Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Filbert Gateau With Almond Buttercream

I just completed my second Daring Bakers challenge and I am very proud of myself! This month's Daring Bakers host was Chris from Mele Cotte who chose the recipe for a Filbert Gateau with Praline Buttercream. This Filbert Gateau was quite a difficult cake to make. This is the second cake I've ever made (the first was the opera cake) so I learned quite a few things in this challenge. FILBERT GATEAU WITH ALMOND BUTTERCREAM RECIPE

*From Great Cakes by Carol Walter*

Filbert Genoise Recipe
1 cup – 1tbsp. Almond Flour
1/3 cup cake flour, unsifted
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
4 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. grated lemon rind
3 lg. egg whites
1/8 cup warm, clarified butter (100 – 110 degrees)
1. 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.
2. Using a food processor, almond flour, cake flour, and cornstarch for about 30 seconds. Then, pulse the mixture about 10 times to get a fine, powdery mixture. Don’t over-process. Set aside.
3. 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 1/4 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.
4. 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.
5. Add the yolk mixture to the whites and whisk for 1 minute.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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.

Sugar Syrup Recipe
1 cup water
¼ cup sugar

1. In a small, yet heavy saucepan, bring the water and sugar to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, add the liqueur. Cool slightly before using on the cake.
Almond Buttercream Recipe
1 recipe Swiss Buttercream
1/3 Almond Paste

1. Blend ½ cup buttercream into the paste, then add to the remaining buttercream. Whip briefly on med-low speed to combine.

Swiss Buttercream Recipe
4 lg. egg whites
¾ cup sugar1
½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly firm
1 tsp. vanilla

1. Place the egg whites in a large bowl of a electric mixer and beat with the whisk attachment until the whites are foamy and they begin to thicken (just before the soft peak stage).
2. Set the bowl over a saucepan filled with about 2 inches of simmering water, making sure the bowl is not touching the water. Then, whisk in the sugar by adding 1-2 tablespoon of sugar at a time over a minutes time.
3. Continue beating 2-3 minutes or until the whites are warm (about 120 degrees) and the sugar is dissolved. The mixture should look thick and like whipped marshmallows.
4. Remove from pan and with either the paddle or whisk attachment, beat the egg whites and sugar on med-high until its a thick, cool meringue – about 5-7 minutes. *Do not over beat*.
5. Set aside.
6. Place the butter in a separate clean mixing bowl and, using the paddle attachment, cream the butter at medium speed for 40-60 seconds, or until smooth and creamy. *Do not over beat*.
7. On med-low speed, blend the meringue into the butter, about 1-2 Tbsp. at a time, over 1 minute. Add the liqueur and vanilla and mix for 30-45 seconds longer, until thick and creamy.
8. Refrigerate 10-15 minutes before using.

Praline Paste Recipe
1 cup (4 ½ oz.) Almonds, toasted/skinless
2/3 cup Sugar
1. Put the sugar in a heavy 10-inch skillet. Heat on low flame for about 10-20 min until the sugar melts around the edges. Do not stir the sugar. Swirl the pan if necessary to prevent the melted sugar from burning.
2. Brush the sides of the pan with water to remove sugar crystals. If the sugar in the center does not melt, stir briefly.
3. When the sugar is completely melted and caramel in color, remove from heat. Stir in the nuts with a wooden spoon and separate the clusters. Return to low heat and stir to coat the nuts on all sides. Cook until the mixture starts to bubble.
4. Then onto the parchment lined sheet and spread as evenly as possible. As it cools, it will harden into brittle.
5. Break the candied nuts into pieces and place them in the food processor. Pulse into a medium-fine crunch or process until the brittle turns into a powder.
6. To make paste, process for several minutes. Store in an airtight container and store in a cook dry place. Do not refrigerate.

Apricot Glaze Recipe
2/3 cup thick apricot preserves
1 Tbsp. water

1. In a small, yet heavy saucepan, bring the water and preserves to a slow boil and simmer for 2-3 minutes. If the mixture begins to stick to the bottom of the saucepan, add water as needed.
2. Remove from heat and, using a strainer, press the mixture through the mesh and discard any remnants.
3. With a pastry brush, apply the glaze onto the cake while the cake is still warm. If the glaze is too thick, thin to a preferred consistency with drops of water.

Ganache Glaze Recipe
6 oz. semisweet chocolate
6 oz. cup heavy cream
1 tbsp. light corn syrup
1 Tbsp. Port Wine
¾ tsp. vanilla
½ - 1 tsp. hot water, if needed

1. Blend vanilla and liqueur/rum together and set aside.
2. Break the chocolate into 1-inch pieces and place in the basket of a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Transfer into a medium sized bowl and set aside.
3. Heat the cream and corn syrup in a saucepan, on low, until it reached a gentle boil. Once to the gently boil, immediately and carefully pour over the chocolate. Leave it alone for one minute,
4. Slowly stir and mix the chocolate and cream together until the chocolate is melted and incorporated into the cream. Carefully blend in vanilla mixture.
5. If the surface seems oily, add ½ - 1 tsp hot water. The glaze will thicken, but should still be pourable. If it doesn't thicken, refrigerate for about 5 minutes, but make sure it doesn't get too cold!

Instructions for Assembling the Mini Cakes
1. Cut out small circles from the larger cake using a round cookie cutter. Make sure the cake has been refrigerated before you do this.
2. Cut out 3 rounds for each mini cake for the 3 layers.
3. Place the first layer top-side down on parchment paper. Using a pastry brush, moisten the layer with 3-4 Tbsp. of warm sugar syrup. Measure out 1/2 cup of praline buttercream and set aside.
4. Spread the bottom layer with a ¼-inch thickness of the remaining buttercream. Cover with ½ of the whipped cream, leaving ¼-inch border around the edge of the cake. Place the middle layer over the first, brush with sugar syrup, spreading with buttercream. Cover with the remaining whipped cream.
5. Moisten the cut side of the third layer with additional sugar syrup and place cut side down on the cake. Gently, press the sides of the cake to align the layers. Refrigerate to chill for at least 30 minutes.
6. Lift the cake by sliding your palm under the parchment paper. Holding a serrated or very sharp night with an 8-ich blade held parallel to the sides of the cake, trim the sides so that they are perfectly straight. Cut a slight bevel at the top to help the glaze drip over the edge.
7. Brush the top and sides of the cake with warm apricot glaze, sealing the cut areas completely.
8. Chill while you prepare the ganache.
9. Place a rack over a large shallow pan to catch the ganache drippings.
10. Remove the gateau from the refrigerator and put it the rack. With a metal spatula in hand, and holding the saucepan about 10 inches above the cake, pour the ganache onto the cake’s center.
11. Move the spatula over the top of the ganache about 4 times to get a smooth and mirror-like appearance. The ganache should cover the top and run down the sides of the cake. When the ganache has been poured and is coating the cake, lift one side of the rack and bang it once on the counter to help spread the ganache evenly and break any air bubbles. (Work fast before setting starts.)
12. Patch any bare spots on the sides with a smaller spatula, but do not touch the top after the “bang”. Let the cake stand at least 15 minutes to set after glazing.
13. Garnish the cake with buttercream as desired.
14. Refrigerate uncovered for 3-4 hours to allow the cake to set.
15. Remove the cake from the refrigerator at least 3 hours before serving.
16. Eat! I made half of the recipe that was provided so that I wouldn't end up with a gigantic cake. I also had a lot of Almond flour left over from the opera cake and I don't really have a food processor so I opted to substitute the almond flour for the whole hazelnuts. I also didn't use any alcohol in the recipe, just a little tablespoon of port wine in the Ganache Glaze and it turned out perfectly!
To make the mini cakes, I cut out small circles with a round cookie cutter from one big cake. The main problem I had were the jagged edges around the cake. I tried my best to conceal the rough edges with decoration. But I have to say... it was a lot of work to make these little cakes. I think my attempt was pretty successful and I'm proud of the outcome.


VeggieGirl said...

Lina, your gateau is TOO CUTE!!! Hooray for successfully completing your second Daring Bakers Challenge :0)

Gloria said...

Lina Love your version of Daring Baker!!! really I find lovely and so cute!!Thanks by your comments in my Blo,
Love yours! xGloria

Dani said...

adorable :) the minis were such a creative twist

lina said...

Your mini version is just sooo cute!

Namratha said...

These look soooo pretty! I think I have to try the mini versions of this gateau. The layers are perfect.

vermichelli said...

STFU you did not make that? i am SPEECHLESS!

Ann said...

Sooooooo damned cuuuute!
Ann at Redacted Recipes

nita said...

OMGGGG! it looks freaking fabulous!

Speedbump Kitchen said...

