My opera cake had layers of buttercream, almond cake, raspberries, white chocolate mousse, and a white chocolate glaze. With all that white chocolate I was worried about it being much too sweet so the tartness of the raspberries reassured me. I'm so glad I included the glaze. Once it hardened up, it really gave the cake and extra stability and glossyness.
I also had a personal deadline for this cake. We had a dessert auction the friday before Mother's Day and I was determined to have this ready for it. So of course, that Thursday night I was up until midnight working on the glaze, assembling the cake, tripping sleepily over moving boxes, and ignoring my husband's expression that plainly revealed his doubts about my sanity.
Late night baking or not, everything turned out swell. I was happy to trim the ugly edges off so I could taste them and make sure I wasn't auctioning off something wretched. And there were plenty of scraps! It wasn't as pretty as I would have liked. My cake layers weren't as even as they should have been. I didn't smooth them out well enough before popping them into the oven. The buttercream was from the modified recipe and it came out wonderfully.
I'm so glad I didn't completely mess my first challenge up. I was scared when I printed off the pages and pages of instructions. If you're up for a challenge, you can see the recipe at Cream Puffs in Venice.
Next challenge will be done in my brand new, kinda ugly, but with way better light kitchen at our first real home. Can't wait!