This Filbert Gateau with praline buttercream, filbert (or hazelnut) genoise and ganache glaze was perhaps the most frustrating Daring Baker’s Challenge for me yet, which really shouldn’t have been since it IS cake, and I should be fortunate I was in my element. I want to attribute it up to the heat and the fact that this wasn’t the most seasonally appropriate cake to make, but I just wasn’t as inspired with this month’s challenge.
I thought I’d experiment with this cake by trying a dome shape. I received a Betty Crocker bake and fill kit a few years ago, which included a dome baking pan. I didn’t actually bake the cake in the pan (the depth of the center would mean increased baking time = dry cake). Instead, I baked the cake as a sheet and cut out circles of various sizes to fill the cake.
The praline wasn’t sufficiently incorporated into buttercream, hence the chunks. It still tasted delicious but I knew that piping anything decorative on the surface of the cake would be nightmare. I decided to try it but as expected, the constantly clogging tip just wasn’t working. (While I think I’ve done a decent job covering up the blemishes between touching up the cake and avoiding photographing at certain angles, I can technically still say that the buttercream is part of the decoration, as that was a requirement in this challenge.) Anyway, after some deliberation I decided I would decorate with chocolate modeling paste.
I rolled out the modeling paste onto a thin sheet and cut circles out of it, and painted the circles with edible gold dust.
Cutting out and arranging the circles proved meditative and helped quel an otherwise frustrating experience. In the end, I was pleased with the mod/abstract aesthetics of the cake. But right up until the end, even cutting the cake proved challenging. The firmer chocolate circles pressed into the soft sides of cake from the pressure of the knife, so I had to freeze the cake to firm it up and wait another day to actually cut into the cake.
Another challenge down and boy am I glad this one is over. To see what other Daring Bakers have concocted this month, click here.