Thursday, September 03, 2009

l'Opera cake at Sadaharu Aoki

Time for a little dessert isn't it? Like the famous l'opera gateaux.I keep thinking about pastry geometrie...

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.

This cake was first created by Louis Clichy in 1903.
But Dalloyau renamed it after the grand Paris Opera
and is reknown for their version.Every French patisserie makes a version of this popular multi-layered chocolate decadence. L'Epicerie has a monster version.
I would love to figure out why a squared cake in the US connotes an office party birthday? Where is the panache? Where's the ganache?
Pierre Herme makes what looks like an opera cake but he changed the equation. It's 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) I see the word feuille / leaves, so it must be layered? I brought the petit four version home to paint...There's nothing like the challenge of painting a square object on a rectangular piece of paper.If you think you'd like to make this cake, Dorie Greenspan has documented Dalloyau's recipe in her book, Paris Sweets. Here's what's inside those layers:
1.Giaconda biscuit
2.Coffee syrup
3.Coffee buttercream
4.Chocolate ganache
5.Chocolate glaze

Not exactly "a piece of cake" to make!


  1. I love the light in that last painting especially, a wonderful square inside a rectangle . .the light bounces and dances. AND it makes me hungry!!! Yum, these L'Opera are drool worthy. :)

  2. Love your blog and all you post
    Love Jeanne♥

  3. I forgot to tell you in my last comment that I enjoyed seeing your paintings and sketches. You have painted everything with fresh, tasty delicious line

  4. Opera is delicious, coffee, chocolate... It 's a real pleasure to eat this! ^^
    This post is fantastic even if the post about macarons is so "sweet", maybe it's my favorite... I don't know, so many things are beautiful and delicious of course in your blog.

    Thanks for your comment and sorry for my english.

    See you soon!
    Lucie aka La LucIoLe

  5. My friends and I saw fabulous Opera cakes in Bon Marche, huge food hall, they were amazing..

  6. Lovely, Carol. I always marvel at how you communicate those things. I could go for one of those right now if I wasn't so exhausted. Too tired to get up for something sweet! LOL

  7. Oh my goodness...these watercolors take my breath away and combined with the rest of the images, the sweet cravings are worse then I ever had when I was pregnant. Merci alot - lol

  8. Opéra gateau is my FAVE! Love your blog!

  9. Opéra gateau is my FAVE! Love your blog!

  10. just wanted to let you know, that I love your watercolors so much, that you have inspired me to take my very first art class! And, yup, it's a watercolors class. If you have any advice for me, I would appreciate it. I have absolutely NO experience, but a lifelong love of France and art.

  11. P.S. I had signed up for a French 101 class, but egad, the professor spoke with a spanish accent, and told us to roll our 'R's! Aaaand he barely taught a word of french in two hours! I was so frustrated, I left, and signed up for Watercolors instead!

  12. Hi Carol - we are so simpatico...last September I had a party for my 1908 Steinway and had a piano shaped opera cake made for the event. Loved your post today...
    Pianist and Teacher

  13. Foodwalker4:46 AM

    We should really work as a team. I WOULD NEVER FORGET TO TASTE IT!!!!

  14. Pas de tout! A square cake does NOT denote an office birthday...only the RECTANGULAR sheet cake topped with CRISCO "buttercream" can scream that message. I made L'opera for Christmas dessert a few years ago, after seeing it in your blog...It was wonderful!!!
    Merci beaucoup!

  15. Hi Carol:

    Love your water colors! But you know that from my comments in the long ago past.

    As for "the" opera. Usually can't find it in Chicago, and if so, have to pay to have them make an entire cake and pay for it.

    So I decided to make it myself. OMG! Back when I did it, at least 12 years ago it was almost impossible to find a recipe. So I kept notes and made my own. It came out just fine, but sure was a lot of work and I was glad I kept track of what I was doing.

    There is nothing on earth like "the" opera!

    Stef in sunny Chicago


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