Opera cake

DSC_0437Opera is a sophisticated French-style layer cake with almond sponge,(officially Cocoa Joconde sponge) white chocolate-coffee and dark chocolate ganache. 

It is worth using good quality espresso as its flavour is an essential part of the cake. And as Italian would say: “il caffè è un piacere, se non è buono che piacere è?”

According to many opinions the best one was made at Dalloyua in Paris. As I have never tried this cake outside my kitchen I have to believe others. Once I must visit the place and investigate. 

I did not find reliable description of the origin of Opera so I am left wondering where this name came from. 

Ingredients (8 slices)

Almond sponge

  • 2 eggs
  • 3 egg whites
  • 65g ground almond
  • 65g+25g granulated sugar
  • 20g unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 25g flour
  • 25g butter

Whipped white chocolate-coffee ganache

  • 100ml espresso coffee
  • 140g white chocolate 
  • 220ml whipping cream

Bittersweet chocolate ganache

  • 110g chocolate 70%
  • 20g granulated sugar (optional)
  • 100ml milk
  • 110ml whipping cream

Coffee syrup

  • 120ml coffee
  • 20g granulated sugar

Tempered chocolate

Whipped white chocolate-chocolate ganache

Brew the espresso.

Make the ganache with white chocolate and coffee. It is the same technique I used with dark chocolate ganache in other recipes but now use the coffee as a liquid. Incorporate the cold whipped cream and leave to set for at least 3hours in the refrigerator.

Bittersweet chocolate ganache 

Use the chocolate, sugar and milk to make the ganache. Add the cold whipping cream and leave to set in the refrigerator.

Almond sponge

Preheat the oven to 220ºC.

Beat together the 2 eggs, almond and sugar(65g) until it is pale and thick.

Beat the egg whites, add the sugar gradually until they form soft peaks.

Melt the butter and leave to cool to room temperature.

Sift the flour the cocoa powder together.

Fold in one-quarter of the egg whites into the egg and almond mixture. Then incorporate the dry ingredients and the remaining egg whites. Add the melted butter and continue mixing gently.

Spread the batter over the baking sheet and bake for 8min.

Leave to cool on a rack and cut out into three equal rectangles.

Coffee syrup

Make the espresso and mix in the sugar.



Whip both kind of ganache until they are light and thick.Place a layer of sponge on a baking sheet or any other flat surface that fits in your fridge. Moisten the sponge with syrup using pastry brush. Spread out half of the white chocolate-coffee cream over the first layer of sponge.Place another layer over the ganache and moisten it with coffee syrup. Spread out the rest of the coffee ganache. Place the third layer of sponge over this and moisten it with syrup. Cover the dessert with bittersweet chocolate ganache and leave to set in the fridge overnight.

Next day prepare the tempered chocolate and spread out it over an acetate (same size as your cake). Leave to set at room temperature. When it is ready, remove the acetate carefully and place the chocolate layer on the top of the cake. 

Use a warm knife to slice it.



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