Filbert Gateau with Praline and Buttercream

Filbert Gateau with Praline and Buttercream

This months Daring Bakers challenge was a filbert gateau with praline buttercream. When I first read the title of the challenge I was pleased as it sounded good. Unfortunately as I read the instructions I realized that I would not be able to complete the challenge as it was. The recipe called for grinding hazelnuts into a flour and grinding praline into a paste. I do not have a full food processor and my mini chopper is on its last legs and is not nearly capable of grinding nuts. I decided that I would at least try and come up with something and I was thinking that an almond themed cake would be nice.

Filbert Genoise

I had some almond meal on hand and I decided to use that instead of grinding the hazelnuts into a meal. I did not want a large cake all for myself so I cut the recipe in half. I used my 2 small 4 inch spring form pans and 2 ramekins to bake the cake and this allowed me to make 2 small 2 layer cakes. One thing that I have been enjoying about the DB challenges is that there is no shortage of beating in them. I really need to pick up a mixer. For this challenge I fell back to my trusty pair of forks.

Filbert Gateau with Praline and Buttercream

Simple Syrup

Continuing with the almond theme I added a splash of amaretto to the simple syrup.

Swiss Buttercream

This is the third time that I have made buttercream and each time has been easier than the last. This time it came together really quickly. My biggest problem now is trying to not eat it all before it gets onto the cake. Since I would only be doing two layers instead of 3 and since I have no skill in decorating with buttercream I cut the recipe down to a quarter of its original size. I also added a splash of amaretto to the buttercream.

Chocolate Ganache

The last time that I made a chocolate ganache glaze it came out pretty good with a nice glossy finish but this time it did not work at all. The chocolate ganache was not shiny at all and it had a texture that just would not smooth out. At least it still tasted good.

Almond Praline

Almond Praline

The original recipe called for the praline to be ground into a paste and mixed in with the buttercream which sounded really good. Since I could not grind the praline into a paste I decided use the praline as a decoration on the cake. I went with chopped almonds rather than the hazelnuts. I think that it came out as more of an almond brittle rather than almond praline but it tasted great!

Filbert Gateau with Praline and Buttercream (Sliced)

I ran into a few troubles along the way but I ended up with a tasty cake. I really enjoyed the almond flavour throughout the cake. I am really glad that I got to make the almond praline/brittle as it was really good. I am going to have to work on my cake decorating skills. It's time for me to go and look at all of the other Daring Bakers wonderful creations.

Filbert Gateau with Praline and Buttercream

Filbert Gateau with Praline and Buttercream

  • 1 Filbert Genoise (see below)
  • 1 recipe of simple syrup (see below)
  • 1 recipe of buttercream (see below)
  • 1 recipe chocolate ganache (see below)
  1. Place 1 layer of the cake on your working surface and brush on some of the simple syrup to moisten.
  2. Generously spread some of the buttercream onto the cake.
  3. Place the next layer of cake onto the buttercream layer and moisten with the simple syrup.
  4. Clean up the sides of the cake if any buttercream spilled out.
  5. Pour the chocolate ganache over the cake and spread it evenly around the whole cake.
  6. Decorate the cake as desired. I used some almond praline.

Filbert Genoise

  • 3/4 cup almond meal
  • 1/3 cup cake flour
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 3 egg whites
  • 2 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter (warm)
  1. Mix the almond meal, flour and cornstarch in a bowl.
  2. Beat the egg yolks until light in colour, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the sugar slowly while beating.
  4. Mix in the vanilla extract an lemon zest.
  5. Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form.
  6. Beat in the sugar.
  7. Beat in the egg yolk mixture.
  8. Put the dry ingredients in a mesh strainer and sprinkle it into the egg mixture while folding until almost all of the dry ingredients have been folded in.
  9. Pour the butter over the batter.
  10. Fold in the remaining dry ingredients.
  11. Pour the batter into a greased baking dish.
  12. Bake in a preheated 350F/180C oven until a toothpick pushed into the center comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes.

