I fell in love with opera cake when I worked in a bakery in my teens!
But I learned one thing - it is complicated! And me? I don’t do complicated.
So, I wondered if I could come up with an easier way to get
the flavors of opera cake into a cupcake.
The elements of opera cake are:
Thin layers of almond flavored
Coffee flavored buttercream
Rich chocolate ganache
This will be fairly sacrilegious to a proper pastry chef, but it is easier!
24 white or yellow cupcakes (home-made or box mix)
Chocolate buttercream (from can or home-made)
1. The Cake. Make a batch of 24 yellow or white cupcakes from your own recipe or a box. Add a tablespoon of almond extract. Let cool.
2. Coffee Syrup. I don’t love lots of sugar so I simply made a really strong mug of coffee – maybe enough for 2 cups (you can also use espresso powder) and sweetened it with 2-3 packs of Splenda. Just makes sure it is strong as the flavor of opera cake comes down to the flavors of chocolate and coffee together.
3. Coffee “Buttercream”. The idea of a big wodge of buttercream in the center of my cupcake seemed too “uggh”, so I opted for whipped cream. Home-made whipped cream is easy to make! Use a cup of heavy cream 1 tablespoon of sugar (or ½ T Splenda). Whip to stiff peaks and flavor gently with coffee syrup. You don’t want it getting to liquid, it needs to hold its shape so add a little at a time.
- Scoop out a cone from the top-center of each cupcake with a knife – do NOT Discard
- Brush the insides of the cake with coffee syrup. Do not be timid, this is where that opera cake flavor comes from. Don’t do so much that your cake is soaked and soggy but enough to penetrate a bit. They can take quite a bit.
- Spoon a little whipped cream in each cupcake hole
- Break some cake off the ends of the cones and cap off the cupcakes. Wipe up any oozing whipped cream.
Frost with dark chocolate buttercream (either
canned or homemade)
They may taste better as the coffee soaks in for a few hours... Enjoy!