Impromptu change in decorations brought to you by: Audric not realizing he doesn't actually have the piping tip size that he thought he did!
There are classics in all genres of human expression: architecture, rock music, cars, movies. Timeless, dependable, universal, these provide a certain stability and structure to the rough-and-tumble course of our daily lives. You can always count on that trustworthy book or that one brand of shampoo to bring you through a rough spot.
One such classic in food is the combination of coffee and chocolate. In hot liquid form or in pastry form, it always provides an adjustable balance between sweet and bitter. One cuts through other, while the other mellows of the former.
In the case of the Opera cake, chocolate ganache and mocha buttercream are layered between almond joconde (sponge) cake layers soaked in coffee-flavoured syrup. The edges of the cake are left unmasked to show off the layers inside.
Less is definitely more, especially with a cake this rich. Go easy on the buttercream and ganache (I think I put a little too much); thinner layers definitely produces a far better experience when eating as all the flavours blend together.