Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Daring Bakers July Challenge

This month's challenge was Filbert Gateau with Praline Buttercream from Great Cakes by Carol Walter, and it was hosted by Chris of Mele Cotte. I was a little intimidated when I first saw this recipe, but it turned out pretty well, I think. I did make a few changes. I used pecan meal instead of hazelnuts, due to a few reasons: 1) I could not find hazelnuts locally, and 2) my family currently does not having a working food processor. Because of this, I ended up having to leave the praline paste out of the buttercream. I used Captain Morgans Spiced Rum as the flavoring in the buttercream. And speaking of buttercream, I used Rick's Special Buttercream recipe off Allrecipes.com, with a few changes: 1) I halved the recipe, and used equal amounts of shortening and butter 2) I used rum, instead of vanilla for the flavoring. I used two 9" round pans and did only one layer of buttercream and whipped heavy cream in between. Lastly, I used raspberry perserves for the cake glaze, which I thought complimented the pecans nicely.

The cake turned out beautifully. I was very pleased, visually, with the end product. It was probably the prettiest cake decorating job I've ever done! ^_^ (I know, it probably doesn't look that specical compare to some of the other DB's pictures, but for me, it was quite an accomplishment) This challenge, like last month's, was used as a birthday cake for my father's 58th birthday, which we celebrated as a family on July 12th (actual birthday was the 8th). My absolute favorite part of this cake was the ganache glaze! It was so delicious and sinful! That part, I will definitely be it making again. The cake texture, grainy and slightly dry, I must say was very disappointing to me though. It wasn't over cooked the slightlest bit either, I actually took it out at 22 minutes, because the toothpick came out clean. I should have anticipated the texture, since it did have nut meal in it. This was an interesting experience, and althought I will not remake this cake, I will definitely keep the ganache recipe! (the pecan dipped in my left-over ganache were to die for.. less than half of them made it to the cake as decorations! >_>)

Here are a few pictures of the end product: