Dare to Bake without a Kitchen

Dare to Bake without a Kitchen

Yeah yeah… better late than never, right? Yesterday was the official posting day for Daring Bakers to unveil their top secret pastry… Unfortunately, the universe was against me, and posting on time was just not an option.This month was Filbert Gateau with Praline buttercream, chosen by Mele Cotte. The recipe came from Great Cakes by Carol Walter.

I was actually going to skip this month as it was a very busy one, and my kitchen is being remodeled. This was a true challenge for me,because I assembled the cakewithout a kitchen.You don’t realize how important counters and a kitchen sink are when you’re trying to fill and ice a cake. Not easy… and quite the mess.
I managed to bake the cake the day before my kitchen demolition,while I was packing up my dishes and pots and pans. The cake itself was fairly simple, until the “folding process.” I don’t know about the rest of you, but it seemed to call for 2 sets of hands…And who in the hellwants to mix in 2 tablespoons of the flour-nut mixture at a time? That would take a friggin hour! In addition, I used plain ol’ melted butter in place of the clarified butter… I just didn’t have time for that! Anyway, I muddled through and it (surprisingly) turned out magnificently. Very light and nutty. I used almonds since I didn’t have filberts on hand, but I could imagine how fabulousit would be withfilberts. Also, I made half of the recipe and used a 6 inch cake pan. Less cake = smaller bottom for yours truly.

The praline buttercream was AMAZING! I’m not a big fan of buttercream, but when mixed with the praline, it was truly fantastic. I followed the (odd) recipe and filled the cake with buttercream and whipped cream.Strangely, I liked the combination. It was VERY important, however, to let the cake sit out for 20 minutes or so to let the buttercream soften before eating. It was not good when eaten cold.
As for the decorating of the cake… I half assed it. I let the ganache get a little too cool and it “glopped” a bit on the sides. Also, it was strange that the recipe did not call for a crumb coating of the cake before covering with ganache.Its virtually impossible to have perfectly straight and smooth sides without a crumb coat.

Here’s the current condition of my kitchen. Its ugly… but on its way to being beautiful!

This was by far my favorite (tasting) cake recipe I’ve done with Daring Bakers. I definitely see myself making this again, with modifications, of course. If you want the recipe, go here to Mele Cotte’s blog. Check out my past Daring Bakers posts here, and the rest of the Daring Bakers here.