Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Daring Bakers: Filbert Gateau with Praline Buttercream





After months of drooling over other people's Daring Bakers challenges, I decided last month that it was time for me to join this amazing baking group. If you're not familiar, this is a group of food bloggers who bake a challenging recipe once a month, and then all post them on the same day. I've seen them make pastries, cakes, and breads, and I decided this would be the perfect opportunity for me to bake more in my own kitchen.

Testing out my new piping kit.


The first challenge was a rich, nutty layer cake, and it had six different components that came together in the final cake. It was a challenge, but I learned a lot as I put together my masterpiece. I had a chance to try piping, which was a lot of fun. I didn't have any real skills to show off, but I enjoyed playing around with the different tips to see what I could design. I made a ganache for the first time. And, most important to me, I managed to make a cake with three layers that looked pretty darn decent.


I had trouble getting the sugar to melt for my praline paste, so I had to leave that out of the icing. I did add ground up hazelnuts, though, to keep that flavor going throughout the cake. I used dark rum where ever liquor was called for, and I made a different buttercream recipe after reading about other bakers' struggles with the Swiss Buttercream.

I did what Chris, the host, suggested, and made buttercream with 12 oz softened cream cheese, 2 sticks softened butter, about 4 cups of powdered sugar, and 1 tsp of vanilla. Once it was blended smoothly, I added about 4 Tbsp of ground hazelnuts.


Some Daring Bakers complained about having to make yet another layered cake with buttercream, but as this was my first challenge I did not have a problem with the chosen recipe. I had a lot of fun putting this cake together! My only complaint-- I only made this for us to eat at home, when I should have planned a reason to share it with others!

For the original recipe, check Chris's blog here.

To see what other Daring Bakers did with the recipe, click here.

15 comments:

Sarah said...

Congrats on completing your first challenge! You cake looks wonderful!

Joelen said...

What a great challenge to start out with! You did an amazing job!

Darius T. Williams said...

Definitely looks good - just toooo darn complicated!

Aparna said...

Congratulations and welcome to the community.
LOvely cake. I can see the piping set came in really handy.

Proud Italian Cook said...

Wow Erin, I'm so impressed! Congrats on your first DBer challenge! What a success it was! Your ganache looks thick and shiny, great job!

giz said...

Welcome to DB - you did a great job and "let the games begin"

Sarah said...

Wow-props to you for joining DB and for such a success with your first challenge! I'm way too intimidated to join up. Can't wait to see what else you can do!

Ruth said...

Great first challenge. Your cake looks fantastic.

silverrock said...

O_O what a gorgeous looking cake. I love the cute little designs you chose to decorate your cake with. Great job on your first DB challenge :) Keep up the awesome work!

Lunch Buckets said...

Welcome to the group!

Amy said...

Wow. Your cake turned out beautifully!

Mary-Laure said...

Cake, cake, cake! Looks super delicious, so moist and sweet...

Eat4Fun said...

From a fellow first time Daring Baker, Congratulations on completing your first challenge!

Making the praline/brittle was a pain, I had to do it twice. Live and learn... lol :-)

Lauren said...

Mmm, your cake looks amazing! Love the piping!

A World in a PAN said...

Cakes lookds great, Erin!