Almond Gateau with Praline Buttercream


It’s time for another Daring Bakers’ Challenge, this time a complex cake that kept me busy for about six hours. The original recipe is a Filbert Gateau with Praline Buttercream from Carol Walter’s “Great Cakes.” I prefer almonds over hazelnuts, so I made that little substitution.

For such a seemingly simple looking cake, there were tons of steps. In fact, there were so many steps, that I meticulously read through the recipe multiple times and made a to-do list. Alas, I forgot to do one of the last steps (I noticed my bowl of apricot glaze just sitting there minutes after applying my ganache.)

What I really liked about this challenge is that I learned a new technique for making ganache. I found that by grinding up the chocolate before adding the warmed sweetened cream made it much easier to blend and get a smooth, silky texture.

Also, do not even try and attempt this recipe without a food processor. I don’t think my Cuisinart has ever seen this much action.

My final thoughts on the Almond Gateau with Praline Buttercream are: 1) the praline buttercream was awesome and would be a delicious filling for a chocolate cake, and 2) the texture of this cake just wasn’t for me. Because of the all the nuts it was very mealy and I think I like a spongier cake.

My decorating skills are atrocious, so to see some truly spectacular pastry bag technicians, head on over the DB Blog Roll and check out other versions of this cake. Or, try it yourself – the recipe can be seen on SacFoodies here.

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12 Comments so far ↓

  • veron | Jul 30, 2008 at 11:30 am

    I nearly forgot my apricot glaze. There was just too many steps and I had to re-read it a couple of times. But you definitely have a gorgeous yummy-looking cake there!

  • JMom | Jul 30, 2008 at 1:05 pm

    I’m with you on the decorating skills. I thought of doing what you did and sprinkle the top or the sides with praline dust, but I was too scared to do even that. 🙂 But I guess that’s the point of DB isn’t it, to get us out of our comfort zone?

    BTW, skills or not, your cake looks great!

  • shellyfish | Jul 30, 2008 at 1:22 pm

    That looks amazing! You sure have mad decorating skillz!

  • Ann | Jul 30, 2008 at 1:27 pm

    I think your cake looks delicious!

  • Barbara | Jul 30, 2008 at 1:41 pm

    I too didn’t care for the texture of the cake. The picture of the slice sure looks tasty though!

  • Tiffany | Jul 30, 2008 at 4:33 pm

    Great job! Your cake looks beautiful, even if you didnt like the texturre 🙂

  • Christina | Jul 30, 2008 at 10:13 pm

    Beautiful job! The texture of your genoise looks amazing.

    In fact, there were so many steps that I kept reading through the recipe, then got lazy and put it off until Tuesday!

    Christina ~ She Runs, She Eats

  • Faery | Jul 31, 2008 at 12:59 pm

    I love your cake is so beautiful

  • Debyi | Aug 4, 2008 at 9:14 pm

    Your cake looks great! I wish I would’ve used almonds instead of hazelnuts. My husband & I found that we don’t really like hazelnuts all that much.

  • Kirstynn | Aug 6, 2008 at 6:34 am

    This was quite challenging. You did a great job! Amen to the food processor. Mine has never seem so much action!

  • Eric | Aug 14, 2008 at 3:12 pm

    Looks great! I can’t eat cake without ice cream. and of course, its gotta be real good ice cream to boot. I found out about Laloo’s Goat Milk Ice Cream (headquarters in Sonoma) a few months ago and I love it. Less fat, less calories, way better taste than heavy moo milk ice cream and their gourmet flavors are about as unique as ice cream flavors get these days. Black Mission Fig would fit this cake nicely. Check it out. http://www.laloos.com

  • Lauren | Aug 21, 2008 at 6:00 am

    Ooo, your cake looks amazing!!