Blackberry Opera Torte (Diva Cake)

Blackberry Opera Torte (Diva Cake) | ZoeBakes photos by Zoë François

I set out to bake a traditional Opera Torte, but I ended up getting distracted and took off in an entirely different flavor direction. In the end I created this Blackberry Opera Torte ( which I have named the Diva Cake). It has way more layers than a traditional opera torte, which is not a bad thing at all. Instead of coffee soaked Joconde ( almond sponge cake) and coffee buttercream, this one uses blackberry preserves to flavor the buttercream and then has a layer of fresh berries separating the cake from the spiky meringue. Those fresh berries turned out to be a brilliant layer of protection from the flamethrower I used to toast the meringue. Oh, that is no joke. I got ahold of one of Elon Musk’s Boring Company Flamethrowers and had a blast (see what I did there) torching the top of the cake. You can use a regular kitchen torch to get the job done too. You can watch me make the cake and wild a flamethrower in my instagram video.

Blackberry Opera Torte (Diva Cake) | ZoeBakes photos by Zoë François

Raspberry Opera Torte (Diva Cake)

Joconde (almond sponge cake)

3 eggs, room temperature

90g sugar

3 egg whites

30g sugar

115g almond meal

28g all-purpose flour

Blackberry buttercream

1/2 cup egg whites

1 cup sugar

3 sticks (339g) unsalted butter, room temperature

Pinch salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

3/4 cup blackberry preserves

Chocolate Ganache

12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

12 ounces heavy whipping cream

2 pints Blackberries for garnish

Meringue for topping

1/2 cup egg whites

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

Link to all the EQUIPMENT I use

To make the Joconde: watch my instagram video to see me make the cake

Preheat oven to 350°F and line a buttered 11×16″ baking sheet with buttered parchment

Sift together the almond meal and flour, set aside.

Whip the eggs and sugar in a stand mixer on high speed until they are at the ribbon stage. See video

Gently fold in the almond mixture.

Whip the egg whites and sugar until stiff peaks. Gently fold them into the almond batter.

Pour onto the prepared pan and spread evenly with a spatula.

Bake for about 12-15 minutes or until set and just golden on top.

Follow these directions for making the buttercream.

Once the buttercream is done, stir in the blackberry preserves.

To make the ganache:

Heat the heavy cream to a simmer. Turn off the heat and add the chopped chocolate. Swirl the pan to submerge the chocolate. Let sit for 3 minutes then gently whisk until smooth. Keep in pot until ready to use.

To assemble the cake:

Loosen the cake from the pan. Spread the buttercream over the cake. Refrigerate until solid. Pour the ganache over the chilled buttercream. Refrigerate until solid. Cover the cake with plastic and invert onto the back of a second baking sheet. Remove the parchment from the bottom and invert onto the back of the first pan. Cut the cake in half along the long side and in 1/3s on the short side, so you have 6 sections (see the video). Stack the sections. Use a knife dipped in hot water to clean up any straggly bits. Line the top with blackberries.

To make the meringue, follow the direction for the buttercream but don’t add the butter. Create meringue spikes on the top of the blackberries. Use a flamethrower or blowtorch to toast the top.

Blackberry Opera Torte (Diva Cake) | ZoeBakes photos by Zoë FrançoisBlackberry Opera Torte (Diva Cake) | ZoeBakes photos by Zoë François Blackberry Opera Torte (Diva Cake) | ZoeBakes photos by Zoë François

Blackberry Opera Torte (Diva Cake) | ZoeBakes photos by Zoë François