Simple Syrup

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon amaretto (optional)
  1. Simmer the water and sugar for a few minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and add the amaretto.

Swiss Buttercream

  • 1 egg white
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tablespoon amaretto (optional)
  1. Beat the egg white in a bowl over simmering water until soft peaks are just starting to form.
  2. Beat in the sugar and continue to beat until the mixture is warm.
  3. Remove from the heat and continue to beat until it cools down.
  4. Beat in the butter and continue beating until it thickens.
  5. Beat in the vanilla extract and amaretto.

Chocolate Ganache

  • 6 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1/2 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 6 ounces dark chocolate (chopped into small pieces)
  • 1/2 tablespoon amaretto
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Bring the heavy cream and corn syrup to a simmer.
  2. Pour the cream over the chocolate and let it sit for a minute.
  3. Mix until the chocolate is incorporated into the cream.
  4. Mix int the amaretto and vanilla extract.

Almond Praline

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup almonds (chopped)
  1. Melt the sugar in a small sauce pan.
  2. When the sugar is melted and browned mix in the almonds and bring to a boil.
  3. Pour the mixture onto parchment paper and let it cool.


Manggy said...

Hah, sarcasm duly noted Kevin :) Aren't simple hand mixers like $10? I think it's a good investment. I don't think I could survive making foam-based cakes, buttercream, and whipped cream on just a whisk... Besides, it's too hot and my cream would have turned to butter if I didn't do it quickly!
But your cakes did turn out great! I love that you used the brittle shards to decorate them-- it's so elegant :)

OhioMom said...

I like your amendments to the recipe, I would have left out the butter cream entirely (LOL) and gone with the ganache!

Although we eat with our eyes first, sometimes I have made homely dishes that have tasted fantastic ... or as I like to tell the food critic "it tastes better than it looks".

Rachel said...

The layers look so neat...I love it!

Adrienne said...

Oh my goodness, two forks?? PLEASE go get a hand mixer! You're making my wrists and elbows hurt just thinking about it. Also, Filbert Gateau sounds like the name of some lowly French lord or something. Love it. And it looks tasty!

Courtney said...

wow that is a daring baker using forks. I would have given up but great job. your cake turned out beautifully.

VeggieGirl said...

I LOVE your version of this month's Daring Bakers Challenge - looks fabulous!!

Gloria said...

Kevin this look absolutely yummy and delicious!! xGloria

redforever said...

I agree, a hand mixer is a cheap but very efficient investment.

You also mentioned that you do not have a food processor. These can be expensive and cheap ones usually don't do a very good job so hold up on purchasing one until you have done research and can afford a good one.

What you can use to grind small portions of nuts is a Krupps spice grinder and it is the perfect size to grind enough coffee for just a couple of cups.

While I would not want to grind a couple of cups of nuts this way, it is a very efficient and quite cheap machine for small to medium jobs.

Since you are also into making some of your own spices, you could certainly use the Krupps grinder for that job as well. It has very sharp blades so is very efficient and you can grind coarse or quite fine. I make all my own cloves etc using it.

Anyhow, great perseverence to do all this by hand!!!

Fearless Kitchen said...

This looks great, and really shows your adaptability. And your dedication - the two forks thing was really over the top!

Diana Evans said...

oh what a yummy looking cake...I was hoping you would have a photo of it sliced...and you do!!!

Elra said...

Bravo Kevin! Love your creativity using praline to decorate the cake.

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

Great job Kevin! I think that despite your equipment challenges, you really managed a superb cake! :)

Jeanine said...

Good job, Kevin! You made do with what you had, and it still turned out well!

Corinne said...

Mmm, hazelnuts are my favorite, but i love the idea of almond and amaretto with it.
In my experience, if the ganache gets too hot before pouring, it comes out not glossy and occasionally chunky... I used to be a cake decorator and I had to learn that the hard way when a cake turned out crappy.

Catherine said...

Wow. No mixer? I was in the middle of a recipe last week and mine died. All the mixing for DBs blew my motor on my cheap model. Let us both as Santa for a Kitchenaid. Great job considering your obstacles.

