28 May 2008

Daring Baker Opera Cake with Edible Candied Pansies

Opera Cake with Edible Candied Pansies
Well...it is that time of the month again when you will be overwhelmed by the number of talented bakers out there. The last I had heard there were over 500 Daring Bakers in this movement. This group of talented bakers has exceeded anyone's expectations. The Daring Bakers is the brainchild of our beautiful and talented co-founders Lis at La Mia Cucina and Ivonne of Cream Puffs in Venice . We are given a challenge each month, choose a day to bake our little hearts out and then we all post our top secret recipe on the same day. Today is that day...Wednesday May 28th!!!!!!!!! We are all winners here so let's start our Daring Baker journey!!



Today you are inundated with Opera Cakes of all shapes and varieties from all over the world!! It is amazing to see how each Daring Baker adds their own personal touch to the challenge with flavourings and decoration. Each one is unique and different. Way to go ladies and gents!!! Really cool!!!

This classic French dessert was created by Louis Clichy, who called it -what else - the Clichy. However, it was popularized by the Parisian patisserie Dalloyau as the Opera cake and is now mostly known by that name. It is a wonderfully rich and dreamy combination of delicate almond biscuit or joconde, chocolate ganache, usually coffee buttercream, and chocolate glaze.

The Daring Bakers used a combination of a recipe in Doris Greenspan's Paris Sweets (she adapted Dalloyau's own version of it) and of Tish Boyle and Timothy Moriarty's Chocolate Passion.! Lis and Ivonne chose this challenge along with two members they’ve taken under their baker’s wings Fran from Apples Peaches Pumpkin Pie and Shea from Whiskful to help co-host.

Traditionally, a joconde is flavoured with darker flavours such as chocolate or coffee. It was our illustrious leaders decision to tie our post in with Spring and dedicate our posts to Barbara at Winos & Foodies for all her efforts with her event LiveSTRONG with a Taste of Yellow . So... in honour of all cancer survivors we all made Opéra Cakes that are light in both colour and flavour. Many in the food and wine blogging community supported LiveSTRONG Day with the A Taste of Yellow event. Last year 149 bloggers made yellow food to show their support for LiveSTRONG Day 2007 . This year there were 181 yellow recipes over at Wino & Foodies. Some chose to share their own cancer experiences and some told stories of their support for their friends or family experiencing cancer. LiveSTRONG with A Taste Of Yellow has been accepted by the Lance Armstrong Foundation as an official LiveSTRONG Day event on Tuesday May 13.

This cake is made with white chocolate and white chocolate mousse. I opted to add lemon zest to my buttercream and Citron, which is a lemon liqueur from the island of Naxos in Greece to the syrup for the jaconde. This mirrors the Taste of Yellow Event. There will be hundreds more combinations for you to browse through.

There was an egg white left over from making the jaconde so I utilized that to make candied pansies in keeping with the Spring theme.




All in all I had complete success with all aspects of making this cake this time around. The buttercream was light and creamy with a hint of lemon throughout. I even tried my hand at making some small versions of the same recipe. If you would like to complete this challenge look here for the recipe.

Check out the Daring Bakers Blogroll to see what we have all been up to today, imagine you are wandering the streets of Paris and slip into Dalloyau to have a slice of Opera Cake with a cafe au lait. Have a relaxing afternoon, put your feet up and ENJOY!!!


**Easy Edible Candied Pansies**

Candied flowers are an easy and elegant garnish to make. They are especially exquisite when used for wedding cake decorations. Pansy blossoms are ideal for this project because their simple shape and strong structure holds up well under the sugar’s weight.

Rinse and thoroughly dry pesticide-free pansies. Using a small paintbrush, thinly coat the petals with lightly beaten egg whites.

Set pansies on a plate covered with superfine sugar.

Sprinkle the blossoms with more superfine sugar. Gently shake to remove the excess.

Place on waxed paper and allow to dry for several hours.

There are many uses for edible flowers in our every day meals or to make a meal that much more special!

When making ice cubes, drop a few edible flowers in each tray compartment then freeze. “Flower cubes” make an elegant addition to punch bowls, cocktails or other cold beverages.

Alternate layers of rose or geranium petals or lemon balm with layers of regular sugar in small jars, seal and allow two weeks for the scent to permeate the sugar. These colourful, aromatic sugars can be used on the table or in cooking to add a delicate taste to foods and beverages.

