As you all know, I’m trying to be a more daring baker, so here’s another attempt. Our hostess this month, Chris of Mele Cotte, chose to challenge us with: Filbert Gateau with Praline Buttercream.
For me, this was a tad of a challenge not because of the recipe, but because of the ingredients. That’s one reason I had been putting off baking all month and finally buckled down at the last minute. Yep, I finished baking at 2 this morning 🙂
I’m glad I’m not the only one who had the problem finding hazelnuts. The only hazelnut I saw at our local grocery store was hazelnut flavored coffee. I went to another store and they just happened to have some chopped hazelnuts, so I went ahead and got those in case I can’t find whole ones. I’m glad I did because I never did find whole hazelnuts and I was afraid to grind the chopped ones for the cake part because they still had their skins on and I wasn’t sure if that was going to make the cake bitter. Instead, I did what someone else suggested on the Daring Baker forum, which was to use the leftover almond meal from last month’s Opera Cake challenge.
I noticed I’ve been saying this with every challenge, but I am finding out to be more true with each challenge. The recipe is long and it has many parts but if you tackle each one at a time and just go step by step, you’ll find that it really isn’t that bad. I started out by using the chopped hazelnuts to make the praline. Of the pralines, I set a couple of tablespoons aside for the decoration, then processed the rest into a paste. The sugar syrup, I cooked while the cake was baking, and while the cake was cooling, I made the apricot glaze. So don’t let the length of the recipe scare you, break it up in stages if you have to, just jump in and dare to bake too 🙂
So without further ado, here is the recipe for this month. [I’ve noted my comments and changes to the recipe in brackets] I had intentions of photographing each step, but some of the steps required speed and attention so I didn’t have time to photograph every step. I was also cooking dinner while baking the cake, so it got pretty confusing in the kitchen. My cake decorating skills are nil, let me say that off the bat. I also didn’t have the right size decorating tip required, so I made do with what I had. I couldn’t use my tiny leaf tip because the nuts kept stopping it up so I switched to the biggest star tip I had. It still got stopped up with nuts and I had to stop in between to pick the nut out of the tip with a toothpick. Anyway, along with my sucky decorating skills and fast melting buttercream, I think it came out pretty nice. I love the chocolate glaze on top, it made it look so smooth and professional looking. lol!