Wednesday, July 30, 2008


July's Daring Bakers Challenge was hosted by Chris. The recipies came from Carole Walter's book Great Cakes. The cake was delicous, my husband devoured it!!

As a professional pastry chef I buy already skinned hazelnuts, hazelnut flour, and praline paste ready to use, but as a DARING BAKER I wanted to make this cake like everyone else "the hard way"!! So here is my procedure:

First of all a filbert is a hazelnut and you need to skin those babies!! This is not an easy task, it is time consuming, but someone has to do it to make this cake.

Take a pound of hazelnuts and roast them in the oven at 275 degrees for about 30 minutes. Take them out of the oven and put them in a clean towel. Roll them back and forth to rub as much of the skins off as you can. Mine did not come off well so I took 1 1/2 cups of water and 2 tablespoons of baking soda and brought it to a boil. I threw the roasted hazelnuts into it and boiled them for one minute. Drain and rinse them, then back into the towel and rub rub rub until all the skins come off. Some of the skin will still have to be rubbed of by hand. Put them back into the oven at 275 degrees for another 10 minutes to dry out. Let them cool completely before using. WooHoo your ready to make your cake.

The bowl of hazelnuts on the left are the ones I rubbed the skins off of right out of the oven. Out of a pound of them that was my yield. The bowl on the right are the hazelnuts I boiled in the baking soda water and then roasted. This procedure was much faster and less time consuming.

For the Filbert Genoise
1 1/2 Cups Hazelnuts (toasted & skinned) (If using hazelnut flour you will need 2 1/3 Cups minus 1 Tablespoon of it)
2/3 Cup Cake Flour (unsifted)
2 Tablespoons Cornstarch
7 Large Egg Yolks
1 Cup Sugar (divided 1/4 & 3/4 Cups
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
1/2 Teaspoon Lemon Zest (grated)
5 Large Egg Whites
1/4 Cup Warm Clarified Butter (100-110 degrees)

Grease, flour and line with parchment paper a 9" round cake pan. Set aside.

In a food processor, process the nuts, cake flour, and cornstarch until you have a fine powder. Pass this mixture through a tripple mesh strainer and toss any large pieces of nuts. Set aside.

Put the yolks in the bowl of a 5 quart stand mixer and using the whip attachment whip for 3 - 4 minutes. Rub the lemon zest into the 3/4 cup of sugar and slowly add this sugar, one tablespoon at a time, taking 3 minutes for this step. Add the vanilla and continue to whip until the mixture makes a ribbon.

Put the egg whites in another bowl and with the whisk attachment beat on medium speed to soft peaks. Increase to medium high and slowly add the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar taking 15 - 20 seconds. Continue to beat for another 30 seconds. Add the yolk mixture and whisk for 1 minute.

Start folding by hand with a spatula the sifted nut mixture into the yolk mixture, 1/4 cup at a time. Be careful with your folding so as not to deflate the mixture. Once you have all the nut flour folded in take out 1/2 cup of it and mix it with the clarified butter. Fold the butter mixture into the batter and immediately turn it out in the prepared 9" cake pan.

Tap the pan on the counter to remove air bubbles and bake in the preheated oven for 25 - 30 minutes or until the cake is springy to the touch and it separates itself from the side of the pan.

Let it cool for 5 minutes then invert onto a cake rack sprayed with nonstick coating, removing the pan. Cool the cake completely.

Sugar Syrup
1 Cup Water
1/4 Cup Sugar
2 Tablespoons Chambord Liquor

In a small saucepan bring the water and sugar to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, add the liquor. Let cool to room temperature before brushing onto the cake layers.

Praline Paste
1 Cup Hazelnuts (skinned and toasted)
2/3 Cup Sugar

Put the sugar in a heavy 10" skillet. Heat on low flame until the sugar melts and turns caramel in color. Do not stir the mixture. Wash down sugar crystals if they form. Swirl the pan to achieve even caramelization. Remove from the heat and stir in the nuts. Return to the heat and stir until the mixture bubbles and the nuts are evenly coated with the caramel. Turn out onto a silpat or lightly greased parchment paper. Let the mixture cool completely then break up into pieces. Put the pieces in a food processor and pulse until the mixture becomes a paste. Store in an airtight container and store in a cool dry place. Do not refrigerate.

Swiss Buttercream
4 Large Egg Whites
3/4 Cup Sugar
Pinch of Salt
1 1/2 Cups (12 Ounces) Unsalted Butter
1 Teaspoon Vanilla

Place the egg whites, sugar, and salt in the 5 qt bowl of a stand mixer. Put the bowl over a bain marie and then heat the mixture to 141 degrees. Put the bowl on the mixer and with the whisk attachment beat it at high speed until it is thick and cool. It will look like whipped marshmallows.

Place the butter and vanilla in another bowl and with the paddle attachment cream the butter.

With the mixer on low speed slowly add the butter mixture to the egg white mixture. When all the butter has been incorporated turn the speed to high and beat for one minute.

Praline Buttercream
1 Recipe Swiss Buttercream
1/3 Cup Praline Paste

Blend 1/2 Cup buttercream into the paste, then add to the remaining buttercream. Whip briefly on medium speed to combine.

Red Currant & Raspberry Jelly

Abour 4 Tablespoons
Or any other jam or jelly of your choice.

Ganache Glaze

6 Ounces Semisweet or Bittersweet Chocolate (good quality)
6 Ounces Heavy Cream
1 Tablespon Light Corn Syrup

Chop the chocolate into small pieces and put into a bowl. Bring to a boil the cream and corn syrup. Pour over chocolate. Let sit for one minute then stir with a whisk to mix and melt all the chocolate. Stir gently so as not to create any air bubbles. Set aside to cool to 90 degrees F before glazing the cake.

Assembling the Cake
Divide the cake into 3 layers. Put the bottom layer on a cake circle and brush it with the Chambord Sugar Syrup. Spread on a thin layer of the red currant & raspberry jelly. Spread on a 3/8" thick layer of praline buttercream. Continue with the next layer in the same manner and the final layer of cake just brush with the syrup. Refrigerate the cake for 30 minutes to harden the buttercream.

Take the cake out of the refrigerator and trim the sides of the cake to make the sides as straight as possible. Frost with a thin layer of praline buttercream. Return the cake to the refrigerator and chill the cake at least 30 minutes.

Put the cake on a glazing rack and pour the 90 degree F ganache over it making sure the sides are completely covered. Let sit at room temperature for a couple of hours before decorating.

I decorated mine with a #104 rose tip.


Amelia said...

Beautiful cake! I love how you decorated the the finished cake! Great job on this month's challenge ;).

maybelles mom said...

wow, what a good job, lovley piping.

Lesley said...

You have huge huge amounts of talent. I love your results, every time.

Anonymous said...

Your finishing is just lovely. Adore the use of the rose-tip to make the big flower!

Cynthia's Blog said...

Very highly impressed. Your ganache is super smooth!

Helene said...

It's redundant telling you it looks wonderful but it does!!! Well done Pam!

Liz said...

Your cake is gorgeous! And I've just browsed through your archives--I love your work!

Anonymous said...

Your cake is absolutely gorgeous ! Wowo !

Anonymous said...

Your cake looks so good. Great piping job, I'm jealous!

Lauren said...

Ooo, your cake is beautiful! I love your decorations!!