Lina said...

wow! Looks great! I don't really have a food processer either so I had to make-do with almond flour. Great Job on your daring baker challenge Kevin!

noble pig said...

Love the adorable.

Alexa said...

It looks wonderful and the praline is a great touch.

Abeer said...

I just have three letter OMG! this looks, sounds, and probably tastes gr8!!

Dani said...

two forks?!?!? that is dedication to the cause my friend :)

Neen said...

Definitely a fan of the mini-cake. When you're cooking for fewer than, say six people, mini-cakes are a great idea!

noobcook said...

It still looks good despite you not having some of the tools ... nice work!

Jen Yu said...

Good lord, my dear. You need a food processor... AND a kitchenaid for that matter. How on Earth have you gotten by without?!? You're a stud and you never fail to impress! Great job on your challenge, Kevin. As always, you totally rock the hizouse. xxoo

Ben said...

That was a good job Kevin. I know the feeling when a recipe calls for something that I don't have/can't get. But you did very good :)

Marjie said...

Kevin, your cake is adorable! Don't worry about the cake decorating skills, if the cake taste skills are top notch. I'd hate to be without a hand mixer as a fallback to my trusty Kitechenaid; I've had one for 30 years that still comes out when I need to beat something over the heat, as you did with these eggs, which I'd have had cooked before they were whipped. This is a glorious effort!

Ann said...

Awesome! I can't believe you whisked everything by hand!

Sharon said...

You have amazing mixing skills! I've been without one all summer and I can't wait to return to my Kitchenaid. Great job on a beautiful gateau.

OnlyInDreams012 said...

i wish i could eat that right now. and it looks so pretty~

cakewardrobe said...

Beautifully done! That looks amazing!

Sylvia said...

Haha You must buy a food processor right now!!!Even without those amazing , and useful machines you made a great job, looks delicious

Pam said...

I can not believe you make all these amazing things without proper tools!

giz said...

Soon enough you'll be able to talk about the days when you didn't have a proper food processor and managed to submit a totally fine cake. It was a great challenge this month and you did a good job of it.

Dawn said...

Kevin I can hardly keep up with all your fantastic works of cooking art. I wonder how you find the time to do all these dishes. You really are such a great cook. I always look forward to your newest creations.

Debbie said...

Looks good to me....I would love a slice of that cake!!!!

Jessy and her dog Winnie said...

Looks like it turned out great!

Proud Italian Cook said...

Kevin, Great job, but how on earth did you make this without a mixer? You need to go treat yourself ASAP with all the good cooking you do here!

Jeena said...

Kevin this looks gorgeous! I love the cake and I would not be able to stop eating your yummy praline.

Lori said...

I think I need to try the almond next. Kind of similar to the opera cake with the almonds. And kudos to youf ro making do with what you had! Great job.

MaryBeth said...

Even though you were not able to do it the way the recipe called for, it still looks fabulous. Good Job!

Dragon said...

Awesome job, dude!

We Are Never Full said...

wow!!! you daring bakers are SO daring!! i'm in awe every time!! This looks fabu.

Mochachocolata Rita said...

"trying to not eat it all before it gets onto the cake" HAHAHA! i'm totally with u...i want to try making the praline...guys...can i grind nuts using a blender instead of a processor?

Esi said...

It sounds like a lot of the Daring Bakers either loved this or hated it. I can't believe you did it all by hand, it looks amazing!

Bobby said...

Looks great Kevin... I'm sure I could easily eat the whole thing :)

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Nice job! Your cake looks great! Clean layers...



diva said...

that was really great quick-thinking on your feet kevin! and it's gorgeous. what a lovely daring bakers challenge this is. it's one reason why i can't take part in Daring Bakers. i just couldn't do something like that. oh sigh, what a luscious beauty.

once again kevin, you should have some sort of postal system to send me one of that to munch on..gosh. it's lovely! x

Paula said...

