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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

DB Challenge & August Birthday: Gâteau au praliné nappé de ganache ~ 焦糖榛果奶油夾心巧克力鏡面蛋糕

Gâteau au praliné nappé de ganache - mini cake

Gâteau au praliné nappé de ganache~

Here you see two cakes, one round, and one oblong shape. One cake for my monthly Daring Baker challenge, and one for the people who were born in August! Million thanks to our host Chris from Great Cakes by Carol Walter as this month’s DB challenge! I absolutely adore it!

The cake has three textures each with their own flavor – 2 layers of ultra creamy praline buttercream sandwiched between 3 layers of rum syrup moistened, ultra fragrant filbert (hazelnuts) genoise, and a layer of bittersweet chocolate ganache. Yes, this cake is very rich :)

The recipe may look lengthy but it was easy to execute though time consuming! Judging from the number of components called for this cake, I decided to do what I considered the easiest way – break them into days/steps like this:

- Day #1: Make all the components and set aside.
- Day #2: Assemble the cakes and let them chill in the fridge.
- Day #3: Decorate & garnish the cakes.

I found that by making the cakes this way that I can enjoy my weekend while getting it done in an orderly fashion! So how did it go?! Well, everything went smoothly for me except for the Swiss buttercream! It was grainy at first but became smooth & creamy after troubleshooting with the given advice. This was my 1st time making Swiss buttercream and I love how it tasted except that it was a bit too sweet for my taste. I think I would cut the sugar down by 1/3 when I make it next time. It is also my 1st time making praline paste too and it was way easier than I expected and it tastes heavenly! I have been munching on the left over paste for the last few days….gosh…all that calories….but it is soooo good……

The most challenging part was deciding how to decorate the cakes. Since I know nothing about the art of piping on cake like the master Carol Walter, I emphasized more on playing up the flavor of the cake! For the round, mini cake, I topped it with a little bit of praline buttercream (sprinkle with praline paste), some caramelize hazelnuts and a caramel sugar design. Since the side of the cake turned out rather bumpy, I covered with vanilla macarons. As for the oblong cake, I put tempered chocolate triangles instead of caramel sugar design, caramelize hazelnuts and praline buttercream. It just screams hazelnuts!

I really liked the final result in terms of flavors and textures. I also found that I can’t get enough of the chocolate and hazelnuts combination! Thanks again, Chris, for picking this fabulous recipe for the month =)

Fun facts: Filberts = hazelnuts?! Why are hazelnuts called filberts?

As quoted from
“The most commonly accepted explanation is because hazelnuts mature on or around St. Philibert's Day, August 20. Other historians believe the term filbert derives from the German vollbart meaning full beard, a reference to the appearance of the husked shell. Although the current definition of filbert tends to refer to commercial cultivated crops of hazelnuts, the terms hazelnut and filbert are generally used interchangeably. Hazelnuts are also known as cobnuts in some areas. Other experts claim these are all different varieties of the nut, but once shelled; they are quite difficult to tell apart.”

decorating details

Here are the ground rules for the challenge:
• Recipe ingredient exception allowed if allergy or an ingredient is not available or cost prohibitive in your region. Otherwise, the recipe does need to have nut of some sort! You can use another nut, should you prefer, but carry it throughout. If allergic/too costly, please refer to the Alternative bakers for assistance.
• You may use a buttercream or whipped cream filling under the ganache. But, make sure you cite your source. Whatever you choose, the end result must be praline.
• Buttercream garnish/decoration can be however you choose, but it should be on the cake in some form.
• The glaze – you don’t need to use apricot flavor, use whatever flavor you prefer e.g. orange or raspberry. Fresh fruit is okay for the garnish only.
• If the indicated pan size is not available, use whatever round size you prefer, just know you may need to make adjustments, accordingly. This means you may halve (not 1/3) the recipe, or make mini-cakes but no cupcakes and it must be round!
• Alcohol is optional

Filbert Gateau with Praline Buttercream
From Great Cakes by Carol Walter

1 Filbert Genoise
1 recipe sugar syrup, flavored with dark rum
1 recipe Praline Buttercream
½ cup heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks
1 recipe Apricot Glaze
1 recipe Ganache Glaze, prepared just before using
3 tablespoons filberts, toasted and coarsely chopped

Filbert Genoise
Because of the amount of nuts in the recipe, this preparation is different from a classic genoise.

