Wednesday, May 28, 2008

May Daring Bakers Challenge

This was my first Daring Bakers Challenge. When I saw the recipe for the Opera Cake, my first thought was "what have I gotten myself into??". I read through it a few (dozen) more times and got a pep talk from my DH. I took a deep breath and decided I could do this. I decided it would be a nice birthday cake for my dad. Knowing he does not like white chocolate or anything overly sweet, I opted to leave out the white chocolate mousse and glaze on top. Since we had plenty of fresh strawberries in the yard, I chose to add some of those in.

I got up early after dh left for work to start the cake determined to do it all in one day. It was my first time making almond flour. I usually make my cakes from scratch anyway so this was not much more difficult. The cake itself was delicious and very light. The ground almonds gave it such a wonderful texture. I could eat the cake plain. The syrup kept the cake moist even after a few days in the fridge. Buttercream is my favorite icing. I would love to try this again with a lighter, less sweet icing. The strawberries combined with the icing flavor perfectly.



I started off this challenge wondering why I even signed up and ended it with a cake I will definitely make again. Looking at some of the other cakes I found mine to be a bit plain. I realize that this is to challenge me to be a better baker and not to compare my decorating skills to anyone elses. I never would have given an opera cake recipe a second glance before Daring Bakers. Now I am looking forward to next month's challenge.

Strawberries on Top of Second Layer



My Finished Opera Cake

11 comments:

Rachel Rayne said...

I know exactly how you felt when looking at this month's challenge. This was my first challenge as well. Phew! We made it out alive.
I think yours looks great! Not at all plain. What could possibly be plain about strawberries and cream? One of the best combos of all time IMO.
Good job!

Elle said...

I've been a Daring Baker a while and I was sort of overwhelmed when I read the challenge...but it all worked out. Your cake is lovely! The strawberries are just right and go so well with buttercream. Hope your Dad liked it :) Glad you are a Daring Baker!

Lisa Thibault said...

This was my first challenge as well and I just about quit three or four times. I'm trying not to compare myself to other bakers either but looking at this as a learning experience. Your cake looks beautiful - the fresh berries are a wonderful addition.

Sheltie Girl said...

You did a lovely job on your cake. I love all the strawberries...very yummy with buttercream.

Natalie @ Gluten a Go Go

Claire said...

Congrats on your first challenge...you did great! I wasn't terribly excited either but it turned out great. I love the strawberries! OH, and I could eat the jaconde alone as well.

Barbara said...

I bet that tasted wonderful with the strawberries on top. Great job on your first challenge!

Susan in SC said...

This looks delicious. I am sure that I gained 5 pounds just drooling over the pictures! Susan

Shari said...

Looks delicious. The strawberries look very pretty on top!
Shari@Whisk: a food blog

Anne said...

Oh, how lovely! With all the strawberries, I bet that tasted great! Good job on your first challenge!

Rebecca of "Ezra Pound Cake" said...

My first challenge, too! Hope your dad loved the cake. Can't beat strawberries and buttercream. Mmmmm.

Rebecca
http://www.ezrapoundcake.com

silverrock said...

Amazing looking opera cake, and way to go on your first DB challenge! Yeah, isn't it fun to bake as a group?! :)