Tuesday, September 25, 2007

L'Opera Cake Geometry

The famous l'opera gateau is not exactly unrelated to my Paris trip. I keep staring at my rectangular suitcase
and thinking about pastry geometrie instead of packing.
I tried opera cake at Sadaharu Aoki's patisserie
on 35, rue de Vaugirard, 75006
Sadly, I cannot report how it tasted.
I was too busy admiring it's perfect architecture and lovely dimensions.
The cake was first created by Louis Clichy in 1903.
But Dalloyau renamed it after the grand Paris Opera
and is reknown for their version. I stole a shot at Galerie Lafayette Gourmet.

Every French patisserie makes a version of this popular multi-layered chocolate decadence.
L'Epicerie has their monster versions...
I would love to figure out why a squared cake in the US connotes an
office party birthday or a banana cake?
Where is the panache?

Where's the ganache? Humm.

Pierre Herme makes what looks like an opera cake but he changes the equation.
Called the Carrement Chocolat, it is not layered.
Inside is:

(biscuit "molleux chocolat", creme onctueuse au chocolat, mousse au chocolat, fine feuilles de chocolat craquant)
Well I see the word feuille / leaves, so maybe it is layered?

Help me out here.

I brought the petit four version home to paint.

There's nothing like the challenge of painting a square
on a rectangular piece of paper.But I think I forgot to taste it...
Uh ohThese (20!) step-by-step demo pictures are from
the Meilleur du Chef.dom..
Here's what's inside the cake:
Giaconda biscuit
Coffee syrup
Coffee buttercream
Chocolate ganache
Chocolate glaze
Not exactly "a piece of cake" to make!
I think I better focus on the 20+ layers going inside my little suitcase...ahem


  1. Zowie, I don't blame you for thinking of these chocolate morsels instead of packing. I don't think they would last long enough for me to paint. ;)
    Another thing you can do while there for the month. TASTE things.;)
    Now I'm wishing I could stow away in that square suit case of yours.

  2. Anonymous10:22 AM

    Oooooh Yum!! Beautiful paintings and delectables. Wish you would taste too. I need a review!

    Happy Autumn Carol!

  3. my stomach just growled...could you hear it?? I think I would rather like to think about these desserts than to pack too.

  4. Anonymous11:13 AM

    lovely--I love chocolate--
    have a delightful trip to Paris--how long are you
    staying there??
    will you continue the blog?

  5. Anonymous11:14 AM

    I can say that I've made this cake and it is quite a bit of work, but well worth it!
    You better taste next time!

  6. I am slowly nearing the point where I seriously need a piece of chocolate cake, be it square, round, oval, pyramide shaped, ball shaped, any shape, if I continue to visit your blog at teatime. Everything's looking so tempting, chocolate fragrance's wafting over from your blog while typing! And all I've got in the house is Nestle's Tollhouse chocolate chips, in the fridge. Dire straights, wouldn't you agree? (I don't do chocolate chips!)

  7. Anonymous1:36 PM

    The torture of painting or eating these delights must be insurmountable!

  8. Anonymous2:04 PM

    Dare I say these outrageous gateaux are making me salivate all over my keyboard...

  9. All I can say is that I am very VERY glad that I am sat reading this whilst accompanied by a large box of expensive, designer chocolates (thank you gift from a friend), or else I would be in torment! Not a perfect replacement for these delicious Paris delights, but a decent consolation. You must be soooooo excited :-)

    Thank you for these gorgeous paintings and photos ... such a joy to look at everyday.

  10. mmmmmmmmmm yum! Beautiful painting!

  11. Anonymous6:49 PM

    Your dessert paintings are wonderful here, Carol. I can only imagine how intense those must be to eat. You should also get someone to take your photo when you are learning to make macarons, Carol--it'd be great for your blog! ;))

  12. Anonymous7:01 PM

    That would be the day - when a rectangular office birthday cake even remotely resembled l'opera! As for the recipe, my motto and personal mantra is: No dessert is too much trouble.

  13. Merci jeanette mistress of longears
    How perceptive you are!
    No dessert is too much trouble.

  14. Anonymous8:05 PM

    I have made this cake as well. Dirtied every pot and pan in the house. It takes forever, but I still have friends begging me to make it again. It's multi-layered, rich and yummy, but not for the novice. Be sure to gather ALL ingredients before you start - there are many of them.
    I still like better, however, that strawberry and cream dessert made in Paris. Much lighter, but when only chocolate will do, Opera is worth having or dreaming about.
    Do taste next time.

  15. Anonymous11:00 AM

    Magnific watercolors of Opéra and God knows how difficult it is!

  16. oh now I am so hungry for such delights that I could hop on the train right now and be there to eat all those beautiful creations.Hope your packing went ok, you sound very excited

  17. Anonymous1:12 PM

    Carol - It is so much fun to walk the streets of Paris with you.
    Thanks for taking us along!


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