Thursday, July 31, 2008

Under Cover Of Darkness

Crazy week... but I got it done! Daring Bakers challenge number three! Whoo!

And whats on the menu you might ask? (That is if you really hadn't seen everyone else's yet...)

Charol Walters Filbert Gateau with Praline Buttercream
This is where things get difficult. Do I post the recipe, which is huge, or leave it up to you to blog sleuth it, or buy Charols Great Cakes book? Seeing as the latter is definitely easier for me, your on your own for that. I'll give you the basics though, just because I'm so nice.

There were several elements to this cake.

Filbert Genoise (or hazelnut)
Basically a egg leavened cake with hazelnut meal used more than flour. Pretty dry on its own... though if you have the time and the guts to try it out (failure is a definite possibility with these) kind of a fun challenge. My wonderful mother helped me sift and sprinkle in all of the dry ingredients while I delicately folded them into the pillowy eggs, praying for them not to fall flat… and what do you know? They didn’t!

sugar syrup, flavored with dark rum – Sadly dark rum, or liqueur, spirit, or what have you, isn’t something I have on hand. That whole being a minor thing… So to make up for lost flavor, I tried caramelizing the sugar before adding all the water. I burnt it a bit though so it wasn’t as tasty as I was hoping.

Praline Buttercream – Two steps on this one. Making the praline was difficult. I got distracted and cremated the dry sugar twice before I achieved success. And the success was hard won. Tossing in the hazelnuts cools down the sugar which results in hardening… which results in them all being stuck together in one massive hard clump of hazelnut sugar glass! Luckily I did flatten it out, but it could have been bad.

After grinding this up (a scary thing in my oh so delicate Hamilton Beach pocessor) you mix it into a sort of meringue butter cream. I strayed from the exact Swiss butter cream recipe on technique. Instead of whipping first then heating and whipping… (which I did try and had trouble with) I mixed the sugar with the unwhipped eggs, and then warmed them, gently wisking, to 160. Its amazing to think you can heat egg whites that hot and have them not cook! So THEN I whipped them and added butter. And then into its pillowy whiteness I folded some praline paste.

This would have been wonderful with the cake… but… I added an extra ¼ C sugar, cuz I like my butter cream sweet. Sadly EVERYTHING was pretty sweet in the cake assembled… so it was a bit much.


½ cup heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks – I… excluded this bit, but did add some cream to my syrup.

Apricot Glaze – to smooth up the cake for the ganashe
Ganache Glaze – Which I got wonderfully thin, and the only thing that wasn’t WAY to sweet.

The over all? This cake was an insane amount of steps. Heck, even the butter had to be clarified, and the flower sifted and the… it goes on. It was pretty fine, but I’ll stick to something a lil less touchy for my go to.

So… bake on!


Dagmar - A Cat in the Kitchen said...

The cake looks great! Well done!

Courtney said...

your cake looks great!

Tartelette said...

Great job on the challenge. I am loving see all the hard work and the wonderful results. Well done!

Ann said...

Nice! Your cake looks terrific!

MsC said...

Great job!!

Lauren said...

Oooo, your cake looks beautiful!