Where did the Opera Cream come from?
The Opera Cream
People have often asked me where the inspiration and recipe for the opera cream cake came from. It is such an iconic part of our bakery. It’s a bit of a long story that starts with my Dad.
My Dad died when he was 48 and I was 20. With four children, his mother to take care of , a job and a passion for sports we didn’t have much time to get to know each other very well. He was sweet to me and in many ways I felt he really appreciated who I was. He would say that I had artist’s hands and sometimes that is all I needed to keep the dream in me alive.
He also enjoyed all the crazy things I would bake for dessert. Once I made a blackberry pie. My friends and I had picked the berries that afternoon in a neighborhood bramble and our hands pricked and bloodied demonstrated our resolve and the pie demonstrated our success. The problem was however; wild blackberries seemed to be composed of half seed and half juicey pulp which make for something closer to a seed pie than a blackberry one. But as he took a mouthful of it for dessert at the kitchen table he told me how delicious it was and ate the whole slice. Other members of my family were not so generous.
I enjoyed painting on velvet as a kid. It was a paint by numbers project of a bowl of fruit. No sooner had I finished painting it, did he insist it be hung in our dining room. I was honored and felt that maybe there was again something in me that said I was an Artist.
When we occasionally went out for ice-cream, he would always order a vanilla ice-cream cone with chocolate jimmies. He would say it was a perfect balance of both vanilla and chocolate. I would have to agree. After all the flavors that are out there now, that is also what I order when I get an ice cream cone. So after starting The BonBonerie, I tried to create a cake that had that same perfect balance of vanilla and chocolate. I haven’t been with my Dad for over forty years, but his sweet face and encouragement lives in every opera cream we make.