You can also use scented geranium petals to scent jelly, ice creams and cakes.

Day lily buds can be frozen for later use in Oriental soups or stir fries.

Spicy nasturtium flowers and leaves add flavour and vibrant colour to salads.Pansies can be candied, used as a garnish or tossed into salads for colour.

Sweet-smelling rose petals add a delicate flavour to sweets. Remember to remove the bitter white base of the petal before eating!

Chrysanthemum petal tips complement ginger in meat dishes.

Dianthus’ clove-like flavour makes a pleasant addition to salads and seafood.

Try using homegrown hibiscus to make a delicious, fragrant tea.

You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author/owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison.
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73 comments:

  1. Candied flowers!? What an interesting & creative addition! Something I would never think of! Great job, it looks gorgeous.

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  2. Yours looks really gorgeous! I have seen several this morning in my Google Reader, and it looks just wonderful.

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  3. your cake looks wonderful and i love the idea of candied pansies!

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  4. Liked the perfect layers to your cake and the decorative finish, too.
    My layers weren't very neat and they satyed that way only in the fridge!

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  5. perfectly done..love the candied pansies..

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  6. Beautiful flowers and beautiful cake.

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  7. Oh so lovely! Yours looks so elegant - the candied pansies are a nice touch. Tres belle!

    xoxox Amy

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  8. Well your cake is just beautiful. I love the flowers! And I bet the lemon flavor tasted fantastic!

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  9. It turned out so pretty! And I absolutely love the sugared flowers idea. Genius!

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  10. Wonderful! Your cake looks great! I love the candied pansies!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  11. What a great post Val!!! Love the pictures with the teapot behind the cake. The cake itself looks gorgeus (3rd one I see today)!

    There's specialised shops and factories here in Spain that sell edible flowers. I like the idea, plus they give such a nice touch to the dishes :D

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  12. i'd eat candied flowers. i'd eat candied ants. i might just eat candied anything. a little sugar (or a lot, in the case of ants) does wonderful things. great idea, and gorgeous cake! :)

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  13. Absolutely gorgeous Val! Love the pansies and you even got your "Greek" going on with the Citron! Perfect!

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  14. I love the candied flowers! Beautiful idea and it used leftover;)). Your cake looks so perfect. It was nice to think we can do all these parts and put them together!

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  15. Absolutely stunning Val. I love the candied flowers for decoration!

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  16. "They're everywhere, they're everywhere"!

    Nicely presented and the flowers look quite real.

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  17. I love the candied flowers!! What a great touch for a beautiful cake!

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  18. You are awesome with your candied pansies Valli! Pure genius! I love how beautiful and delicate your opera cake turned out!

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  19. Oh Val, that Opera cake looks delicious! I decided to go with an orange flavored cake and it turned out really good. Yay on another conquered challenge :)

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  20. So lovely. An Ode to Spring.Great job.

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  21. All dishes look very delicious! I am interested in the food culture of your country. And I support your site. If there is time, please come in my site. From Japan
    http://food-soybean.blogspot.com/

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  22. Beautiful Val! the candied flowers are a real treat for they eyes! I've seen a few versions of this today and yours looks really exquisite and decadent.

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  23. Valli- last summer you said you weren't a baker..NOW look at you! Candied violets!
    You know, I considered a white chocolate/violet mousse. With your candied violets it would have been fantastic!
    Great choices!

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  24. Very beautiful val, suitable for a wedding.

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  25. Gorgeous cake, Val! I love the candied pansies! What a great idea. Very well done!

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  26. I liked your flower tips, Val. Good ideas. And the cake, well, that sounds absolutely scrummy :)

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  27. great tips on flowers, Love your cake

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  28. Your cake looks lovely and those pansies are amazing! I am so impressed by all you daring bakers.

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  29. eat and the sugar flowers are so pretty.

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  30. Looks wonderful...and I love the flowers! It adds just the right amount of color.

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  31. Between the candied flowers, the gorgeous blue backdrop and the straight cuts of that cake, I'd say you've created a musical masterpiece. It looks great Val.

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  32. The pansies are so cute...they give it that extra something special.

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  33. I know I'm not the first to comment on it, but I love the addition of the candied pansies

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  34. What a perfect addition your candied pansies are! They go so beautifully with your cake! Love them!

