Wednesday, May 28, 2008


And now for the May Daring Bakers Challenge, Opera Cake!

At first look. I thought this was going to take a few (or more) tries to veganize this little bugger. The recipe contained about a dozen eggs, some cream, some butter. What's a girl to do? Tackle the little egg laden booger one bit at a time.

The first bit is the cake layer, the joconde. This is traditionally a thin spongecake like layer. This is where most of the eggs came in so this was going to be the biggest challenge. I needed to find a suitable replacement for 6 lg eggs and 6 egg whites. I decided the best way to go about it would be to make up my own recipe while staying in the spirit of the original. Almond focus, light, airy. This is what I came up with.

Almond Cake
1 cup almond meal (you can make your own with a blender or food processor)
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil (a nut oil will taste nice here but any would work)
2 cup almond milk (or your favorite milk alternative)
3/4 cup maple syrup
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350. Oil three 8" spring form pans or line cupcake tins (12-15)
Combine a
lmond meal, flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
In a large bowl combine remaining ingredients using a hand mixer or whisk to fully mix. Add in dry ingredients mixing until fully incorporated.
Pour into prepared pans and bake 30 mins, until inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Next the syrup, this was easy. The recipe was already vegan and simple. Use this to drizzle into the cake.

1/2 cup water
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp-1 Tb flavoring of choice (I went with vanilla)

Stir all ingredients into small saucepan. Bring to boil. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.

Buttercream, this also had some eggs in originally but I just leaned more towards a light fluffy frosting cream.

1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1/2 cup vegan margarine (such as Earth Balance)
2/3 cup powdered sugar
1 Tb vanilla
2 Tb melted vegan white chocolate

Beat together shortening and margarine in a large bowl until combined and fluffy. Sift in powdered sugar and beat again to incorporate. Finally add vanilla and white chocolate. Beat until fluffy smooth.

The mousse aspect was optional but who can forget the mousse. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

1/2 cup jam (I used half berry and half apricot)
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp agar powder
1/2 pkg (6oz) silken extra-firm tofu
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tb powdered sugar

In a small pot on medium-low heat, whisk together jam, lemon juice, and agar and bring to a slow boil. Cook for 3 minutes reducing heat to maintain slow boil to dissolve agar.
Meanwhile in food processor combine tofu, vanilla and powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
Add jam mixture and puree again. Refrigerate until completely cooled. Puree again when ready to use to make spreadable.

Then there's the glaze. This took a little work. I wanted a white chocolate glaze like the recipe called for but I had to order dairy free white chocolate. I went with a source I hadn't tried before, Chocolate Emporium. They don't contain any partial hydro nastiness (unless the label is wrong) so I'm pretty happy with them.

3-4oz vegan white chocolate
3 Tb vegan creamer (soy creamer, mimiccream)

In a double boiler melt white chocolate with creamer. Stir until smooth. Add more creamer to reach pour-able consistancy.

Assembly should go something like this.
If you have springform layers.
Layer: cake-syrup-buttercream-cake-syrup-buttercream-cake-syrup-mousse-glaze.
If you have cupcakes.
Cut each cupcake into three layers (see photo for example) and layer each item as listed above. I chose to add the glaze under the mousse.


Vegan_Noodle said...

Mmmm, my mouth is watering just looking at it! I love your addition of melted white chocolate to the buttercream. And you've given me the courage to try a white chocolate glaze.. I chickened out this round.

Anonymous said...

This looks beautiful! You had far more success than I did in veganland!

maybelles parents said...

great job veganizing.

Erin said...

Very nice job, it seems like it was an intimidating task. Desserts with more than one or two components tend to scare me off.

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

You Vegan DBs just amaze me! Job well done!

Maggie said...

The jam flavored mousse and white chocolate in the buttercream are both great ideas.

Sheltie Girl said...

You did a beautiful job on your cake.

Natalie @ Gluten A Go Go

Christine said...

Great job!!

Anonymous said...

Your cake looks divine, I love it!! Yay for vegans :)

Anonymous said...

What a challenge and a success. I don't know if I would have even attempted this. I am quite impressed. Congrats!

Miss Ifi said...

Congratulations on making vegan the recipe!!! truly... you are definitely DARING!!!

Barbara said...

Great idea to make cupcakes. They look beautiful.

Shari said...

Your berry mousse on top looks pretty!
Shari@Whisk: a food blog

Evie said...

Hi Bex,

My name is Shannon and I'm the editorial assistant at I am very impressed with the quality of your posts and to that end, I’d like to invite you to be a part of our newly launched Foodbuzz Featured Publisher program. I would love to send you more details about the program, so if you are interested, please email me at


Shannon Eliot
Editorial Assistant,

Mara said...

Looks AMAZING, Bex! MMmmmmm.

bett said...

Greetings, Bex!

I love this recipe and will be browsing your blog obsessively in the days to come! I do have a question on this recipe, however . . . there is no quantity listed for vegetable oil in the cake recipe. Can you please update this or leave a comment with that quantity, please?



Bex said...

Thanks so much you guys. Just the encouragement I need to make more cakes.

Mmmm cakes . . . .

Bett, you're right I neglected the unit of measure there. It's been corrected. Thanks for catching that.


Anonymous said...


I'm Alisha from Wowzio, and I'm excited to tell you about our new widget platform that helps bloggers increase readership and create more engaged users. I wanted to reach out to you to ask for your feedback on these widgets (feel free to also install them on your blog, if you feel they are a good fit). You can check out widgets customized for your blog here:

Wowzio Widgets for your blog

I'm sorry for leaving this message via a comment, it's not at all our intent to spam you ( which is why i'm leaving this comment on an older post and you can always remove this comment ). Again, we would love to hear your feedback.

Alisha Wright