Wow, Kevin, those look terrific. I love amaretto. How did you manage to not eat all of these in one sitting?

Anonymous said...

Very cute cakes! Every time I read about you whipping up buttercream with your trusty forks, I shake my head. It makes me tired just thinking about it.

Robin Sue said...

Hi Kevin- I loved how your cake turned out! It was quite the challenge it seems without a mixer and all. I wish I could have a piece, I love ganache! The praline looks wonderful as well.

daphne said...

I totally get the whole mini processor thing. My tiny one can be useful but it does turn me off attempting recipes that require a full food processor.

You on the other hand, did such a great job even with the equipment issue. The praline looks very tasty and something that I will attempt even though I dont hv the guts to try the cake yet... =)

Zita said...

Brave...very brave Kevin!!!

Jeanne said...

As someone who lived in London for about 4 years withoutone, let me give you my no. 1 kitchen sanity saving tip - get a hand mixer!! You won't look back...

Very impressed with the cake - I'd look at the length of the recipe and just give up hope! Like your clever substitutions and I'm a sucker for nut brittle, so your cake would definitely get my voet :)

Darius T. Williams said...

It looks good - just seems too darn complicated!


Mrs Erg├╝l said...

What?! You have been doing it all with your trusty pair of forks all the while?? Kudos to you Kevin!!!! Nice dark colour!

monica said...

Your cake is gourgeous, Kevin.

Prudy said...

The cake looks beautiful, but man what a lot of work! So glad you got your work out and made a fab cake.

Deborah said...

Maybe all of us food bloggers need to join together to get you a mixer!! I still can't believe you do all of these by hand - you are amazing!

Lisa said...

Now I would like to eat a piece of this.

Pam said...

It looks so good Kevin! I really love the almond prailine - it looks amazing.

Lori Lynn said...

What is fun about Daring Bakers is seeing everyone's different interpretation. Yours is great Kevin! I like your rustic manly decorating.

Carmen said...

wow - good job! i like your changes/substitutions! looks delicious. i may just make the almond brittle. :)

Pat said...

I love your cake! It's very creative!

This was my first DB challenge, and I'm having fun looking at all the different cakes made from this recipe.

I learned a lot! Looking forward to August's challenge.

Anonymous said...

I love how creative you are kevin.

That is a sign of a really good chef!

farida said...

Looks so good! You did a great job no matter what:)

Bridgett said...

Wow, what an involved recipe. Kudos to you for sticking it out sans a food processor and giving it a go. It turned out beautifully!

Clumbsy Cookie said...

our little cake is so cute, I like the crunchy caramel bits on top. Don't worry about the ganache, if it tasted great its all it counts!

cook eat FRET said...

your filbert gateau looks really good!

Faery said...

Your cake is wonderful I like the decorations because the praline is really beautiful, the caramel color is very attractive and mouth watering. If I tell you all the problems I had with the butter cream you'll cry.I think we all had problems but in the end we had a great cake
Thank you for stopping by my blog and for your nice comment on my cake, that made me so happy

Andreia Sousa said...

Your photos are wonderful. Even without a processor you've done great.

ashleystravel said...

Mmmm... I wish I would have thought about decorating with the praline. I bet that added great texture as well as an extra layer of deliciousness.

Helene said...

You'll have to invest so money in a food processor but you did a great job.

jodycakes said...

Really cool!!! I love amaretto!!!

Bellini Valli said...

Completed in true DB style Kevin:D

Lauren said...

Ooo that looks so good! Love the praline decoration!

Elle said...

Kevin, I love the changes you made! And the cake looks delicious!

Amber said...

This cake is way too cute. I know guys don't like the word 'cute'. But coming from a girl, okay an old girl, it is a sweet compliment. The broken brittle on top is very cool.

una donna dolce said...

I think the ganache actually looks kinda cool when it's bumpy like that!

Jaime said...

like almond meal, you can actually purchase the hazelnut meal too, but it sounds like your cake was delicious anyway :) love how you decorated it w/the brittle!

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