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  35. Nice cake! I like the candied pansies!

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  36. Your flowers are divine...so's the cake...just perfect!

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  37. This is so perfect for an afternoon tea! I have to make those candied pansies..they are so delicate looking! Just beautiful!

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  38. A beautiful job Val! I love your special touch with the candied pansies!

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  39. Thanks for the instructions about candying flowers -- I've often thought of doing it, but never have.

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  40. Val! I love how you always do something absolutely fabulous with the DB challenges. Candied Flowers - what a great idea and how incredible it would taste!! fantastic job!

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  41. Wow, Val I have heard of edible flowers but it's the first time actually seeing them in a recipe. Your cake looks so classy. You did a great job.

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  42. Great job and the pansies really add something special!

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  43. I love the edible flowers! Great idea, well done!

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  44. Thanks for all your encouragement guys. This was a fun challenge which I spread out over 2 days:D

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  45. What a fabulous idea to use pansies! Your cake is lovely and the pansies are a beautiful decoration, well done :)

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  46. Oh this is so beautiful Val I adore it and in my favourite flavours of lemon mmmmmm... Those candied flowers are SO pretty :)

    Rosie x

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  47. Oh, you did what I wanted to do. I really wanted candied violets on my cake, but had only 5 in bloom. Yours turned out beautifully, as did you cake.

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  48. The candied pansies are so beautiful! I really want to try that - it really makes the whole cake so elegant.

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  49. These are so pretty. I love your little candied flowers. I look at these and think, "Afternoon Tea in the Springtime" or a really classy baby/bridal shower. They are just look like springtime transformed into dessert.

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  50. Your cake looks so delicate and pretty Val!

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  51. I love the edible candied flowers and tips for what to do with them! Cake looks fantastic!

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  52. Hi Val- I love your opera cake it is so beautiful and Spring-like.
    I adore the candied pansies and the wonderful edible flower info- I use them all the time :)
    xoxoxo

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  53. OH, I have been using a lot of flowers in cooking. Just did arugula flower rotis, used violets in pea soup I have some candied violet macaron that I have yet to post. Good job using them in opera cake.

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  54. I'm loving every single opera cake post I'm chancing upon. This looks beautiful and the candied flowers are a very elegant touch. Great work!

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  55. Wow, the cake looks wonderful. And, as everybody has already said, the candied pansies are a superb touch.

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  56. Thank you, thank you, thank you for explaining how to make candied flowers! I just haven't taken the time to look this up and I have always wanted to give it a try! You are so wonderful for sharing this. Your Opera Cake is beautiful and the candied flowers make the cake even more elegant. =D

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  57. Your cake look wonderful!!! xGloria

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  58. You did Dalloyau good! The pansies are a wonderful addition to the cake! Great choice of flavors too!

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  59. That is so pretty. I love the candied pansies.

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  60. Your candied pansies are absolutely gorgeous! What a perfect finishing touch to a perfectly divine cake!

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  61. Beautiful opera cake...I love the way you included Citron.

    I've always wanted to play with candied flowers... and now thanks to your careful instruction I can.

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  62. I agree with the rest--nice job on the candied pansies...very pretty.


    j

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  63. Wow, how beautiful... The candied flowers are such a nice touch!

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  64. Mmmm Citron. :D

    You did another amazing job, sweets! And I heart the candied flowers! I want to try that!!

    Beautiful!

    xoxoxox

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  65. Look at this cake, it's a beauty. I love the chocolate version of the Opera Cake. It's so good.

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  66. Wow, candid flowers on a cake! Sounds wonderful! I am amazed at how your perfect your layers are. Mine were just a sloppy bunch:)

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  67. Your cake is beautiful!! The candied pansies are an inspired idea and so perfect on your cake! Great job.

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  68. I love your edible pansies. I love your cake!

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  69. I love the pansies. Great job!

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  70. Wow! really beautiful work!

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  71. Lovely cake! Very beautiful touch with the pansies. I will have to give them a try!

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  72. The candied pansies are darling! Thank you so much for sharing a how-to. Can't wait to try them myself!

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  73. I love the candied pansies! So pretty.
    Shari@Whisk: a food blog

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Welcome to my home. Thank you so much for choosing to stay a while and for sharing our lives through food. I appreciate all your comments, suggestions, daily encouragement and support.

Val

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