it had to be …


Opéra cake is a French type of cake. It is 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.” … and the French pâtisserie house Dalloyau popularised this cake.


Simplicity is the state or quality of being simple. It usually relates to the burden which a thing puts on someone trying to explain or understand it. Something which is easy to understand or explain is simple, in contrast to something complicated. Alternatively, as Herbert A. Simon suggested, something is simple or complex depending on the way we choose to describe it … In some uses, simplicity can be used to imply beauty, purity, or clarity. Simplicity may also be used in a negative connotation to denote a deficit or insufficiency of nuance or complexity of a thing, relative to what is supposed to be required.

apple opera 3

So, there you have it. It is SIMPLE and it IMPLIES BEAUTY … the Opera Cake has been since quite a while my absolute favourite what Flavour Texture and Color is concerned. There is hardly any cake or pastry as delicate and satisfying as this particular collection of layers …

The other week I was preparing a training for Junior-Chefs here in Saigon, and of course it had to feature …. but with a twist … or rather … apples … apple opera 1

I imagined layer by layer, flavour by flavour, texture by texture to stay true to the original … Gateaux Opéra … how could I not.

apple opera 4

I concocted this recipe on paper. I had no idea if this would work. Even less of an idea if it would taste the way I imagined …. so we set out to prepare …



 Joconde Biscuit

180 g Fresh Egg Whites
130 g Granulated Sugar
270 g Fresh Whole Eggs
50 g Fresh Egg Yolks
200 g Almond Powder
105 g Icing Sugar
60 g InterFlour Bread Flour T55
40 g ANCHOR Unsalted Butter

Apple Layer

4 pc Apples
50 g Brown sugar
100 g Neutral Glaze

Apple Butter Cream

110 g CAPFRUIT Frozen Puree Pear William
110 g CAPFRUIT Frozen Puree Green Apple
90 g Fresh Egg Yolk
300 g ANCHOR Unsalted Butter
120 g Italian Meringue

Apple Syrup

500 g Sugar Syrup
275 g Apple Juice


180 g VALROHNA Dark Chocolate Caraibe 66%
120 g ANCHOR Whole Milk
25 g ANCHOR Whipping Cream
50 g ANCHOR Unsalted Butter

Apple Jelly

200 g CAPFRUIT Frozen Puree Green Apple
200 g CAPFRUIT Frozen Puree Poire William
80 g Invert Sugar Trimoline
14 g Pectine Nappage
50 g Sugar


Joconde Biscuit

Whip egg white and ad in the sugar.
Add in the eggs and just mix.
Fold in the sifted mixture of icing sugar, flour and almond powder slowly.
Add melted butter.
Measure 650 g for one baking tray 60X40 and cook 10 mn 190°
Peel and core the apples
Slice thin and cover ½ tray with apples
After baking sprinkle with brown sugar and caramelise
Brush with neutral glaze

Apple Butter Cream

Defrost frozen puree
Cook custard sauce  with egg yolks and sugar.
Cool down in the mixer and emulsify with softened  butter.
add in the italian meringue.
Spread onto Joconde biscuit (soaked  with 500 g of syrup for 1 60×40 sheet.).

Apple Syrup

Mix warm syrup and Apple Juice and let cool before using


bring to a boil the cream and milk. After boiling add the butter.
Pour onto the chocolate and blend.cold down a bit . … Emulsify
Spread 700 g of ganache per 60×40 frame.

Apple Jelly

Warm up the apple and pear puree
add the mixture of sugar and pectin
Cook 5 minutes and cast on top of silpat.


… And Assemble … up-side-down …


apple opera 2

You would end up with something like that. …. and next time Peach-Passion-Fruit perhaps … ?

apple opera 5

Do not let the casual appearance of these ladies fool you, some of them may be “junior” in their position, but they are professionals, they have fun in the kitchen, and the day ended with a large Apple Opera devoured in no-time ….

apple opera 6

… of course, this would not have gone as well as it did without the help of thee three Pastry-Ninjas of CFF … Thanks Ladies … 





Published by ChefThomas

… born in Upper Austria’s Wels, I have done most of my growing up in Vienna. Only by sheer accident did I fall into the trade of Pâtissier. After a short apprentice ship at a Viennese Bakery, I was accepted for apprentice ship, at "K.u.K. Hofzuckerbäcker Demel’s Söhne", one of the oldest patisseries in Vienna. Learning the trade from the very basics, as the Emperor two Centuries ago would have expected from a "Pâtissier to the Royal and Imperial Court" (That is what the older Pâtissier still calls himself). I soon took to travel the world. From patisseries in America, to hotels in the Far East, Africa and the Middle East, did I accumulate a wealth of experience, ranging from bakeries to first class restaurants in major hotels to banquets for Presidents, Sultans and Heads of States and other famous, infamous and not so famous people. But the true excitement for me is in the "Viennese Café". Not just as an occupation, but as an institution in it own right.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: