Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Pink Butterfly Guavaberry Opera Cake!

When I discovered that the Daring Bakers would be doing an Opera Cake for our May challenge (hosted by Lis of La Mia Cucina, Ivonne of Cream Puffs in Venice, Fran of Apples, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie, and Shea of Whiskful you know the drill, go check them out) I was ridiculously excited. I had seen these elegant cakes before and always wondered how they tasted and how such elegant and lovely cakes were created. I had never made one because a)I was too chicken to attempt making one and b) I knew that if I made one that I would eat it and my thighs would expand exponentially. I knew that now was the time for me to make it. See, now I have a husband, and in-laws who gather on a frequent basis and I had season tickets to the opera. You can't bring an opera cake to the opera, but when I go to the opera I see my best friend T and my family so I can always drop off goodies there.

The biggest rule of all was that we had to make a light opera cake. It had to be light in color and flavor. This meant massive amounts of white chocolate. Call me crazy, but I'm a dark chocolate girl. White chocolate really isn't my thing. But I was game so I thought and thought and thought (by this time half the DBers were done with their cakes). And I had a terrible time figuring out what flavor to pick. Well, until I was sort of reorganizing my cupcake supplies, sprinkles, liners, et al. and I saw my tiny jar of guavaberry honey tucked away.
So my flavor for the cake was guavaberry. Don't confuse guavas with guavaberry. Guavaberry is indigenous to the Carribean and the Brain and I picked up our guavaberry honey and liquor (and a big fat bottle of guavaberry rum) from this great shop that we were drinking in as soon as we docked. Well, we were "sampling" in. Guavaberries are a sort of tart tasting fruit that almost reminds me of a cranberry, but much much sweeter. The berries have a very large stone and a thin layer of pulp. It is also very labor intensive to pick these fruits. That's why they are so rare and if you get the chance to go to Sint Maartin, go to the Guavaberry Emporium and pick up the honey and the liquor and the rum. Oh heck, everything there is super delicious.

So I made the cake and it was delicious. And I made the buttercream and flavored it with guavaberry honey and it was such a lovely blush pink color. And I made the syrup for soaking the cake with guavaberry liquor. And I melted the white chocolate with no problems and made the mousse flavored with guavaberry liquor and it turned out a little darker of that beautiful blush color. And I assembled the cake and stuck it in the fridge while I made the white chocolate glaze flavored with guavaberry liquor and again with the lovely pink. And then I sprinkled my brand new butterfly sprinkles on top and I was happy. I mean please, it was a pink cake with butterflies, what's not to be happy about?


I had actually made half the cake into a rectangle to share with the Brain's family for the bi-monthly birthday celebration. The rest of the cake I cut into "individual" sized round cakes about 2 inches in diameter. Not wanting to waste the delicious cake scraps I made one tiny little heart shaped pink butterfly opera cake for me to taste.

Wow. That's some rich cake. The heart shaped cake was just the right size for me. I took the round "individual" cakes up to my Mom's and it was decided that one whole cake was far too rich. I shared one with my mom and felt like my teeth were rotting. I took the rectangular cake to the in-laws and the Brain and I both had tiny pieces. The Brain liked the guavaberry flavor, but agreed it was too rich. His sister had one bite of hers and was done. And his mom didn't eat the frosting and declared the cake part to be delicious. I think if I make this again, I would do it with a dark chocolate. I can handle rich, but this cake was far too sweet. It might be lovely if it were cut up like a petit four. I would have to wait until I had some elegant event to take them to.

If anyone has managed to get their hands on some guavaberry honey and guavaberry liquor and wants to know how I flavored it, shoot me an email. Otherwise the recipe is here or here or here or here. And don't forget to check out all the other beautiful and far more delicious opera cakes that are currently posting all over the internet!


Barbara of Winos and Foodies had to leave our Daring Baker group for health reasons and so I dedicate this very pretty pink butterfly opera cake to her. Barbara, I hope you are winning the battle and come back to join us when you can!

52 comments:

abby said...

gorgeous looking little cakes!

petit fours sound good - quite fiddly but they'd be worth it if they look and taste good!

maybelles parents said...

I love that you made mini. so did I, mini are the best.

glamah16 said...

So cute. Im on the hunt for this guavaberry. It sounds delish.

Jade Is Green! said...

Too right! Who can be unhappy with pink and butterflies? I have never heard of a guavaberry but it sounds great.

Susan/Wild Yeast said...

Lovely! I agree about the white chocolate -- I'm going with dark next time too. Never heard of guavaberry; that's what I love about these challenges, someone's always doing something new.

Bellini Valli said...

This cake would have given me an ear to ear grin. Great job with the challenge Mary...love the heart shape too:D

Andrea said...

Oh my goodness, the guavaberry sounds wonderful! What a tasty idea! Great job!

Kim said...

Your cakes are precious! I like your flavor choice as well, never heard of it and it sounds interesting. Pretty in Pink!

Pixie said...

I like how you cut the amount in half- very sweet.

breadchick said...