1 ½ cups hazelnuts, toasted/skinned
2/3 cup cake flour, unseived
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
7 large egg yolks
1 cup sugar, divided ¼ & ¾ cups
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp. grated lemon 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 350/180 degrees.
- Grease and flour a 10” X 2” inch round cake pan.

Using a food processor, processes 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 lemon 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.

Meanwhile, pour the warm butter in a liquid measure cup (or a spouted container). * It must be a deep bottom bowl and work must be fast.*

Put the nut meal in a mesh strainer (or use your hand – working quickly) and sprinkle it in about 2 tablespoons at a time – folding it carefully for about 40 folds. Be sure to exclude any large chunks/pieces of nuts. 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. **If collected butter remains at the bottom of the bowl, do not add it to the batter! It will impede the cake rising while baking.

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 it to stand for 5 minutes. Invert onto a cake rack sprayed with nonstick coating, removing the pan. Cool the cake completely.

If not using the cake right away, wrap thoroughly in plastic wrap, then in a plastic bag, then in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. If freezing, wrap in foil, then the bag and use within 2-3 months.

praline paste

Swiss Buttercream
4 lg. egg whites
¾ cup sugar
1 ½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly firm
1 ½ -2 Tbsp. Cointreau or liqueur of your choice
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Place the egg whites in a large bowl of an electric 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, about 1-2 minute for this step. 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 a 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. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days, or can be frozen for up to 6 months. If freezing, store in 2 16-oz. plastic containers and thaw in the refrigerator overnight or at room temperature for several hours.

FAQs for making buttercream:
1. Wait! My buttercream won’t come together! Reheat the buttercream briefly over simmering water for about 5 seconds, stirring with a wooden spoon. Be careful and do not overbeat. The mixture will look broken with some liquid at the bottom of the bowl. Return the bowl to the mixer and whip on medium speed just until the cream comes back together.
2. Wait! My buttercream is too soft! Chill the buttercream in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes and rewhip. If that doesn’t work, cream an additional 2-4 Tbsp. of butter in a small bowl– making sure the butter is not as soft as the original amount, so make sure is cool and smooth. On low speed, quickly add the creamed butter to the buttercream, 1 Tbsp. at a time.

Praline Paste
1 cup (4 ½ oz.) Hazelnuts, toasted/skinless
2/3 cup Sugar

Line a jelly roll pan with parchment and lightly butter. Set aside. Put the sugar in a heavy 10-inch skillet. Heat on low flame until 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; this process can take 5-15 minutes. Stir in the nuts with a wooden spoon, toss, and separate the clusters. Return to low heat and stir to coat the nuts on all sides, meanwhile use the wooden to separate the clusters. Cook until the mixture starts to bubble (**Handle with care – extremely hot mixture**), then pour onto the parchment lined sheet and spread as evenly as possible. As it cools, it will harden into brittle. To make paste, just break the candied nuts into pieces and place them in the food processor, process for several minutes until the brittle turns into a powder. Do not refrigerate! Store in an airtight container and store in a cool dry place.

Praline Buttercream
1 recipe Swiss Buttercream
1/3 cup praline paste
12 Tbsp. Jamaican rum (optional)

Blend ½ cup buttercream into the paste, and then add to the remaining buttercream. Whip briefly on med-low speed to combine. Blend in rum.

Sugar Syrup
Makes 1 cup, good for one 10-inch cake and can be made in advance.

1 cup water
¼ cup sugar
2 Tbsp. dark rum or orange flavored liqueur (I use Cointreau.)

