L'Opéra Cake; oh what a heavenly site

As I finished yesterday’s post, L’Opéra Cake Gâteau, I realized I might have given the wrong impression. Opera cakes have a few steps and generally is best to give yourself two days from start to finish, but the cake is exhilarating to create. Besides feeling inspired; the look on friends, family, or client’s faces when they see the finished product is priceless.

Without further ado I will explain the Strawberry Crème Barvaroise, the assembly, and the White Chocolate Glaze.

There is nothing more satisfying than the look on a special someone when they have their first forkful of a Opéra Cake

Gâteau Opéra à la Fraise à la Crème Bavaroise:

1-recipe joconde

Fraises à la Crème Bavaroise:

  • 259 grams whole milk
  • 7 grams gelatin
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 129 grams/ 5/8-cup cream
  • 129 grams/ 5/8  crème fraiche
  • 50 grams / 1/4-cupsugar
  • 50 grams/ 1/4-cup sugar
  • vanilla bean, cut in half lengthwise
  • vanilla extract
  • 4-drop strawberry essence

 Prepare your mise en place and soften the gelatine sheets in ice cold water.

Mise en place

 Simultaneously heat in a sauce pan whole milk, sugar and vanilla bean to a gentle boil; while whisking egg yolks and sugar, until the mixture is pale yellow and a ribbon forms when the whisk is lifted.

Whisking egg yolks

Pour 1/2 the milk mixture slowly and in a steady stream, while continually mixing egg yolk mixture. Whisk, without beating to minimize foam.

The stream should be thin

Add the egg yolk crème back into the second 1/2 of the milk mixture in the saucepan and stir continuously the side and bottom of the pan until the mixture is thick. The custard should coat the back of a wooden spoon and when drawn with your finger should leave a separated even line. Turn off the heat, wring the excess water from the gelatin sheets, add the gelatin and stir till the gelatin has dissolved.

Pour the custard into a large bowl and allow the custard to come to room temperature. To speed the cooling processes up place the bowl over a larger bowl of ice water.

In a cold bowl of your standing mixer, with the whisk attachment add the crème frâiche and cream. Whisk to medium peaks, add 4 drops of strawberry essence, and whisk for about 30 seconds more. Fold the bavaroise into the whipped crème/cream.

Strawberry Syrup: 

◆ 100 grams sugar

  • 118 grams water
  • 62 grams/1/3-cup fragolli (strawberry liqueur)

In a sauce pan add water and sugar on low heat to dissolve the sugar, increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Pour the the simple syrup into a measuring jug, allow the syrup to cool and add the the strawberry liqueur. Set aside.


Using a sharp serrated knife cut the cakes crosswise into four equal pieces.

Shown cut

 Brush the top of the first layer (of the 4 cut pieces of joconde) with the Strawberry syrup.

Just moisten the cake with syrup

 Layer with the bavaroise, spread evenly with an offset spatula.

Each layer needs the same amount of bavaroise crème

 Line the second cut cake (jocunde) evenly onto of the bavaroise layer.

Keep the cake in line

Brush once again with the Strawberry syrup.

Use a pastry brush, gently brush to moisten with the syrup

Continue layering with cake, syrup,and bavaroise till you have four layers and cover with the Ivory Chocolate Glaze.

White Chocolate Glaze:

  • 220 grams/8 ounces Valrhona white chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 118 grams/ ½ -cup heavy cream
  • 15 gram/ 1-Tablespoon glucose

 Prepare your mise en place

The white chocolate needs to be chopped finely

 Melt the glucose with the heavy cream to a gentle boil.

I find melting the glucose with cream leaves the finished glaze shiny

Pour over finely chopped white chocolate, and wait about 3 minutes. Whisk gently until smooth.

Let cool for 1 or 2 minutes and then pour over the chilled cake. Using a long metal cake spatula, smooth out into an even layer.

Don't worry about the white chocolate run off

Place the cake into the refrigerator to set the white chocolate.

Cut the cake directly in half (measure to be precise).

The easiest and most precise way to achieve equal size pieces is to keep cutting lengthwise in half

Once the Opéra Cakes have been cut equally into rectangles, place back in the refrigerator to set. At this point the decorating of the top of the cake is up to your imagination. Sydney and I chose to write in bittersweet chocolate, last year we made snowflakes for the top.

Chocolate Writing:

Chopped writing chocolate, bittersweet

paper pastry cone, with a small whole

Prepare your mise en place.

Melt the chocolate in either a microwave or a double boiler to runny consistency

 Write or decorate the top of each Opéra Cake.


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