When Chris from Mele Cotte revealed Daring Baker’s challenge for July I wasn’t pleased at all. Buttercream again! That day it was extremely hot and I couldn’t imagine to make a buttercream cake nor eat such a heavy cake. My first though was to sit out this challenge, but then I thought „C’mon you are daring baker, no way to sit out a challenge only because it doesn’t suit you!“.
Some days later, it was less hot and I tackled the challenge. I halved the cake recipe, reduced the amount of sugar, replaced the syrup by Williams Schnapps and instead of the Swiss buttercream I made the cream cheese buttercream suggested by Chris. Everything did go more or less smooth. The only thing Y. and me didn’t like the sourly cream cheese buttercream. So next time – yes there will be probably a next time – I will make the Swiss buttercream, calories aside.
All in all a delicious gateau, but definitively unsuitable for hot summer days.
Finger crossed for August challenge!
100 g hazelnuts, toasted/skinned
50 g cake flour, unsifted
1 tb cornstarch
4 large egg yolks
100 g sugar
1/2 ts Vanilla extract
1/4 ts grated lemon rind
3 large egg whites
30 g warm, clarified butter
Position rack in the lower 3rd of the oven and preheat to 175 degrees. Grease and flour a 16 cm round cake pan.
Using a food processor, process nuts, cake flour, and cornstarch for about 30 seconds. Then, pulse the mixture about 10 times to get a fine, powdery mixture. You’ll know the nuts are ready when they begin to gather together around the sides of the bowl. While you want to make sure there aren’t any large pieces, don’t over-process. Set aside.
Put the yolks in the bowl of an electric mixer, with the whisk attachment, and beat until thick and light in color, about 3-4 minutes on med-high speed. Slowly, add ¾ cup of sugar. It is best to do so by adding a tablespoon at a time, taking about 3 minutes for this step. When finished, the mixture should be ribbony. Blend in the vanilla and grated lemon rind. Remove and set aside.
Place egg whites in a large, clean bowl of the electric mixer with the whisk attachment and beat on medium speed, until soft peaks. Increase to med-high speed and slowly add the remaining ¼ cup of sugar, over 15-20 seconds or so. Continue to beat for another ½ minute. Add the yolk mixture to the whites and whisk for 1 minute.
Pour the warm butter in a liquid measure cup (or a spouted container). * It must be a deep bottom bowl and work must be fast.* Put the nut meal in a mesh strainer (or use your hand – working quickly) and sprinkle it in about 2 tablespoons at a time – folding it carefully for about 40 folds. Be sure to exclude any large chunks/pieces of nuts. Again, work quickly and carefully as to not deflate the mixture. When all but about 2 Tbsp. of nut meal remain, quickly and steadily pour the warm butter over the batter. Then,
with the remaining nut meal, fold the batter to incorporate, about 13 or so folds.
With a rubber spatula, transfer the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the surface with the spatula or back of a spoon. **If collected butter remains at the bottom of the bowl, do not add it to the batter! It will impede the cake rising while baking.
Tap the pan on the counter to remove air bubbles and bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes. You’ll know the cake is done when it is springy to the touch and it separates itself from the side of the pan. Remove from oven and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Invert onto a cake rack sprayed with nonstick coating, removing the pan. Cool the cake completely.
*If not using the cake right away, wrap thoroughly in plastic wrap, then in a plastic bag, then in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. If freezing, wrap in foil, then the bag and use within 2-3 months.
100 g bittersweet chocolate,
100 g heavy cream
1 tb walnut oil
1 tb Williams
Break the chocolate into pieces. Add rest of the ingredients and melt over bain marie.
The glaze will thicken, but should still be pourable. If it doesn’t thicken, refrigerate for about 5 minutes, but make sure it doesn’t get too cold!
100 g hazelnuts, toasted/skinless
Put the sugar in a heavy skillet. Heat on low flame for about 10-20 min until the sugar melts around the edges. Do not stir the sugar. Swirl the pan if necessary to prevent the melted sugar from burning. Stir in the nuts with a wooden spoon and separate the clusters. Return to low heat and stir to coat the nuts on all sides.
Cook until the mixture starts to bubble. **Remember – extremely hot mixture.** Then onto the baking sheet and spread as evenly as possible. As it cools, it will harden into brittle. Break the candied nuts into pieces and place them in the food processor. Pulse into a medium-fine crunch or process until the brittle turns into a powder. To make paste, process for several minutes. Store in an airtight container and store in a cook dry place. Do not refrigerate.
Cut a cardboard disk slightly smaller than the cake. Divide the cake into 3 layers and place the first layer top-side down on the disk. Using a pastry brush, moisten the layer with 3-4 Tbsp. of Williams. Measure out 1 cup of praline buttercream and set aside. Spread the bottom layer with a 1 cm thickness of the remaining buttercream. Place the middle layer over the first, brush with Williams, spreading with buttercream. Cover with the remaining whipped cream. Moisten the cut side of the third layer with additional Williams and place cut side down on the cake. Gently, press the sides of the cake to align the layers.
Refrigerate to chill for at least 30 minutes. Lift the cake by sliding your palm under the cardboard. Holding a serrated or very sharp night with an 8-ich blade held parallel to the sides of the cake, trim the sides so that they are perfectly straight. Cut a slight bevel at the top to help the glaze drip over the edge. Brush the top and sides of the cake with warm quince glaze, sealing the cut areas completely. Chill while you prepare the ganache. Place a rack over a large shallow pan to catch the ganache drippings. Remove
the gateau from the refrigerator and put it the rack. With a metal spatula in hand, and holding the saucepan about 20 cm above the cake, pour the ganache onto the cake’s center. Move the spatula over the top of the ganache about 4 times to get a smooth and mirror-like appearance. The ganache should cover the top and run down the sides of the cake. When the ganache has been poured and is coating the cake, lift one side of the rack and bang it once on the counter to help spread the ganache evenly and break any air bubbles. (Work fast before setting starts.) Patch any bare spots on the sides with a smaller spatula, but do not touch the top after the „bang“. Let the cake stand at least 15 minutes to set after glazing. Garnish the cake with the reserved praline cream. Refrigerate uncovered for 3-4 hours to allow the cake to set. Remove the cake from the refrigerator at least 3 hours before serving (not during hot summer days!!!). Leftover cake can be covered with foil and kept in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Concerning my decorating skills…
hmm, I have to work on, especially if you look at the wonderful fil(i)bert gateaux my fellow Daring Bakers did.
More entries and recipes in English.
November 2007 Challenge – Tender Potatoe Bread
December 2007 Challenge – Yule Log
January 2008 Challenge – Lemon Meringue Pie
February 2008 Challenge – French Bread
March 2008 Challenge – Perfect Party Cake
April 2008 Challenge – Cheesecake Pops
May 2008 Challenge – Opéra Cake
June 2008 Challenge – Danish Braid