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: