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
1/8 cup warm, clarified butter (100 – 110 degrees)
Almond Buttercream Recipe
1 recipe Swiss Buttercream
4 lg. egg whites
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.
5. Set aside.
1 cup (4 ½ oz.) Almonds, toasted/skinless
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
9. Place a rack over a large shallow pan to catch the ganache drippings.
13. Garnish the cake with buttercream as desired.
14. Refrigerate uncovered for 3-4 hours to allow the cake to set.
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.