Daring Bakers in July: Filbert Gâteau with Praline Buttercream

July 30, 2008 at 4:19 am | Posted in cakes & tortes, daring bakers, groups, layer cakes, sweet things | 49 Comments

filbert gâteau with praline buttercream

When I saw that Chris of Mele Cotte would be taking charge of this month’s Daring Bakers challenge, I had my fingers crossed that she’d chose something sweet with an Italian twist to it.  As if reading my mind, she chose Filbert Gâteau with Praline Buttercream–a cake featuring the quintessentially Italian combo of hazelnuts and chocolate (and two funny words, “filbert” and “gâteau”).  Mmmm…wonderful.

I made a half recipe, fitting the cake batter into a six-inch pan with high sides.  There’s a little bit of citrus in this recipe, but I decided to leave out the lemon zest in the cake batter and replace the Grand Marnier in the soaking syrup and buttercream with Kahlua, which suits my tastes better.  As you can see, I kind of copped out and only cut the cake into two layers instead of three.

While I did not to make the praline to add to the buttercream frosting, I did make caramelized whole hazelnuts to use as decoration.  I flavored my Swiss meringue buttercream instead with an unsweetened hazelnut butter that I had bought at the health food store awhile back.  Buttercream is plenty sweet already, so this gave it a nice balance and a good hazelnut flavor.  I realized that I’d have a few more of those caramelized nuts than I’d need to decorate the top of the cake, so I chopped up the extras roughly and sprinkled them over the buttercream before placing on the top layer of cake.  That was a nice crunchy touch!

filbert gâteau with praline buttercream

I am wondering if my glaze was a little on the thin side.  The top was nice and smooth, but as it dripped down the side of cake, it seemed to get hung up on the little specks of hazelnut in the buttercream crumb coat (which I chose to use instead of apricot glaze).  No matter…it was on to the decorating!  Chris wanted us to use some of the buttercream in our decoration.  Small cakes can easily look look overwhelmed by garnish, so I didn’t want to use too much.  Little shells on the bottom border, a few rosettes on top, and that was enough for me.  I finished it off with a little gold dust and the candied nuts.

filbert gâteau with praline buttercream

After reading through all that, maybe you wonder what it tasted like.  This cake was seriously delicious!  We had it for three nights, and I savored every bite.  There were a lot of steps to this cake, but the end result was totally worth it.  I can hardly believe that I joined the Daring Bakers last July (I can also hardly believe that the group was still in the double digits back then)!  I considered this to be my DB one-year anniversary cake! 

Check out the DB blogroll!  And visit Mele Cotte for the recipe (which was adapted from Great Cakes by Carol Walter).

P.S.: I’m still out of town, but back next week!

DB whisk


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  1. Absolutely freaking gorgeous. I completely forgot about this.

  2. your cake looks wonderful. i like the caramelized hazelnuts looks yummy. Good idea to use the butter in the icing.

  3. I love the cake too. YOurs was so pretty

  4. looks great! I only did two layers as well.

  5. wow, that looks so great. I had to miss out on DB this month, but your cake makes me wish i had found the time!

  6. It’s absolutely stunning. Happy DB anniversary!

  7. Beautiful job on the cake! I wish I had used a deeper pan and had thicker layers!

  8. I’m definitely sorry that my broken oven meant missing out on this challenge, you did a fabulous job!

  9. Your cake is the first I’ve seen so far and wow! If everyone else’s is any where near as gorgeous, I may just need to redo mine so that it’s up to par!

  10. Doesn’t that cake look just wonderful! Great Work Steph!!

  11. Let me be the first to say your cake is superb. Who would have thought a year ago that you could be this accomplished – I’m still working on it but your cake is an inspiration…. and you’re right…absolutely delicious.

  12. Your gateau looks beautiful! The Kahlua and Grand Marnier sound like a great combination. You did a great job with the decorating!

  13. wow! Your cake looks amazing! Mine was a big disaster so I love getting to see those that had great cakes!

