Hang on to your knickers! Today is posting day for the month of July for the Daring Bakers.
Get ready for some serious sinful eating with more Filbert Gateau with Praline Buttercream than your mouth can handle.
Chris from Mele Cotte, selected this month's challenge. At first blush, this one seemed like it would be time-consuming than challenging. Oh, how naive of this particular Daring Baker. For the most part, things went well. But, that was short-lived when it came time to glaze with the chocolate. I knew the layers had to be pretty even in order to create a smooth finished product. I thought I would even out my slightly uneven layers by smoothing some leftover buttercream into the seams on the sides. "How clever am I?" I thought. What I didn't take into consideration is that hot chocolate glaze poured over buttercream would melt the buttercream. Duh!? It seems so obvious now, but I had to act quickly and patch up my mess. For the most part, I was able to save the cake, but there were some obvious patches of tan where the buttercream and chocolate melted together. Not too big of a disaster, but a lesson learned on my part.
Daring Baker challenge turned birthday cake
The recipe calls for a large amount of skinned and toasted hazelnuts. All I could find were hazelnuts in the skin, so I wondered how the heck I was going to skin all these little buggers. Neha from The Literate and Liberal Foodie came across this great tip for removing hazelnut skins and shared it with the rest of the group. If you follow the tip, make sure you use a very large stock pot. I used my smaller one at first and the baking soda bubbled up and over the sides all over my stove. I quickly poured everything into my big-daddy stock pot and had a heck of a mess on my stove to clean after.
For the most part, I followed the recipe as written. However, I did make a few minor modifications just to use up some ingredients I happened to already have in the house:
- Chambord (black raspberry liqueur) everywhere the recipe called for rum or Grand Marnier
- Raspberry preserves in the glaze instead of apricot
And I did overlook accidentally the requirement that said we had to use buttercream as part of the garnish. I thought it was optional and I like drama, so made these candied hazelnuts instead.
From Great Cakes by Carol Walter
1 Filbert Genoise
1 recipe sugar syrup, flavored with dark rum
1 recipe Praline Buttercream
½ cup heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks
1 recipe Apricot Glaze
1 recipe Ganache Glaze, prepared just before using
3 tablespoons filberts, toasted and coarsely chopped
For the Filbert Genoise
Because of the amount of nuts in the recipe, this preparation is different from a classic genoise.
1 ½ cups hazelnuts, toasted/skinned
2/3 cup cake flour, unsifted
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
7 large egg yolks
1 cup sugar, divided ¼ & ¾ cups
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp. grated lemon rind
5 lg. egg whites
¼ cup warm, clarified butter (100 – 110 degrees)
Position rack in the lower 3rd of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 10” X 2” inch round cake pan.
Using a food processor, process nuts, cake flour, and cornstarch for about 30 seconds. Then, pulse the mixture about 10 times to get a fine, powdery mixture. You’ll know the nuts are ready when they begin to gather together around the sides of the bowl. While you want to make sure there aren’t any large pieces, don’t over-process. Set aside.
Put the yolks in the bowl of an electric mixer, with the whisk attachment, and beat until thick and light in color, about 3-4 minutes on med-high speed. Slowly, add ¾ cup of sugar. It is best to do so by adding a tablespoon at a time, taking about 3 minutes for this step. When finished, the mixture should be ribbony. Blend in the vanilla and grated lemon rind. Remove and set aside.
Place egg whites in a large, clean bowl of the electric mixer with the whisk attachment and beat on medium speed, until soft peaks. Increase to med-high speed and slowly add the remaining ¼ cup of sugar, over 15-20 seconds or so. Continue to beat for another ½ minute. Add the yolk mixture to the whites and whisk for 1 minute.
Pour the warm butter in a liquid measure cup (or a spouted container). * It must be a deep bottom bowl and work must be fast.* Put the nut meal in a mesh strainer (or use your hand – working quickly) and sprinkle it in about 2 tablespoons at a time – folding it carefully for about 40 folds. Be sure to exclude any large chunks/pieces of nuts. Again, work quickly and carefully as to not deflate the mixture. When all but about 2 Tbsp. of nut meal remain, quickly and steadily pour the warm butter over the batter. Then, with the remaining nut meal, fold the batter to incorporate, about 13 or so folds.
With a rubber spatula, transfer the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the surface with the spatula or back of a spoon. **If collected butter remains at the bottom of the bowl, do not add it to the batter! It will impede the cake rising while baking.
Tap the pan on the counter to remove air bubbles and bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes. You’ll know the cake is done when it is springy to the touch and it separates itself from the side of the pan. Remove from oven and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Invert onto a cake rack sprayed with nonstick coating, removing the pan. Cool the cake completely.
Makes 1 cup, good for one 10-inch cake – split into 3 layers