Christmas Opera Cake
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A Christmas Opera

In a slight twist to the traditional Opera usually made with butter cream, the Chestnut cream and Brandy syrup give this recipe has a Christmassy feel. You can enjoy this cake served whole or as small playful bites

Christmas Opera Cake


1 Swiss Roll sponge cut into thirds crossways
1 quantity of Chocolate Ganache

For the Brandy  Syrup

80g sugar
80ml water
1tbsp Brandy or your favourite liqueur

For the Chesnut cream

100g unsweetened chestnut puree
softened with a tbsp of milk
150ml whipping cream
1tsp vanilla paste
20g icing sugar

For the Chocolate Icing

150g chocolate buttons
30g unsalted butter cubed


Prepare the Brandy Syrup

Step 1

Prepare the Brandy syrup by heating the sugar and cold water in a saucepan. Stir over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Boil for 1 minute then take off the heat. Add the Brandy or the liqueur of your choice to flavour your syrup.

Step 2

Prepare the chesnut cream: in a mixing bowl, whisk the cream with the vanilla and icing sugar. Once it is quite fluffy, add the chestnut puree.

Prepare the Chestnut Cream
Spread the Ganache

Step 3

‘Create your Opera’: Spread the first piece of the Swiss Roll sponge with the chocolate ganache.

Step 4

Cover with the second piece of sponge and imbibe with the Brandy syrup. Spread the sponge with chestnut cream and top with the remaining sponge.

Add the Brandy Syrup
Spread the Chestnut cream

Step 5

Next, spread the sponge with chestnut cream and top with the remaining sponge.

Step 6

Prepare the chocolate icing: Melt the chocolate in a microwave oven using 30 second bursts at 30% power. See our How to Melt Chocolate for details of how to do this without using a microwave.

Once melted add the cubed butter and stir until melted.

Prepare the Icing
Spread the Icing

Step 7

Coat the top of the cake with the chocolate icing.

Step 8

Trim the edges of the cake in order to make them more even before letting it stand for a while to set.

You can serve your Opera pieces just on their own or with a Brandy flavoured custard.

Trim the edges

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