  14. It looks beautiful as always. What a great shot! We had the same idea for the garnish, how funny. I really enjoy your blog, it is so inspiring!

  15. Your cake looks beautiful! I love the carmalized nuts! 🙂

  16. I knew I should have gone with 2 layers! I wanted to but thought I’d be a good girl and follow instructions, I’m regretting it now. Your gateau looks great! Well done. I like your new layout to.

  17. oh me. oh my. what i wouldn’t give for a slab of your cake. seriously, it’s perfection on a plate. and hazelnut buttercream? drool central. 🙂

  18. Your cake looks lovely. Gold dust sounds interesting.
    I agree, minimal garnish does have more of an effect.

  19. I jumped at the excuse to buy a mini pan too! This looks great!

  20. You know, I went with pistachios, but maybe I should try this again using hazelnuts afterall? Your cake tempts me.

  21. Hah! Good choices. I also used caramelized nuts for the garnish and used buttercream for a crumb coat of one of my two cakes. Nice to see that I am not alone.

    Your cake looks really moist (better than mine I think).


  22. Oh it looks wonderful!

  23. Steph,

    That is one serious looking stunning cake! I love the sprinkling of fairy gold dust on top and I like the rustic look of the gateau.

    Hope you had a nice vacation.

  24. Your cake looks so pretty! I also made a 6 inch cake: managed to cut 3 layers but was scared that they would fall apart. Fortunately that did not happen.

  25. This is absolutely GORGEOUS! So impressive. The gold dust is so beautiful on the glaze and I love love love hazelnut. Wow.

  26. Wowza, I am loving the mini cake idea. Darling. Good call on omitting the lemon zest. I honestly didn’t even taste it. (Could be b/c I added so much booze to mine ;-P)

  27. Oh my, your cake looks beautiful!

  28. Another masterpiece Steph! Your set ups always look wonderful!

  29. Gawwwwwd! Such perfectly straight sides!!! I bow to you, Madame! Beautiful cake and a fantastic job there 🙂

  30. wELL DONE!!!!


  31. I admire all of these candied hazelnuts I am seeing, that makes the cake look so professional! I love your final result!

  32. Ooooh, yum – that’s a beauty!
    Love the new look as well!

  33. I looked through a few and it looks like many people had trouble with the glaze being a bit rough on the sides. My thoughts were that a crumb coating of buttercream would help although the recipe didnt state it…

    It still looks totally delicious and I love your candied hazelnuts!

  34. very pretty and professional looking. It was seriously delicious wasnt it?

  35. i love the caramelized whole nuts you used.. your cake looks amazing !

  36. Love it – it looks stunning! It almost makes me regret not participating this month 🙂 Well done.

  37. I do the same thing with the cake challenges (using a 6-inch cake pan). The cake came out sensational and delicious looking. I wish the weather was cooler so I could have participated in this challenge.

  38. Beautiful cake. The hazelnut decorations look great.

  39. I love the gold dust – what an elegant cake!

  40. Your cake looks great, the ganache is so smooth!

  41. Gorgeous!! Your cakes always look so elegant. I only made two layers as well. And I totally missed the direction that buttercream had to be used on top of the cake. Whoops!!!

  42. Gorgeous Gateau! Congrats on one year of Daring Baking:)

  43. This looks really lovely! The piped buttercream at the bottom of the cake looks so nice =)

  44. Wow!! Your cake looks excellent!! The piping edging looks perfect, and I love that you made it so tall…I have a secret (well, maybe not so secret now) fetish for petite, tall cakes!! Lovely job!!

  45. Ooo, that is beautiful! The caramelized hazelnuts make it truly gorgeous!

  46. Your cake looks fabulous and perfect. Kahlua sounds interesting in the cake! Your shell border is perfect. Wendy

  47. All I can say is that your cake looks exquisite!

    Wonderful pictures!

  48. wow, your cake looks so professionally made! love the gold dust on top 🙂 your ganache looks quite perfect

  49. If there was the perfect cake, it would be yours! Love it!

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