This month, our host Chris from Mele Cotte challenged us with a Filbert Gateau with Praline Buttercream, witch is a fancy way of saying "Hazelnut cake with hazelnut-caramel paste buttercream and covered in chocolate"! The Gateau's original recipe came from Carol Walter's Great Cakes. I decided to use tangerine as company for the hazelnuts on mine, and only did half the recipe.
This cake was a collection of little recipes, so to make it easier let's break it down. To assemble it we will need:
- Hazelnut Genoise
- Sugar Syrup
- Hazelnut Praline Paste
- Swiss Buttercream
Genoise gets it's name form the Italian city of Genoa and it's basicly a sponge cake without any quimical leveaning, that rises only with the air of the beatten eggs. This particular one had hazelnut meal and clarified butter added at the end.
Filbert (hazelnut) & tangerine Genoise
- 1 ½ cups hazelnuts, toasted/skinned
- 2/3 cup cake flour, unsifted
- 2 Tbsp. cornstarch
- 7 large egg yolks
- 1 cup sugar, divided (¼ & ¾ cups)
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- ½ tsp. grated tangerine rind
- 5 lg. egg whites
- ¼ cup warm, clarified butter (100 – 110 degrees)
Position rack in the lower 3rd of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 10” X 2” inch 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 tangerine 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. Put the nut meal in a mesh strainer and sprinkle it in about 2 tablespoons at a time – folding it carefully for about 40 folds. 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. Tap the pan on the counter to remove air bubbles and bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 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.
Tangerine Sugar Syrup
- 1 cup water
- ¼ cup sugar
- 2 Tbsp. tangerine liqueur
In a small, yet heavy saucepan, bring the water and sugar to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, add the liqueur. Cool before using on the cake.
Hazelnut Praline Paste
- 1 cup (4 ½ oz.) Hazelnuts, toasted/skinless
- 2/3 cup Sugar
Line a jelly roll pan with parchment and lightly butter. Put the sugar in a heavy 10-inch 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. Brush the sides of the pan with water to remove sugar crystals. If the sugar in the center does not melt, stir briefly. When the sugar is completely melted and caramel in color, remove from heat. 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. Then onto the parchment lined 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.
- 4 lg. egg whites
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 ½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly firm
- 1 ½ -2 Tbsp. tangerine liqueur
- 1 tsp. vanilla
Place the egg whites in a bowl of a elevtric mixer and beat with the whisk attachment until the whites are foamy and they begin to thicken (just before the soft peak stage). Set the bowl over a saucepan filled with about 2 inches of simmering water, making sure the bowl is not touching the water. Then, whisk in the sugar by adding 1-2 tablespoon of sugar at a time over a minutes time. Continue beating 2-3 minutes or until the whites are warm (about 120 degrees) and the sugar is dissolved. The mixture should look thick and like whipped marshmallows. Remove from pan and with either the paddle or whisk attachment, beat the egg whites and sugar on med-high until its a thick, cool meringue – about 5-7 minutes. Do not overbeat. Set aside. Place the butter in a separate clean mixing bowl and, using the paddle attachment, cream the butter at medium speed for 40-60 seconds, or until smooth and creamy. Do not overbeat or the butter will become too soft. On med-low speed, blend the meringue into the butter, about 1-2 Tbsp. at a time, over 1 minute. Add the liqueur and vanilla and mix for 30-45 seconds longer, until thick and creamy. Refrigerate 10-15 minutes before using.
Now that we have the praline paste and the swiss butercream let's join them to make:
- 1 recipe swiss buttercream
- 1/3 cup praline paste
- 1 ½ - 2 Tbsp. Frangelico liqueur (original asked for Rum)
Blend ½ cup buttercream into the paste, then add to the remaining buttercream. Whip briefly on med-low speed to combine. Blend in liqueur.
As for the Glaze, the original recipe asked for apricot, but we were allowed to use any flavour so I went with tangerine, of course. I've used homemade Tangerine marmelade.
- 6 oz. semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
- 6 oz. (¾ cup) heavy cream
- 1 tbsp. light corn syrup
- 1 Tbsp. tangerine liqueur
- ¾ tsp. vanilla
Blend vanilla and liqueur/rum together and set aside. Break the chocolate into 1-inch pieces and place in the basket of a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Transfer into a medium sized bowl and set aside. Heat the cream and corn syrup in a saucepan, on low, until it reached a gentle boil. Once to the gently boil, immediately and carefully pour over the chocolate. Leave it alone for one minute, then slowly stir and mix the chocolate and cream together until the chocolate is melted and incorporated into the cream. Carefully blend in vanilla mixture. If the surface seems oily, add ½ - 1 tsp hot water. The glaze will thicken, but should still be pourable.
Now that we have everything we can assemle it: 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 sugar syrup. Measure out 1 cup of praline buttercream and set aside. Spread the bottom layer with a ¼-inch thickness of the remaining buttercream. Place the middle layer over the first, brush with sugar syrup, spreading with buttercream. Moisten the cut side of the third layer with additional sugar syrup 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.
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 the glaze, sealing the cut areas completely (I've did this with the buttercream as well). 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 10 inches 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.
Refrigerate uncovered for 3-4 hours to allow the cake to set. Remove the cake from the refrigerator at least 3 hours before serving.
To garnish it I've used a bit of buttercream, praline powder (before turning into paste) and caramelized hazelnuts.
To do them boil some sugar with a tiny bit of water until it gets a golden color. Remove from the heat and let to cool for a short while until it starts to thicken. Meanwhile inseart a toothpick on the bottom of toasted and skinned hazelnuts and prepare a piece of cardboard that can be suspended to hold the toothpicks and place a paper or cling film under it to catch the caramel drippings. Holding the toothpick dip the hazelnuts into the caramel, pierce on the cardboard upside down and let them set.
As I'm nuts for nuts I liked the cake, the praline was so good that I could have eaten it on it's own (I almost did actually...) and the tangerine was a nice addition I think. But best of all was to bake with all these wonderful people! So what did my fellow Daring Bakers thought about it? Go check it out here! I'll sure visit them when I'm back from my vacation!