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 slightly before using on the cake.

my favorite apricot jam

Apricot Glaze
2/3 cup thick apricot preserves
1 Tbsp. water

Bring the water and preserves to a slow boil in a small heavy saucepan. Simmer for 2-3 minutes. If the mixture begins to stick to the bottom of the saucepan, add water as needed. Remove from heat. Using a strainer, press the mixture through the mesh and discard any remnants. With a pastry brush, apply the glaze onto the cake while the cake is still warm. If the glaze is too thick, thin to a preferred consistency with drops of water.

Ganache Glaze
Makes about 1 cup

6 oz. quality bittersweet chocolate
6 oz. (¾) cup heavy cream
1 tbsp. light corn syrup
1 Tbsp. Cointreau or dark Jamaican rum (optional)
¾ tsp. vanilla extract
½ - 1 tsp. hot water, if needed

Blend vanilla extract and liqueur 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 pour-a-ble. If it doesn’t thicken, let it sit for about 5 minutes.

Assembling the cake
Cut a cardboard disk slightly smaller than the cake. Divide the cake into 3 layers and place the first layer top-side down on the disk. Measure out 1 cup of praline buttercream and set aside.

Using a pastry brush, moisten the layer with warm sugar syrup. Spread the bottom layer with a ¼-inch thickness buttercream, leaving ¼-inch border around the edge of the cake. Place the middle layer over the first, brush with sugar syrup, and spreading with buttercream. Moisten the cut side of the 3rd layer with sugar syrup and place cut side down on the cake. Gently, press the sides of the cake to align the layers then refrigerate to chill for at least 30 minutes.

Lift the cake by sliding your palm under the cardboard. Trim the top layer to a slight slant angle so to help the ganache drip over the edge. Brush the top and sides of the cake with warm apricot glaze, sealing the cut areas completely. 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.

Fill a piping bag with the reserved praline cream, and get creative! If you want, sprinkle some chopped filbert garnish (nut meal) on the cake. Refrigerate uncovered for 3-4 hours to allow the cake to set. Remove the cake from the refrigerator at least 3 hours before serving. Leftover cake can be covered with foil and kept in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Gâteau au praliné nappé de ganache~

蛋糕是由風味極為香醇富濃重的榛果香氣的榛果海綿蛋糕﹑有著極細緻又柔軟的慕斯口感的焦糖榛果奶油夾心﹑及Valrhona巧克力與君度橙酒調製而成的﹐有如鏡面般的閃耀光澤的甘那許鏡面組合而成。口感濃郁高雅,層次豐富而甘醇,尾韻芳香久久不散,熱愛榛果及巧克力的你絕對會愛上這道濃郁逼人的焦糖榛果奶油夾心巧克力鏡面蛋糕﹗我做了兩個不同的造型﹐圓的小蛋糕是我的Daring Bakers挑戰的指定形狀﹐長方形的是給八月壽星的生日賀禮 (寧﹑Ellen ﹑Frankie生日快樂﹗)~

蛋糕的食譜是由這個月的host - Chris - 摘自Carol Walter的Gâteau au praliné nappé de ganache~

榛果傑諾瓦士(海綿)蛋糕 ~ 十寸蛋糕

1½ 杯 榛果, 去皮﹑乾燥
2/3 杯 蛋糕麵粉
2 湯匙 玉米粉
7 個 大的蛋黃
1杯 砂糖, 分別盛在¼跟¾杯中
1茶匙 香草精
½茶匙 檸檬皮茸
5 個 大的蛋白
¼杯 溫的澄清無鹽奶油

- 將一烤架移到烤箱下格﹐烤箱預熱至350F/180C。
- 在一個10寸X2寸的方或圓形模具抹上厚厚的奶油,灑上面粉後倒出多餘的粉後﹐備用。

將榛果﹑蛋糕麵粉﹑玉米粉用食物處理器研磨成粉狀﹐備用。用電動攪拌器以中速攪打蛋黃﹐攪打至富含空氣且顏色變淡為止。小量地加進¾杯砂糖,打發至膨脹變白﹐會如緞帶般重疊時﹐即可。拌入香草精及檸檬皮茸﹐用橡皮刀源邊往下刮翻切拌勻﹐備用。另一mixing bowl裡加進蛋白﹐用電動打蛋器以中速將蛋白打發至起泡出現軟角的程度時﹐將速度加至中速打發。小量地加進剩餘的¼杯砂糖,打發1 ½分鐘﹐然後加入打發好的蛋黃﹐繼續打發1分鐘即可。