I'm thinking those are just about the prettiest little mini opera cakes I've ever seen. I've never heard of guavaberry but i'm going to look out for it now.

Deborah said...

I'm so intrigued by the guavaberry - it sounds delicious! I agree, it was much too sweet, but it sure is fun to look at!

one spicy mama said...

What darling little cakes! And the flavor sounds delicious - great job!

Suzana said...

Those are so adorable! Great job on the challenge.

Julia said...

So ADORABLE! And guavaberry? How creative!

Kristen said...

MMM, I'd love to try some of those guavaberries. They sound delicious. I thought the cake was too sweet and rich too, I couldn't eat it at all. great job on the cake, it looks gorgeous!

steph- whisk/spoon said...

darling! i didn't know about guavaberry--sounds good.

kellypea said...

I'm partial to cute dots on baked goods so you have my vote. And being the dark chocolate girl I am, if my thighs are going to grow "exponentially" then there's no way I'm growing with white chocolate. Uh-uh. Very nice job on your cakelettes!

PAT A BAKE said...

Pretty. All the best for future challenges.

Jacque said...

I'm with you on the white and dark chocolate. But I thought the white tasted pretty good in this cake.

Your little heart cake is completely adorable! great job.

Di said...

I love your little heart-shaped cake. And I agree, dark chocolate is much more my thing.

dailydelicious said...

Very, very cute.
I love your cake.

Zita said...

Wow...sounds so refreshing, guavaberry, excellent idea :)

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

So cute! I love the flavors you used! Yummy!

Cheers,

Rosa

Virginia said...

cutting in half, what a good idea. And I love the flavors, mmm guavaberry, haven't tasted it for a long time that and passionfruit, one reason I'd live in the Caribbean. Makes my mouth water.

Virginia said...

I guess two reasons...

Sass E-mum said...

So pretty.

I'm definitely making this cake again - in half quantities. Good to know that worked out well.

Guavaberries sound very Willy Wonka. I'll have to google them.

Dhanggit said...

i never realized that guava and berry could sound perfect!! what a gorgeous opera cake you made here!!

Mcwhisky said...

Guavaberry Opera Cake? Genius!

Angela said...

Guavaberries are very special indeed! An opera cake flavoured with them would be my idea of heaven.

Well done!

Barbara said...

I've never had guavaberry before but now I'm intrigued and want to try it. Your cake looks good enough to eat.

Ruth Elkin said...

Your little heart shaped pink butterfly cakes look so special! Sorry it turned out too sweet for you, though I've never heard of guavaberry, so I will have to keep my eyes open for it on my travels.

anna said...

they are bee-a-utiful and girlie and all good things! and they sound delish. my mouth was watering!

Rosie said...

I just adore your gorgeous looking little cakes! Well done :)

Rosie x

strawberriesinparis said...

yay for pink hearts! I was pondering trying to do a cut out cake too, yours looks great!

Rebecca said...

What a pretty little cake! Even if it was too sweet, based on your description of the flavor and colord I'd love to try a guavaberry opera cake.

L*Joy said...

i love the precious little heart and butterflies.

Shari said...

I've never tried guavaberry or seen guavaberry honey and guavaberry rum, but it sure sounds delicious! Very pretty cakes.
Shari@Whisk: a food blog

Eva said...

You're right - it should be eaten only in very small portions. Your mini-version looks adorable!

madcapcupcake said...

Your cake is so cute, I love it :) Love the colours!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Wow, WOW wonderful flavors and beautiful Opera!

AranciOnissimA said...

Hello! in Italy we can call you opera, Pasticcino, very cute!
AranciOnissimA

Cynthia's Blog said...

Great opera cake. And congrats on winning the Peabody Award!

Lis said...

Awww cutest mini Operas EVER! I agree though.. SWEET and RICH. Totally need to make the original version one day.. yanno with bittersweet choc & coffee.. probably just as rich but maybe not as sweet? hehehe

Hugs!
xoxo

Ann said...

Absolutely adorable!

chrismacd1 said...

I love your minis and flavors sound wonderful! I agree about the white chocolate, I will go dark next time. Great job!

Dolores said...

Okay, so next time I'm in the Caribbean, guavaberries are on my list of things to try. Thanks for the heads up. It's *amazing* the breadth of things I learn in these challenges.

Great job...beautiful opera! Glad you've got people with whom to share it. :)

standing still said...

Pretty, pretty, pretty. And, 46 comments? How popular a little baker woman you have become. I knew you when ...

Fran Z said...

Your cakes are very pretty!So lovely! The guavaberry sounds enticing!!!

Cakelaw said...

Beatiful! I havenever heard of guavaberry untiljust now, but I will keep an eye out for them or guavaberry products on the off chance that it pops up somewhere.

Rebecca said...

Guavaberry honey! I'll have to try that. Your cake looks lovely.

gfgastronaut said...

The guavaberry flavoring sounds like so much fun... too bad it is so hard to come by.

paulawy said...

Wow - what exotic flavors! I'm definitely learning a lot by seeing what everyone else made! Your heart shaped cake was so sweet! And everything looks better on a pretty plate!