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Opera Cake

Chef Sabrina Deighton,

The Frenchway Café

This elaborate dessert features everyone’s favourite coffee-and-chocolate combination. Layers of espresso-steeped cream and dark chocolate ganache soak into thin rounds of sponge cake, ensuring rich, balanced bites. Named after the Opéra Garnier, the cake is topped with a delicate icing label.


Vanilla Sponge Cake

12 eggs

1 2/3 cups white sugar

1 cup unbleached white all-purpose flour

Dark Chocolate Ganache

1 1/2 cups Callebaut dark chocolate callets

1 cup whipping cream

2 Tbsp glucose syrup

Royal Icing

1 egg white

1/2 cup icing sugar, or until desired consistency

Butter Cream

1 cup white sugar

1 cup water

8 egg whites

4 Tbsp unsalted butter

Butter Crème Café

1/3 Tbsp white sugar

1 Tbsp espresso coffee

3/4 cup whipping cream

2/3 cup butter cream


Vanilla Sponge Cake

  1.  Separate egg whites and yolks. 
  2.  Whip egg whites, blending in sugar, to form a meringue.
  3.  Whisk yolks in a bowl. Alternate folding in flour and meringue. 
  4.  Pour onto parchment-lined pan.
  5.  Bake in convection oven at 350° for 20-25 minutes.
  6.  Cool fully then use a round 3” cutter to make fifteen circles.

Dark Chocolate Ganache

  1.  Mix ingredients in a saucepan and cook over medium heat while stirring constantly. Blend well and cool.

Royal Icing

  1.  Whip egg white on high until soft peaks form. 
  2.  Slowly add icing sugar while whipping on low. Blend well.

Butter Cream

  1.  Mix sugar and water in a saucepan. Heat on medium high until 240°.
  2.  Whip egg whites in a bowl on high until soft peaks form.
  3.  Add sugar mixture to egg whites in a steady stream while whipping on high until glossy with stiff peaks.
  4.  Add butter while continuing
    to whip.

Butter Crème Café

  1.  Mix espresso coffee with sugar and set aside.
  2.  Whip cream in mixer on high until soft peaks form. 
  3.  Continue whipping and slowly add coffee slurry. Whip until firm peaks form.
  4.  Fold in butter cream and chill.


  1.  In a 3×3 stainless steel baking collar, layer sponge cake, ganache, sponge cake, butter crème café, sponge cake and butter crème café.
  2.  Make 5 and freeze.
  3.  Place ganache on top and warm sides with a blow torch to remove collar.
  4.  Write “OPERA” with royal icing
    to finish.  

Yield 5 cakes


Lilac Street bakery and cafe specializes in breakfast and lunch fare. Do dessert right with rich mocha cake or a fruit tartlette. Don't miss this delectable patisserie.

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