Wednesday, July 30, 2008

My Review of the Filbert Gateau with Praline Buttercream

I was nervous about this challenge and actually put it off as long as I could! I've made cakes in the past with this many steps, as I did actually go to school for baking & pastry arts, but it's been a few years and they were always done in a nice, big, professional-style kitchen...not a 1-bedroom apartment-style kitchen with a husband and cat :) Finally, I got home last night, realized I already had most of the ingredients and set out to complete the entire challenge, start to finish, before midnight...and I'm proud to say, mission accomplished! Each step was easier than I imagined, but that's not to say there weren't some questionable moments.


I decided to bake my cake in two 9" round pans and torte each one, for a 4-layer cake...however, the cakes baked sooo quickly, which I think lead to them being a little overbaked and really difficult to remove from the pans. Thus, I wound up with approximately 3 layers in the end...I say "approximately" because I haven't sliced it yet and have no idea what that will result in.

Otherwise, I followed the recipe fairly closely, using almonds and raspberry preserves, in place of hazelnuts and apricot. I also left out the alcohol flavorings this time around.

Also, because my layered cake looked so lumpy, due to trying to repair cracked layers, I coated the cake in the raspberry glaze, refrigerated for about 15 minutes, coated again with a thin layer of the praline buttercream and then refrigerated for another 20 minutes before glazing with the ganache.

A silly prep mistake I made was simply toasting the almonds for the cake and then realizing I needed to toast more almonds for the praline paste - the could've saved me some time.

With the praline, I was so worried about burning my sugar, that I used a pan that may have actually been too thick because it took so long for the sugar to melt - then, I turned away for 2 seconds and had a really dark caramel, which I luckily retrieved just in time - the praline came out really good and the paste was really easy to prepare. This cake has reminded me that making caramel is much less scary than I always make it out to be in my mind.

I do wish I had taken more time to be creative with my decorating, but as I mentioned, I waited until the last minute to complete the challenge and knew I wouldn't have much time after yesterday to complete it, so it was best done the same day.

My finished cake photo is attached - I haven't gotten a slice photo yet because I plan on bringing it into work tomorrow for our July birthday breakfast - mmmm, cake at 10:30 AM - but I will hopefully get another pic before it's gone.

I think that's it. I hope it's not too long...I tend to be quite wordy :)

I look forward to August's challenge!

Laura - LuckyCupcake


Chris said...

Looks delish! thanks for completing the challenge this month. :)

Button said...

I'm so impressed you did this in one evening! It took me 3 days! Looks great.

Bumblebutton said...

Nice job!! Congratulations!

Lauren said...

Ooo that looks great, I love the raspberries on top!