.
Add the remainder of the sugar, half a cup at a time.
Once it has come together, then add the vanilla to incorporate.
Continue to up the volume with a higher speed until light and creamy.

ASSEMBLY

(Note: The finished cake should be served slightly chilled. It can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 1 day).

Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper.

Place one cake layer on the baking sheet and moisten it gently with the flavoured syrup.

Spread about one-third of the buttercream over this layer.

Top with the second layer of cake and moisten again with the flavoured syrup.

Spread another third of the buttercream on the cake and then top with the third layer of joconde. Use the remaining syrup to wet the joconde. Spread the remaining buttercream on top of the final layer of joconde and then refrigerate until very firm (at least half an hour).

At this point a glaze of white chocolate may be made. I omitted this tradition but for a vegan white chocolate try this one from Bittersweet. Melt 7 oz of the chocolate with 1/4 cup of soy milk. Once it has cooled, pour/spread it over the top of the chilled cake. Refrigerate the cake again to set the glaze.

Trim the edges 1/2″ to reveal the layers.
Garnish with additional orange zest, candied or not, if desired.

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~ by Dayna on May 28, 2008.

34 Responses to “Daring Bakers May: L’Opéra Cake”

  1. It is gorgeous, congrats !

  2. Your blog has amazing recipes that I can’t wait to try! Everything looks so delicious.

  3. Looks like your cake came out well. While I’m a vegetarian who occasionally eats eggs, I’m always appreciative of baking done without eggs.

  4. This looks gorgeous! Great job!

  5. What a beautiful opera cake! I love your choice of flavors. I approximately halved mine too, and I still have cake in the fridge!

  6. I am really really impressed that you veganized this! It looks amazing! Whenever I change the chemistry in my baking endeavors it never works out! You are a genius! I love the sound of your other one too – the lemon and Earl Grey! Sounds heavenly!

  7. Your opera cake is just lovely and I love the flavour combination!

  8. This is just beautiful! Bravo!

  9. Wow this Opera cake looks yummy and I love the fact that you veganize it

  10. You are a genius! I have to make a cake for a party on Saturday and this will be perfect for the theme. Fortuitous and beautiful!

  11. Thats beautiful.

  12. great veganization–really amazing.

  13. Pretty amazing. I’m in awe that you made the eggy one, then your gorgeous vegan version. What a lot of work. I bow down to you oh thoughtful one. Beautiful!

  14. this is so amazing lovely, let’s toast!

  15. Beautiful vegan cake. Glad to see you didn’t cave in! Believe me, I was tempted after seeing all those eggs in the recipe. :)

  16. Yours turned out wonderfully! Very impressive adaption.

  17. That turned out gorgeous!

  18. It’s a beautiful cake. Congratulations! Great flavour combo too.

  19. Great job!

  20. You did a wonderful job on your cake. Lovely work on veganizing the recipe too. Simply beautiful pictures too.

    Natalie @ Gluten a Go Go

  21. It turned out fabulously! I can’t believe you did this with no eggs…!

  22. these are wonderful…looks beautiful! thanks for sharing your jaconde recipe…i think i may have to try it, i was afraid all those eggs couldn’t be replaced…but looks like you did a great job!

    love your flavor combos also. great job!

  23. I’m glad you veganized it because your results are gorgeous! And now we can all learn a lesson about successful conversion. Mmmm… I haven’t had a slice of opera cake in too long!

  24. BEAUTIFUL and so impressive, yay vegan! :)

  25. The flavor combination sounds delicious!
    Shari@Whisk: a food blog

  26. whaow ! just perfect !!!! I love it :) you’ve done a wonderful job !

  27. your first picture is gorgeous. great job adapting the recipe!

  28. Really beautiful cake, and I love how you composed your pictures, too. It’s all so elegant! :)

  29. gorgeous!!!!

  30. wow..it is fantastic. great job!

  31. I’m always intrigued by how the vegan and gluten free among us make these challenges work. Thanks for sharing your experience step-by-step. Great job!

  32. Your Opera cake looks gorgeous and the flavors sound wonderful!

  33. Let them eat eggless cakes!
    … and may your sterling efforts to lighten our path to great healthy and animal-friendly cuisine be blessed! Thank you.

  34. I’m in culinary school and we make a normal version on l’opera, but I myself am vegan so I am insanely excited to try this recipe tonight. (although i’m going to make it with traditional coffee and chocolate flavors.) thanks for the inspiration!

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