Wednesday, July 30, 2008

DB Challenge



July's Daring Baker challenge was a doozy. It was a Filbert Gateau with Praline Buttercream. The host for this month was Chris of Mele Cotte .



The cake is an almond genoise with a rum syrup, praline buttercream, a layer of raspberry preserves and topped with chocolate ganache. I feel that I am a pretty decent baker, but from the get go I had problems. The first challenge for me was switching from hazelnuts to almonds since I have a food allergy to hazelnuts. As I read the recipe I saw that I needed to have my almonds skinned and toasted. The almonds I had in the house were raw, so I decided to skin them by pouring boiling water on the almonds and then popping off the skins. I then dried and toasted them in the oven. This was my big tactical error. When I blanched the almonds I only did it for 3 minutes, but doing that changed the texture of the almond. I put them to dry in the oven, but could not seem to get them to toast up. Maybe due to my impatience or to the fact that I waited to the last day to due the challenge. Either way this seemed to be where my problems started. When I went to grind up the almonds, I couldn't get them fine enough due to some of them being not toasted. From there on I went decidedly down hill. I didn't clarify the butter and I didn't put all the almond/flour mixture through the sieve. So my cake turned out bumpy and didn't really taste like almonds.

The Swiss buttercream was also a challenge. As I was beating away on the buttercream, it started to look like a curdled mess. At this point I turned off my mixer and checked with the Daring Bakers. Thank goodness for all you DBer's. I read the thread about buttercream and took the DBer's advice. I went back and turned on my Kitchen Aid mixer and walked away. When I came back it came together nicely. Finally success! The rest of the recipe seemed to go well. The praline buttercream turned out nicely and I used raspberry preserves instead of apricot. I loved the raspberry and chocolate flavors together. Overall, I learned a lot. I learned not to be in such a hurry when baking and to buy blanched almonds next time.

7 comments:

sleepingbearinthekitchen said...

Many lessons learned with this one, weren't there? Despite what issue you faced your cake looks very nice. Great job on July, let's hope August is a little less challenging. :-)

Mushka said...

Thanks for stopping at my blog!, I think your cake looks amazing despite all the troubles that you encountered. It's a ravashing cake. Congrats!

NOT SO VANILLA said...

Hey thanks for the congrat! Yeah Almond Genoise!!! Come and drop my blog anytime. I'm going to add you to mine cool?

Bumblebutton said...

Really great job. The almond peeling sounds like some sort of torture, doesn't it?!! You survived! Congratuations!

JMom said...

Oh your cake came out beautifully! And it looks like you didn't forget about the whipped cream like I did. LOL!
JMom ~ Cooked from the Heart

Clumbsy Cookie said...

Nice job, dispete all you problems it turned ou very nice!

Lauren said...

Ooo, your cake looks wonderful!!

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