Filbert Gateau with Praline Buttercream
From Great Cakes by Carol Walter
Another 7 page recipe from the Daring Bakers! Like many baking projects no particular part was difficult but you do have to think it through and read and re-read the instructions. I followed the recipe exactly save making a 7 inch cake instead of the 10 inch.
I loved the tip about using baking soda in the water to coax those skins off the hazelnuts. I have the Cake Bible but like so many other gems of information it is tucked away waiting for those with keen eyes to notice. Check out the foam when the nuts got added.
I always thought I didn’t really love hazelnuts. What I learnt is I don’t like hazelnuts with their bitter skins on. These in the caramel were delicious and lucky to make it to the praline paste stage. I did contemplate using Sherry Yards method of making caramel which is no fail for me, but in the spirit of trying new things I followed the instructions. I still don’t like melting the sugar with no water added in as a technique but it worked fine. For me un-necessary stress in the kitchen.
The hazelnut cake was easy (I went for the half size version) and after my rather feeble attempt at torte-ing with the Perfect Party Cake, I invested in the Wilton leveller, best $7 I spent this week.
My father in law was fascinated with this humble gadget.
I used the buttercream recipe from Carol Walter and it worked well. However, given the year round high temperatures in Darwin RLB moussaline still reigns supreme.
I also used my new cake setting rings (bought overseas) for even sides. Let’s just say I have room for improvement….
My cake looked pretty good until I started hacking at the sides to bevel the edge. I should have left it alone. It is kind of like cutting your own hair, you take a bit too much and then it just snowballs into something worse and worse, until you have to convince yourself you wanted the Prince Valiant fringe anyway.
And being a girl who does not like waste, I found a good use for the ganache that dripped down to the waiting baking tray.
When it came time to whizz the praline powder into a paste I decided to use the rum as my liquid. That worked well, but like so many others, I couldn’t get the paste fine enough to allow trouble free piping. Hence I decided rosettes with caramel covered hazelnuts would be as tricky as I got for this bake.
So, on to what I consider to be the important bit, taste. This is a nice special occasion cake. The whipped cream layer didn’t add much and it would be skipped should I make this cake again. I used Bundaberg Rum in the buttercream and that is probably a bit strong in flavour. However to a Queenslander (where Bundy Rum is made) friend of mine it was perfection. Now go check out the Daring Bakers blogroll at all the other cakes out there- heavens knows I will be searching for the secrets of a smooth side of cake!