Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Daring Baker Project #10 - Filbert Gateau with Praline Buttercream - I'm still working on it

Romans 12:10 
"Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. 
Honour one another above yourselves."

So I'm still working on this cake. Too many other things have gotten in the way this month. Today I got the kitchen all cleaned and started seriously in on the cake. Emily was a "great help" in her own way. She could tell that something serious was afoot and insisted that I put her apron on her. But though she was trouble, the really really big problem was trying to skin those darn filberts. I don't mind working away at a project, but I'm not too fond of futility. After a great deal of effort I've only got about 1/2 cup of of skinned filberts. I read that Oregon filberts are particularly hard to skin, much harder than hazelnuts. So I think the only solution for any measure of success with this recipe is to top up my nuts with almonds, which is a nut I love, unlike filberts.

Well I finally decided that I'd had enough of trying to get the skins off the filberts by scraping them with my thumb nail. I finished off the nuts with some toasted almonds. In the end there were 4 ounces of filberts and 3 ounces of almonds. I then moved on to finishing the cake. The eggs had been separated hours earlier, so they were good and ready. Emily had helped me get two 7 inch pans ready. I decided to cook them in the Lacanche electric oven.

I whipped the egg yolks and had them standing by. The nuts and flour were in a fine powder. Then I went to whip the egg whites and clarify the butter. The fact that the whites were at room temperature made them whip faster than I expected, so they were almost to the brittle stage when I stopped the beater. So I simply folded in the bakers sugar, and then dumped the whites into the egg yolks bowl and vigorously folded them in, instead of beating in the egg yolks for a minute. It all went well enough. Folding in the nuts, 2 tablespoons at a time, was certainly tedious, but I hung in there. As soon as the butter was folded in along with the last of the nuts I immediately put the batter into the pans, not taking my usual time to ensure exact evenness, and popped them straight into the oven, putting the one I thought had the most batter to the back. The one in front did in fact cook more quickly.

Because I had papered the bottoms of the pans, and for the most part did not grease the sides very much, there was no pulling away from the sides as the book described. But no matter, that's what I wanted. I know that a genoise wants to have good support to keep it up. As soon as I took each cake from the oven I turned the pan upside down. They turned out beautifully. When they were cool I removed then and covered them with plastic wrap. It was around 8 o'clock and the thought of making buttercream was too much. So I made dinner instead, then we watched Jeopardy, followed by the final episode of Foyle's War, then I tidy up the kitchen and went to bed.

"Too often people use statistics like drunken men use lamp posts, 
for support rather than illuminiation." 
Albert Einstein


Sara said...

hang in there, it's definitely worth it! :)

Molly Loves Paris said...

Thanks for the encouragement.