Monday, December 17, 2012

The gradual demise of an Opera Torte

Every year at the annual Liver Research Center/Division of Gastroenterology holiday party we finish if off with very large chocolate cake called an Opera Torte at least according to the bill we received for the party.  We always thought this was just a fancy name but turns out it is something more. According to Wikipedia an Opera Torte is a type of French cake made with layers of almond sponge cake (known as Joconde in French) soaked in coffee syrup, layered with ganache and coffee buttercream, and covered in a chocolate glaze. According to Larousse Gastronomique "Opéra gateau is an elaborate almond sponge cake with a coffee and chocolate filling and icing." The cake was popularized by the French pâtisserie house Dalloyau.  In addition it is said to have made its grand debut in the early 1900s in Paris at the Exposition Culinaire. It was introduced by Louis Clichy, which is why the cake may be referred to as Gâteau Clichy. It wasn't until many years later, when Parisian pâtisserie Dalloyau reintroduced the cake as "L'Opera," (after the Paris Grand Opera), that it became immortal. And really, as the Balduccis description says, "The name makes sense, as the cake is comprised of several layers, similar to 'acts' in an operatic presentation."
One version of an Opera Cake

This is our version!  Bigger than the 9 inch chocolate cake at the Cheesecake Factory!
In its festive party setting!
At the end of the night it's wishing Happy Liver!
Viewing the many layers! Almost nine inches tall!
Who knew? And all these years we just thought it was a big chocolate cake.  The one we have had has always been multi-layered so in that respect it fits the bill.  It also has the requisite chocolate cake, coffee buttercream and ganache so I guess, yeah, we have been dealing with an Opera Torte all this time.  Anyway the tradition is that it is served as dessert for our holiday party with some peach champagne. Since it is invariably to big to finish by the end of the evening it has become the entry for cake hour on the next day.  This year was no exception.
And it makes it to cake hour!

The first cake hour slice!
Getting down to business!

One last look at the Happy Liver message!

Loves us some Opera Torte!

A typical piece!
This is a very good cake and although it is served at the restaurant CAV where we have the party we are pretty sure it is made somewhere else.  This year we followed for we followed the gradual disappearance and demise of the cake over the several days after the party.  In the end it wasn't pretty but all along it was pretty tasty!
At the end of several got ugly!
Farewell Opera Torte till next year!

 Follow the disappearance of the cake below....
Looks good!
A first cut...
I want some too!
Missed this last night!
Happy to give it a try!
Now a slice to go!

That's quite a slice!

A piece for me and for my son!
Oishii keeki desu, ne!

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