Wednesday, July 30, 2008

July's Daring Bakers Challenge - Filbert Gateau with Praline Buttercream~!

I completed my first Daring Bakers Challenge!!! Whoohoo!!!
This month's assignment was to make a Filbert Gateau. Filbert is a fancy way of saying Hazelnut and Gateau is a fancy way of saying cake. So basically, a hazelnut cake. The challenge was chosen by Mele Cotte of the Daring Bakers. I kid you not, I spent like 12 hours on this baby, over the course of two days! The recipe itself was 8 pages long! But I had reserved a Saturday just for this purpose and took my time getting all the ingredients and going through each step before taking it on.

And let me tell you, I was pretty nervous attempting this, because there was a lot of things I had NEVER done before. Like for example, the cake itself is made completely from scratch (which I have never done before) using hazelnuts that I bought whole, then toasted, then peeled, then grounded up into a fine powder and then sifted into the cake batter!! Yeah, not easy.

After the cakes were baked, I melted up a vanilla syrup to spread over the cakes (though the recipe calls for a rum syrup, I'm allergic to alcohol, so I went with Vanilla instead) and let them cool for a while.

I then attacked my first attempt at Swiss Buttercream. And it turned out beautifully! I'm so excited I know how to make this now! It was too rich for Jason's liking, but the praline paste was up next, which got added to the buttercream and added a nice crunch to it, and also cut the sweetness a bit.

Now at this point, we were supposed to make an apricot glaze for on top of the cake, but Jason and I really can't stand fruit and chocolate mixed, so I substituted the apricot glaze for a melted caramel. After all, why go to all these hours making a cake that we could never enjoy!
AFTER THAT, I also had my first shot at chocolate ganache, which I had decided to use Ghirardelli Chocolate. Divine people. DIVINE.
Assembling the cake took some time and focus, and once it was all put together, I piped the buttercream on top with a bit of hazelnut (aka filbert) for decoration.
There was no way Jason and I were going to be left all alone with this cake, so I brought it our small group dinner. Thing is, it was still so cold that it was hard to slice and eat. I should have thawed it longer, but in this 95 degree heat, I was afraid my ganache would melt.

It was good, but in my opinion not so good that it was worth all the work. I can think of better cakes that take a whole lot less time and effort.

But still, it was a challenge and I'm very proud of myself for not getting too overwhelmed and taking it head on!! I would include the recipe here, but because it really is 8 pages long, just leave a comment if you're interested and I'll email it to you!
Can't wait for this next months challenge!!


Katrina Hope said...

what a beautiful cake!!!! Sounds sooo yummy to me! ;)

Rachel Sarah said...

what an accomplishment! looks yummy too.

Camille said...

OH my gosh. I have never completed a Daring Baker's challenge, even though I've been trying my hand at layer cakes on and off for the past year now. I'm so PROUD of you!!!

But it is kind of depressing when something you put SO much into doesn't turn out as amazing as you picture. I felt that way about my marshmallows.


Lis said...

Your link on the blogroll works now, Kim! :)

Gorgeous Gateau!


Lorrie said...

Your cake looks delicious, you did an beautiful job!

Eat4Fun said...

Congrats on completing your first DB Challenge. Your cake looks great!

Tara said...

Your cake looks great! I love the picture of you and Jason, too. Very very cute.

Carly said...

Great job on your first challenge! Cake looks amazing, love the piping.

Ruth said...

A beautiful cake. You did great on your fist challenge.

silverrock said...

What a lovely looking cake. I can just taste the chocolatey-nutty goodness right now. Great job on your first DB challenge!! Isn't it fun to bake in groups?!

Lunch Buckets said...

Nice job - welcome to the group :)

MsC said...

Very nice cake!

Lauren said...

Congrats on your first challenge, it looks great!