Mango and Saffron Opera cake

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Mango and saffron opera cake
Mango and saffron opera cake
Opera cake, a French CLASSIC, is made with layers of almond sponge (also called Jaconde in French) soaked in coffee syrup layered with ganache and coffee buttercream and covered in a chocolate glaze.

Here, I have tried to give this cake a complete makeover with mango and saffron twist. Almond sponge are soaked in saffron syrup and layered with mango buttercream and mango mouse.

I was planning to make a mango glaze with mango juice but yesterday when I finished assembling this cake I realised I forgot to make the glaze. My bad planning!

Anyways, the Mango and saffron opera cake looks very pretty, if I say so myself 😉  

A quick update : I made this cake to take part in an online contest in a Facebook group called Chai pe milte hain – Let’s meet over tea. This group is not just any other food group but focus around every day topic like fitness, parenting, chat over movie or a song, make-up tips or review of a good book you have read recently. You can share almost anything in the group that you would like to discuss with your friend over a cup of tea. A very talented young lady, and my friend, Anjali Inaya Irfan Shaikh is the founder of the group. She always comes up with some exciting contests and this time it was ‘Mango masti at Chai’ where we had to submit any recipe using mangoes. I submitted this cake as my entry and guess what? I won first runner-up place!

Yayyyy! Happy happy happy me!!!!

This recipe has got published in India’s leading Hindi magazine Grihlakshami, June ’16 edition. 

I am soon going to make this again with the picture I had in my mind. This time I didn’t even have the proper tin to make the sponge thinner for better look. Moreover, I had such busy week that the whole thing was done in bits and pieces over the week  😆 

I also learnt ‘how to fix your buttercream’ when my buttercream turned grainy. I made a beautiful French buttercream with mango flavour for this cake but kept in the fridge for later use. The buttercream turned as hard as a rock next day. Obvious!!! I had to keep it at room temperature to thaw and when I try re-whipping it, the whole mass turned grainy 🙁 

I shouted for help in a baker’s group on FB and here came a beautiful soul to help me in the hour of crisis  😀 

Check this link to fix buttercream – How to fix buttercream

I am sure this method will help you all incase things go wrong. Thanks to Sonal Agarwal for helping me in salvaging my buttercream!

Ok, moving on to recipe, the almond cake is a classic one made with lots of eggs. In case you want to make eggless version you may try my Rasgulla flavoured eggless almond cake.

Eggless Almond cake
Eggless Almond cake

Skip the rasgulla part and use the almond cake recipe from there 🙂

See the notes* for rest of the part.

Without much ado let’s move on to the recipe of this Mango and saffron Opera cake. The recipe is inspired from here. The sponge recipe is a classic one that you can find in every baking book or on website. I loved the mango buttercream recipe from this blog and used it. It came out fabulous. For mango mousse, I used my version. I skipped the blueberry syrup used in here as I was already planning to use saffron syrup. Mango and saffron is one combination that I love the most. My family loves the mango and saffron cake I make every year. Will share it soon 🙂

You can also check my luscious and creamy Mango cream tart!

How to make Mango & Saffron Opera cake 

Mango and saffron opera cake
Mango and saffron opera cake

Preparation time: 30-45 minutes
Baking time: 10-15 minutes
Baking equipment used: two 1/2 sheet pans (size 13×18 inches) *see notes

Ingredients for almond sponge (jaconde) :

6 large egg whites at room temperature

30 grams or 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

225 grams almond powder

225 grams sugar

6 large eggs

70 grams all-purpose flour/plain flour

½ tablespoon vanilla extract

45 grams butter, melted

Method : 
  • Pre-heat the oven to 200 C/180 C fan-assisted/400 F/gas 6.
  • Grease and line two 1/2 sheet pans (*see notes) with parchment paper.
  • Sift almond powder and sugar together. Keep aside.
  • In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites to soft peak. Add the granulated sugar little by little while still beating. Whisk it until the mixture becomes glossy and at full peak.
  • In another bowl beat the eggs. Add the shifted almond-sugar mixture and vanilla. Mix then add flour. Mix it too.
  • Now fold the whisked egg white into this mixture in batches. Take out 1/4 cup of the whisked egg white and add melted butter to it. This will help the melted butter to mix evenly with the whole batch. Fold the butter mixture with the whole batch.
  • Divide the mixture into both the baking sheets and bake for 7-10 minutes at 200 degrees C or until the skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  • Let the cake cool to room temperature.
Stepwise pics of making the almond sponge :
Making the almond sponge
Making the almond sponge
Saffron syrup : 

For saffron syrup, take 1/2 cup of water. Add 2 tablespoon of sugar and a generous pinch of saffron and heat in microwave for a minute. Keep it aside.

Mango French buttercream :

400 grams unsalted butter, soft at room temperature
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
225 gram sugar
125 ml or 1/2 cup water
1/3 cup mango purée

Method :
  • Beat the butter in a bowl until it’s light and fluffy. Set aside.
  • Put the eggs and egg yolks in a bowl and whisk them for a minute.
  • Heat the sugar and water in a sauce pan and cook without stirring until it thickens.
  • Pour this sugar mixture slowly in a stream in the egg mixture and mix slowly. Make sure you pour really slow and mix simultaneously otherwise the egg mixture will curdle.
  • When its well mixed, start whisking again at a higher speed and whisk until the mixture cools down.
  • Add the butter and mix well.
  • Fold the mango purée gently into the mixture. Mango buttercream is ready.
Stepwise pics of making mango french buttercream :
Making of mango buttercream
Making of mango buttercream
Mango Mousse :

1/2 cup mango purée
2 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon agar agar powder
200 ml heavy cream

Method :
  • Heat the mango purée and sugar together. Add agar agar powder and mix. Keep it to cool to room temperature.
  • Whip the cream till stiff peaks form.
  • Fold it into the purée mixture. Mango mousse is ready.
Making of mango mousse
Making of mango mousse
Assemble the cake :
  • Cut both the cakes in half and soak them in saffron syrup.
  • Put bottom layer on cake board. Spread half of the mango buttercream on it.
  • Layer with another half of the cake. Spread mango mousse on it.
  • Repeat the process for another two sheets of the cake.
  • Decorate with mango pieces.
Notes :
  1. I made the sponge in two 13×8 foil baking tin. If you do not have any tin then make it in usual round tin. Either use three 7 inches round tin or two 10 inches. You may have to cut the sponge horizontally to get thinner slices.
  2. In case you are planning to make eggless version of sponge, skip the eggs used in buttercream. Simply whip butter and sugar together. Then add mango purée and fold. Just make sure you add 2 teaspoons of agar agar powder dissolved  in 1 tablespoon of hot water. 

Enjoy this truly sumptuous cake.

J xx

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A self-taught baker and an iPhone photographer who believes passion is the necessary ingredient in baking and every step must be savoured and enjoyed! I feel baking is therapeutic and easy. All you have to do is to gather your ingredients, measure them, mix them with a pinch of love and let the magic work!! Thank you for stopping by and going through my work. Let me know how you find them? All inputs and suggestions are highly appreciated. Thanks!

2 thoughts on “Mango and Saffron Opera cake”

    1. Thanks for your appreciation Claire. You just need to be a little bit patient while doing an Opera cake. I am sure you would be able to pull it out 👍🏻

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