Opera Recipe - Allrecipes.com
Opera Recipe
  • READY IN 3 hr


Recipe by  

"I first tried this at baking school, and I became addicted to it...it is a layered dessert of a thin cake with ground almonds, filled with ganache and coffee buttercream, and topped with more ganache. It's a lot of steps, but well worth the effort. You can make all the parts a few days in advance and store, tightly covered, in the refrigerator. Just be sure to let the buttercream and ganache soften for a while at room temperature before spreading."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 8 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    30 mins
  • COOK

    12 mins

    3 hrs


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line the bottom of two 10x15 inch pans with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, beat 12 egg whites, gradually adding 3/4 cup sugar, until stiff. In a separate bowl, beat together 10 eggs, ground almonds, confectioners' sugar and pastry flour until smooth. Stir in melted butter. Fold in beaten egg whites. Spread batter evenly in prepared pans.
  3. Bake in preheated oven 10 minutes, or until center springs back when lightly touched. Invert cakes onto wire racks and remove parchment. Let cool completely.
  4. For the buttercream, combine 1 1/4 cups sugar and 3/8 cup water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Heat to between 234 and 240 degrees F (112 to 116 degrees C), or until a small amount of syrup dropped into cold water forms a soft ball that flattens when removed from the water and placed on a flat surface.
  5. While the syrup is heating, begin beating the 3 egg whites with an electric mixer on medium speed. When syrup is ready, increase mixer speed to high, and pour syrup into egg whites in a thin stream. Continue to beat until mixture is room temperature. Beat in butter, a little at a time, and coffee extract until smooth.
  6. For the ganache, bring cream to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Pour over chopped chocolate and stir until all is melted. Let cool in refrigerator.
  7. To make the coffee syrup, combine 1 cup sugar with 1 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 1 minute more. Stir in instant coffee until dissolved.
  8. To assemble the dessert: Cut each sheet of cake in half. You will use 3 halves for the layers of the Opera -- reserve the fourth for another dessert. Place one cake layer on a flat plate. Soak with half of the coffee syrup. Spread with half the ganache to make an even layer about as thick as the cake layer. Top with another layer of cake, soak it with coffee syrup, and spread an even layer of buttercream over that. Top with third cake layer. Chill in refrigerator 1 hour.
  9. To finish, heat remaining ganache in a double boiler over simmering water until liquid. Place Opera on a rack over parchment paper and pour ganache over top, completely covering surface, using a spatula to spread if necessary. Chill in refrigerator until ganache is firm, then trim sides of Opera and cut into 8 slices to serve.
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Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Oct 11, 2003

I made this for a party and it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. The buttercream, ganache and coffee syrup were easy. The cake was a little difficult because the recipe says to cut each cake in half and they came out so thin already. I think next time I would bake the cake in a regular depth pan and then cut each layer to the desired thickness. Anyway, everyone loved it!

Most Helpful Critical Review
Sep 09, 2009

This cake turned out ok but the recipe could use a few tweeks to make it better. First I'd do the ganache first so it has enough time to cool. Then the recipe leaves out that you have to whip the ganache to make it into a filling consistancy. The buttercream is so thick it's like eating a stick of butter, use more sugar, less butter. And the cake could be better with fewer eggs too.


8 Ratings

May 25, 2008

I was making this for a buffet, so instead of baking it in rectangular pans, I made it in loaf pans, and I make it with three layers instead of two. The loaf pan shape made it easier to slice in thin slices for a smaller size protion (this is a rich dessert and you do not need a large slice anyway) It was pretty easy to make and really worth it, every raved about it!

Jan 06, 2006

I found that the joconde layers were a little too thick, and will try spreading the batter on three sheet pans next time. A previous reviewer commented that the layers were too thin to cut, but I believe the author expects us to cut them in half to create 10 x 7.5 inch rectangles, not torte them. Otherwise, it was clear and easy to follow. Thanks!

Jul 27, 2009

HELP!! i do not know what is it that I made bad, but my buttercream was waaay to liquid, and my chocolate ganache wasnt preadable, my almond cake was very difficult to unmold, and it just broke into pieces, apart it was to thin! but, i think i just followed the instructions perfectly!!

Dec 27, 2010

I first tried the Opera while on a cruise on my honeymoon. I was very excited to find a recipe for it, but this turned out nothing like the dessert I had. The eggs in the cake were extremely overwhelming. They didn't add anything to the recipe, and it seemed like I was baking an omelet. The ganache was very good, but I would add less butter to the buttercream to make it more spreadable (as suggested by another reviewer). I wanted to like this. Overall I wasted a lot of time and ingredients, and now I'm trying to come up with a last minute dessert to have for Christmas.

Dec 01, 2004

It was just OK nothing great for the time invested in making it


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  • Calories
  • 1499 kcal
  • 75%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 143.5 g
  • 46%
  • Cholesterol
  • 422 mg
  • 141%
  • Fat
  • 97.4 g
  • 150%
  • Fiber
  • 8.5 g
  • 34%
  • Protein
  • 27.6 g
  • 55%
  • Sodium
  • 464 mg
  • 19%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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