Wednesday, July 30, 2008

July Daring Bakers Challenge 1



The challenge for this month is Filbert Gateau with Praline Buttercream. It's my first ever Daring Baker's challenge and I was both ecstatic and nervous at the same time. Then I saw the challenge, and I was like - Filbert? Gateau? English please? :) After going over the challenge for the month, I found out that Filbert is Hazelnuts and Gateau is French for cake made with almond flour. After scouting
my kitchen for what I have, the only ones I'm missing were actually the hazelnuts. I had almonds over but I still attempted to find some hazelnuts in the supermarket, to no avail. I just made some Almond Gateau with Almond Praline Buttercream instead.

I was back home in the Philippines when I read about the challenge, and in the middle of vacation, I was actually thinking of the cake and looking forward to actually making it. The recipe requires a lot of work, and it probably is not something that I will make spontaneously on a lazy Saturday afternoon. But of course, I'm up for the challenge (I think. :D).

I needed to prepare the Gateau, 1 recipe of sugar syrup, 1 recipe of Praline Buttercream, Whipped Heavy Cream (which I skipped eventually because the Buttercream was already very rich), 1 recipe of Strawberry Glaze, 1 recipe of Chocolate Ganache and some toasted nuts. I am pretty much familiar with the components of the recipe, except for the Gateau, so I had to re-read the recipe a few times before starting. The Gateau is made of processed almond nuts combined with cake flour. After preparing the batter for the Gateau, I baked it for 30 minutes and when it was almost done, the smell of the baking nutty cake filled the kitchen and I swear it was one of the best scents you'd ever smell! While the cake was in the oven, I started making a plain sugar syrup. Once the cake was cooled, I torted it and brushed the layers with sugar syrup.


Leaving the cake a while, I started to make the Almond Praline Buttercream. To make Almond Paste, I caramelized some sugar and added the Almond on it. This becomes some candied pieces and after it had totally cooled, I broke it down into manageable pieces and processed it until it was first powdery and then like paste. And then I had to make the Swiss Buttercream and once done, I slowly incorporated the Almond Paste. The buttercream turned out to be smooth and delicious!

I then filled the cake layers with Buttercream in between and once stacked, I brushed the top and sides with a pre-made Strawberry Glaze and I let it chill for about an hour.

While the cake was being chilled, I made the Chocolate Ganache (which I very often use for my cupcakes so it was a breeze!) and I had it also cooled afterwards. Once the cake was out of the fridge, I glazed it with the Chocolate Ganache and I made the top with mirror finish but the sides were ugly! I cannot smoothen the sides! But anyway, I still managed to cover the sides with the Ganache. Once the Chocolate had settled on the cake, I started to pipe it on top with the remaining buttercream. It took me half a day to finish the cake!

Cutting the cake was another story. I had never been able to cut any of my cakes perfectly! :P I loved the nutty taste of the cake even if I'm not crazy about nuts! Here's how the first slice looked like.


So there goes my first challenge, on to August!


24 comments:

Sara said...

Wow, your decorations are SO pretty...awesome job. :)

Katy said...

SO GORGEOUS!!! It really looks amazing -- excellent work!

Gina said...

So incredibly gorgeous! Congrats on your first challenge. Just beautiful!

Veron said...

What perfect decorations. Congrats on completing your first challenge!

MaryMary said...

You are an amazing cake decorator! Looks fabulous...and welcome!

Ann said...

Your piping skills make me very jealous! beautiful!
Ann at Redacted Recipes

JMom said...

Congratulations on your first DB challenge! I'm jealous of your piping skills too. I have none. :)

That's a fabulous looking cake!
JMom ! Cooked from the Heart

Rebecca said...

Wow! Look at all that luscious frosting.

Christina said...

Beautiful job! Your piping skillz are amazing, really excellent.

I've noticed that many used almonds in place of hazelnuts, but it certainly didn't take away from the taste.

Welcome to the Daring Bakers!

Christina ~ She Runs, She Eats

Tartelette said...

Welcome to the Daring Bakers! You did fantastic on your first challenge! The decoration is exquisite!!

HoneyB said...

Welcome to Daring Bakers! And I don't see where your cake isn't perfect! I think it is gorgeous!

My Food Safari said...

wow, love the sugar paste flowers!

Eat4Fun said...

Wow! This is your first DB challenge? Your cake is spectacular. It's picture perfect.

Congrats!

Ethan said...

Fabulous first challenge - beautiful cake!

Vegan_Noodle said...

Oh my, I think this is the most beautifully decorated cake I've seen for this challenge. Bravo!

Cakelaw said...

This cake is absolutely gorgeous - the little peral centred glowers really make it special.

Lyra said...

wow yummy yummy!

Lunch Buckets said...

Beautiful job! Welcome to the group :)

Odette said...

Thanks everyone! I'm so overwhelmed by everyone's kind words and warm welcome. And challenge day is totally fun! I had also been blog hopping since the 30th and had seen a lot of beautiful and yummy gateaus.

Kisses!
-odette

una donna dolce said...

This is your first challenge? Are you sure? I honestly think this is my favorite cake I've seen (decoration wise) - even more so then the real big-shot bloggers!

Amber said...

You realize we are all secretly slapping you for saying it isn't perfect. OMG. It is beautiful. Beginners luck, I don't think so you have a gift. Wonderful!!!

silverrock said...

Wow! Your cake looks darling, I simply love the beautiful flowers used to decorate it. Simple and yet so sophisticated. Great job on this months DB challenge... keep up the awesome bakes :)

Lauren said...

Wow! Your cake is breath-taking! I love all of your decorations!

TeaLady said...

This is a beautiful cake! Congrats.

 
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