Wow, you must have some repressed cake-baking gene if you can create such an amazing cake as your second cake ever! Great job!

giz said...

Your gateaus look so delicate and absolutely like something behind a glass counter in a fine bakery. Great job!!!

Michelle said...

Oh Lina...your minis are adorable! I forgot to take a picture of mine cut..oh well I will tell you my layers were not as perfect as yours!

Also I love the dotted swiss technique on the cute!

Mini cakes are just cute and I'm going to be making more of 'em!

Olga said...

Love how you decorated the sides! What did you do with all the "scraps"?

Lina said...

why, of course I scarfed down all of the "scraps"! Yummy~!

Kevin said...

Your cakes look great! Nice job decorating them! I went with almond mini cakes as well.

Mary Ann said...

Your cakes looks absolutely perfect! Great job on your 2nd challenge

Eat4Fun said...

This is only your second cake!

All I can say is "Wow! Great looking cakelets." Is there such a thing as cakelets? lol! :-)

Leslie said...

You should be very proud of yourself!! These are stunning!

Michelle Dargen said...

Oh my gosh! Your minis look perfect! I love how they are decorated differently. What tasty little treats. :)

Mochachocolata Rita said...

wow! look at those cuties! i love the polka dots!

Lisa said...

Wow, how beautiful! And your plates are so pretty too!

Judy said...

Your small cakes are lovely. I especially like the one with almonds on the side. Great job on your second cake!

milkrobot said...

Wow, I can't believe you made that. That's a huge step up from your instant-mix brownies you used to make last year!

genkitummy said...

congratulations on your mini cakes! they must have taken a long time to decorate! nice work!

::Christine:: said...

I want to scarf that down!! I can't believe you made that. That's pure talent!! WOWSA! =)

Natalie... said...

Wow this is excellent, love your mini versions and when you cut their layers they are so perfect!
Great job!

Grace said...

you should be super proud! all those steps, all that time and energy--this is quite an accomplishment, bravo!

Lori said...

I just love your little cakes. I always say I am going to do something like that and then I never do. THey take a lot more work. You did a fabulous job with the decorations. I love the almonds on the sides like that.

Veron said...

such adorable cakes! I like the polka dot one very much.

Jenny said...

Those look amazing, so beautiful.

Dawn said...

Wow those look exactly like something you'd see in a pastry display case. I can't imagine the hard work that went into this project. Looks sooooo hard.

nita said...

i really think you should open up a bake shop!

pixie said...

wow! how did you manage to make all those litle cakes? they are just too cute! congratulations!

Courtney said...

you cakes look like pictures from a magazine, great job!

Sharon said...

This is one of the prettiest I've seen! I admire all of you daring bakers so much!

Aparna said...

You have every right to feel proud. Those cakes of yours are so pretty.
I especially liked the one with the almonds pressed to its sides.

Proud Italian Cook said...

I have to say, your mini cake with the almonds on the side is ranked in the top 3 I've seen. Just gorgeous!

Anonymous said...

Your cake looks awesome! I'd love to taste it! ;-) Thanks for stopping by my blog.


Kitchen Vixen said...

Your cakes are beautiful! I'm envious of your baking prowess.

Beth Ann said...

Thanks for your comments! I didn't have anything that a big cake would be appropriate for, but I had three little things, so three cakes was appropriate! Your tiny cakes are so cute! I love the way that you decorated. I'd love to try this with almond. I liked the hazelnut, but it's sometimes a little too close to peanut for me. I do love almonds though. :) I'm excited for the next challenge too!

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

Wow, your cakes look beautiful! I love the decorations! They look like something from a bakery!

Clumbsy Cookie said...

So so cute! You must be very patiente to put the silvered almonds like that on the sides of the cake! They're adorable Lina!

Cakelaw said...

These little mini cakes are just so sweet! A great idea.

Cynthia said...

oh my goodness, these are such little works of art! :)

Valentina said...

Well, you certainly deserve a pat on the back as your cakes look divine. for the second cake baked you are just doing fabulously well. I was in the daring bakers for a short while in the very early days and the challenges are such great fun.

Di said...

Your mini cakes are very cute. I like the way you decorated all of them differently. =)

Deborah said...

Just gorgeous! And they look so perfect!!!

Elle said...

You *should* be proud--your cakes look wonderful!

Lauren said...

Ooo, your cakes are gorgeous! I love the mini cakes and your decorations!

Sophie said...

You did a lovely job on this :)! Very cute!

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