小量地將榛果粉加進蛋霜中﹐用橡皮刀源邊往下刮翻切拌勻﹐最後加入溫奶油迅速刮翻切拌勻。在烤模旁邊輕輕將麵糊倒進去(如果從中央倒進去時會因重量下沉而致烤完後產生硬塊) ﹐將麵糊推勻﹐輕輕敲一下烤模釋放氣泡後﹐放進預熱過的烤模裡﹐烘烤約30~35分鐘。



4個大的 蛋白
¾杯 砂糖
1½杯 無鹽奶油
1 ½-2湯匙 君度橙酒 (也可用蘭姆酒)
1茶匙 香草精

先煮開一小鍋的水(約兩寸深)備用。Mixing bowl裡加進蛋白﹐用電動打蛋器將蛋白打發至起泡但還沒出現尖角的程度。將mixing bowl放在小鍋上隔熱水(千萬不要直接沾到水)加熱打發﹐小量地加進細砂糖,打發至砂糖完全融化溫度為120F/60C後﹐停止隔熱水加熱﹐繼續仔細打發,直到冷卻出現結實尖角的程度及變的光滑立體狀態為止﹐放冰箱備用。





1杯 榛果, 去皮﹑乾燥
2/3杯 砂糖


Gâteau au praliné nappé de ganache - oblong

1份 瑞士蛋白霜
1/3杯 糖榛果膏
12湯匙 蘭姆酒 (optional)


君度糖漿(塗抹蛋糕用) - 1杯
1杯 清水
¼杯 砂糖
2湯匙 君度橙酒 (也可用蘭姆酒)


杏桃果膠鏡面 - 2/3杯

2/3杯 杏桃果醬
1湯匙 清水


巧克力甘那許鏡面 - 1杯份量
6oz 苦甜巧克力﹐可可含量55%
¾ 杯 鮮奶油
1湯匙 玉米糖漿
1湯匙 君度橙酒 (也可用蘭姆酒)
¾茶匙 香草精
1茶匙 熱開水


- 將1杯焦糖榛果奶油夾心留起備用﹐剩餘的分成3份。
- 將海綿蛋糕橫切成三片﹐然後切半(寬5寸乘于2)﹐備用。如果想製作圓形小蛋糕﹐用直徑2寸半的圓形餅乾模吸切出圓蛋糕片。


取出蛋糕﹐切去表面四週的蛋糕體形成小斜角(好讓甘那許鏡面源周邊流下) ﹐然後在表面及四週塗上杏桃果膠鏡面﹐放冰箱備用。將放涼的蛋糕連網架擺放在深的烤盤上﹐將微溫的甘那許鏡面淋在蛋糕上﹐任甘那許溢滿源周邊流下包覆整個蛋糕(連烤盤一起提起輕敲一下會幫助甘那許源邊流下)。記住這時動作要迅速,因為溫度容易下降﹐甘那許會凝固。讓蛋糕靜置凝固15分鐘才可以裝飾蛋糕。在蛋糕上面擠一些焦糖榛果奶油餡﹐再擺放焦糖片﹑2~3粒焦糖榛果﹑及裝飾巧克力片即可。將蛋糕放進冰箱冷藏3個小時固定。吃的時後﹐將蛋糕回室溫就可。


  1. Wow, extremely pretty! Those cakes look terribly good and ever so perfect!



  2. I can't decide which one I like better but both versions are gorgeous and your decorations are impressive!

  3. Wonderful job, so professional! I really love the look, bet they taste great too!

  4. So you are our artist! Very, very beautiful!

  5. Vi, your cakes are both elegant! Love the simple yet sophisticated decor.

  6. Your cakes are so perfect! They look so delicious!!!
    Bravo! :)

  7. Both cakes are lovely, and your ganache glaze came out so smoothly!

  8. Those cakes are awesome! I seriously gotta learn how to decorate with sugar. :D

  9. OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    So far, one of the most beautiful creation of this challenge! Pure, elegant, smooth!
    Wonderful wonderful job!

