July 30, 2008

Filbert Gateau with Praline Buttercream

Its the time of the month to show off the creations of the awesome group of "Daring Bakers"!! I am proud to present the result of my second Daring Bakers Challenge. The challenge theme was the choice of Chris of Mele Cotte - a Filbert Gateau with Praline Buttercream. It is a recipe from "Great Cakes" by Carol Walter. While recovering from my first challenge Danish Braid, I was secretely hoped that this month's challenge would be a cake, because I considered that to be in my comfort zone. But this cake something spectacular and a lot harder than I had wished for. Eventhough the techniques involved were pretty clear, each of the cake components had multiple steps of preparation which made the challenge very time-consuming and tiresome. Like many DB members said, if I had someone to clean up behind me, it would've been great! ;-) Unfortunately, I didnt have anyone, but still I finished mine without any major problems!

I followed the recipe exactly, working with the hazelnut genoise, praline buttercream, whipped cream and chocolate ganache, except that the entire cake was alcohol-free. The challenge was spread over two days, with the cake being baked on the first day and the assembly and decor on the second day.


First Day:

I toasted and skinned the hazlenuts at 350F oven for 8-10 minutes and then rubbed the slightly cooled nuts within a cloth. The genoise was baked in a 10" by 3"round cake pan at 350F for about 46 minutes. I had absolutely no issues with the genoise sinking or anything. After cooling, I refrigerated the cake overnight. I also made the sugar syrup the first day.




Second Day:

The next day, I made the praline first, with hazelnuts and cooled it to form the brittle. The brittle was processed in the food processor to make a perfect praline paste. The Swiss buttercream was again made without any issues and was mixed with the praline paste to form the absolutely the tastiest buttercream I've ever had - the Praline buttercream. I also made fresh whipped cream. The cake was cut into three equal layers, the second layer broke towards one side, but it was nothing big. I just glued that piece with the whipped cream. The layers were soaked with sugar syrup and then assembled with a layer of buttercream and whipped cream. Then I did the mistake of cutting the three-layered cake, so the sides did not turn out to be smooth. I should have just went without cutting it! The glaze I used was apricot glaze using it to seal the cut edges somewhat uniformly.
The ganache actually didnt set well even after refrigeration and since it was my first time with ganache, I poured it anyways (since I didnt know how thick it should have been). The surface had a smooth mirror finish, whereas the sides were not so perfect. I left it to set for a few hours, at intervals, coating the sides by spooning over the pooled ganache, taking care not to touch the surface at all. That certainly did help my cake, the sides were coated a bit more.

The praline buttercream that I kept aside in the refrigerator for piping on the surface had hardened, so I beat it again. That made it ooze the caramel, a bit. But my buttercream was smooth and fine enough to be piped using a #3 round tip. I also used an open star tip for some rosettes and stars. The cake was refrigerated for sometime before the piping was done. I did a vertical stripe design on the sides ending towards the middle of the surface of the cake. Because of the caramel liquid, some stripes could not be completed, but that didnt make the cake ugly in any way! The lower and upper borders were done as stars. The inner border on top was done as rosettes. I was done with the assembly and decoration in the afternoon.


I waited eagerly for JM to come home, and when he did, we took tons of pictures and JM had a piece of the cake. He was more than satisfied with the cake. It sure was terrrrrrific!! The hazelnut praline buttercream was the star of the show - no doubt about that!!! I loved the taste and texture of the cake too. It sure was a very time-consuming challenge, but once again I am happy that I did it succesfully, without any mishaps!

And that is the story of my second DB challenge. This is one amazing cake which I never would have even considered trying out, if not for the Daring Bakers Challenge!!




Check out my first challenge - Danish Braid (June 2008). Dont forget to browse through the amazing creations of my fellow Daring Bakers. Have a great day!!

31 comments:

Sonu said...

I can't say any more abt ur creative work...! it's just excellent...!!!

Sunshinemom said...

I was waiting for this one, as I knew you would decorate it beautifully! Well done, daring baker:)

Rachel said...

I am Awed at ur skills J.

Laavanya said...

It looks picture perfect JZ - beautifully done.. and that slice of cake - gorgeous layers.

VEGETABLE PLATTER said...

that looks totally delish .. I have gone fida over those pics .. mouth watering

Ann said...

I love the way you chose to finish your cake... really lovely!

easycrafts said...

omg...it cannt get better than it..prefectly baked and perfectly presented

delhibelle said...

Mindblowing jz!!
That is so stunning!
I somehow seem to have missed lotsa beautiful posts here.

Trupti said...

wow what a creation JZ !! Now I don't know what to say.. nice cake decoration

Sweet and Savory Eats said...

You were smart to break it up into multiple days. This one was a lot of work. Great job on your gorgeous cake. It looks like something I would find in the bakery of my local gorumet grocery store.

Aparna said...

That is one fabulously decorated cake. So beautifully finished with perfect layers.
Congratulations.

Cham said...

One of the splendid cake looks fantastic ur sugar work :)

Anonymous said...

wow..gorgeous cake..

SriLekha said...

really u r a daring baker JZ!

una donna dolce said...

Wow - I bow down to you Queen of Piping. Maybe you can teach me how. Otherwise I'll just bask in your glory...

Sujatha said...

let me say, You are just rocking!! I admire your decorating and presentation skills, dear JZ.. I want that delicious cake right now!

vandana rajesh said...

wow jz I am left spellbound by this marvelous creation. Wonderful indeed.

easycrafts said...

Hey, I have an award for u...pls pick it up at http://simpleindianfood.blogspot.com/2008/07/blogging-friends-forever-award.html

Medhaa said...

You cake looks amazing, I never got the mirror effect. The cake was really tasty though.

Yours is so neat too.

Sireesha said...

That is one fabulously decorated cake.That is so stunning and tempting.....I am drooling now....

Suma Rajesh said...

am drooling...perfect decoration and just cant wait to have it....creative work...

bhags said...

its really amazing JZ.....dont tell me you ate this......r u not on diet control.....:P

Shreya said...

so perfect! looks beautiful... love it:-)

Illatharasi said...

Amazing creativity.... I can see how patiently you have done this:)

Great job JZ!!!!

Sukanya Ramkumar said...

WOW... That was a lovely cake...

Richa said...

Beautiful!!!

meeso said...

This really looks beautiful, and tasty :)

Maheswari said...

Awesome..Beautiful...i am dumbstruck..no more words coming out of my mouth as i am drooling now..:D..Well done Daring baker!

BTW..i tried your Egg roast, came out really well.Couldn't take a pic as veryone was very hungry and we gobbled it down petty soon.Will take it again, as S had asked me make it again soon..:D.Thanks JZ!

Debyi said...

Your cake came out great, wonderful job on the piping!

foodwithapinchoflove said...

looks fabulous JZ!!! ekdum pro!!

A surprise for u at http://foodwithapinchoflove.wordpress.com/2008/08/18/break-and-awards/

Lauren said...

Ooo, your cake looks wonderful! Love your design!