tiramisu goes to the opera….cake.

My Classical Cakes class has come to a close, and I’m sad – this was my favorite class that I’ve taken. There’s a reason these cakes are classics. I’ve never tasted cakes so good in my life. This is what it’s all about people – these are the cakes that gave cake it’s good name to begin with. Not that dry, simple stuff we call cake today. This kind of cake couldn’t ever come out of a box. It takes time, attention, and some major organization. But the results are hella worth it.

Anyway, for our last cake of the class, we had to create our very own classical cake, using what we’ve learned. Well, my partner (who happens to be the best partner ever) and I decided to do a chocolate coffee kahlua cake with mascarpone mousse. It was part tiramisu, part opera cake.



opera cake


tiramisu goes to the opera cake.


In case you’re interested in recreating our nouveau classical cake pictured above, it’s a layer of chocolate genoise (soaked in kahlua coffee syrup), next a layer of coffee buttercream, followed by a thin layer of chocolate ganache, next a layer of ladyfingers (soaked with kahlua coffee syrup), a layer of mascarpone mousse, another layer of chocolate ganache, another layer of soaked ladyfingers, and finally topped off with another layer of mascaropone mousse. The whole thing is then coated with a chocolate glaze and garnished as desired (we used chocolate curls, modeling chocolate flowers, and fresh raspberries).

We got an A.


the phantom of the opera cake.

I used to sing show tunes around the house all the time. For some reason, I just stopped, I think possibly in part because I was living in apartments with little to no insulation, and my singing voice tends to be louder than most (in highschool we did a show where everyone needed to use a microphone…except for me), and I didn’t want to scare the neighbors (or my cat). However, it does lend itself perfectly to show tune singing.

i could've been the next Ethel Merman.

I was visiting with my mom the other day, and she asked me if I still sang show tunes. And my answer was, regretfully, no. And I started wondering why. I don’t live in an apartment anymore – there was no real excuse. I’d somehow abandoned something I loved doing more than anything without even realizing it. So I went home, grabbed my favorite old CD of show tunes (an Andrew Lloyd Webber compilation) and rocked out, particularly to songs from Phantom of the Opera, for some reason.

The phantom of the opera is there, inside my mind.

In a strange coincidence, a couple days later in class we made an “Opera Cake,” which is layers of coffee syrup soaked cake (called “Joconde”), interspersed with coffee buttercream and a single layer of ganache, topped with chocolate glaze, and traditionally the word “Opera” written across the top.

my confectionery aria.

This cake was fun to make, and even more fun to eat, being the coffee addict that I am. However, it took all my willpower to refrain from bursting into song while making it. Someday, if I own my own bakeshop, show tune singing while baking will not only be acceptable, but required.

Make new dreams and try new things, my friends – but never forget the old ones. And if over the course of your busy life you somehow do, just have your mom remind you – that’s all i ask of you. 🙂