There are many great French cakes but for connoisseurs, the cake known as Opera represents a taste of France at its most sophisticated and delicious.
Opera Cake History
The creation of the cake goes back to 1955 when great French pastry chef Cyriaque Gavillon worked at the legendary Dalloyau shop in Paris. Dalloyau have been trading since 1682 and were suppliers to the court of Versailles. It was the perfect match when Cyriaque, a genius with patisserie and an artist who created the most amazing cakes and sugar decorations, and Dalloyau got together. When inventing the Opera cake he wanted to make something that in taking one bite, would give a taste of the whole cake. He worked on layers and tastes and came up with a wonderfully sophisticated cake. His wife told him it reminded her of the Paris Opera House, Palais Garnier. It was a name that stuck, the Opera cake was born.
Known throughout the world, the rectangular cake is made of three layers of Joconde almond flavoured sponge soaked in coffee syrup and topped with coffee butter cream and chocolate ganache. The top is covered with a deep dark chocolate icing.
Every good boulangerie will make a version of this legendary cake and in the Paris Dalloyau store it is still one of their best-selling cakes.
More fabulous French cakes and their history:
St Honoré cake, made in honour of the Patron saint of French bakers
Madeleine – one of the most popular cakes in France
Charles Quint’s Finger – one of the most bizarre cake histories in France
Croissant – great French icon
French cake photo gallery feature