  10. Truly beautiful, congratulations! Love the praline decoration.

  11. Wow - I'm impressed! Great job!

  12. Stunning designs, and love your photography!

  13. gorgeous!!! it's a whole new take on the opera cake as well as the filbert gateau! really really lovely. i'm impressed!

  14. Just awesome! I'm speechless! So elegant and artistic!

  15. Oooh beautiful cake!! I'm from the Bay Area too - LOVE finding local Daring Bakers... :)

  16. What beautiful little cakes. I love that you made two different shapes out of the cake batter!

  17. Great presentation! I love it :) Good job!

  18. It is perfect, j'en mangerais dès maintenant, so wonderful, and your photos are amazing!!

  19. prettytastycakes7/30/2008 6:22 PM

    Your cakes are so elegant and stylish. Beautiful...

  20. Very very pretty cakes!!!

  21. Stunning! I'm speechless! The toppings are beautiful.

    Christina ~ She Runs, She Eats

  22. 貝比Vi`>3<
    不過我較囍the one with oblong shape
    不過較有神秘感的那個則有vanilla macaron>v<



  23. Very pretty! Love both cakes!

  24. Mind-blowingly terrific cakes! Very creative!

  25. I absolutely love the look of your oblong cake! Beautiful!

  26. Very beautiful and very vogue! :)

  27. The most beautiful I have seen until now

  28. Both cakes look great, but I do particularly like the one with the macarons on the side :)

  29. Awesome! Extremely professional! :D

  30. Lovely as always . . . . . . .

  31. What a beautiful cakes! Absolutely gorgeous, and different!

  32. hi vi, i got the vintage-inspired tees from uniqlo...there's probably an outlet near ya ;)

    btw, your cake looks goooooorrrrgeous!

  33. what a beautiful looking cake. Every min of effort is worth it frm the looks of it. The ingredients n assembling instructions looks amazingly tedious.

  34. Just found your blog ... both these creations look absolutely divine. I'd find it hard not finish them all in one go. Great job.

  35. I'm in love with both your cakes! How elegant!

  36. Thank you everyone for all your kind notes! The support is overwhelming! Your words have helped to boost my confidence =)

  37. Mochachocolata Rita~

    I don't think there is a Uniqlo in the East Coast;,(

    However, I thought I read somewhere that there is one location in NYC....I guess I can check out Urban Outfitters, maybe they carries what I'm looking for~

    Thank you =)

  38. Honey寧>3<

    生日快樂呀~ o錫o錫~


  39. Your cakes are gorgeous! You are so talented!

  40. Thank you for your visit to my site! Stop by to visit anytime!
    Your cakes look lik they are right out of Gourmet Magazine! PERFECT!

  41. Beautiful, stunning job! I really enjoyed reading your post as well. Just lovely...

  42. Very nice job!

    I love the macaroons around the small cakes.


  43. Both of your cakes are absolutely drop-dead gorgeous. Honestly, they're two of my favorites (so I guess we're even?) :)

  44. 個蛋糕好靚呀 ~ 一定好好味 ~ 你好犀利呀 ~~

  45. You have such beautiful photos! what a perfect little cake! There is a Uniglo in NY.. in Soho.. it's huge!

  46. Ooo, your cakes look amazing! I love all of your designs/decorations!

  47. Both of your cakes are absolutely gorgeous!! You are very talented!

  48. Love them both!!

    It's so unfortunate that my English vocabs are quite limited and I often find a lack of words to describe your beautiful cakes. =_="

    They are... beautiful and beyond beautiful! as usual.

  49. Once again, thank you all for your kind notes =) Knowing that people like my creations fuel me to keep striving to improve

    Verano - thanks sweetie >3<
    Your creations are just gorgeous! I found myself drooling in front of my monitor every time I visit your blog^^

  50. 這是8月生日蛋糕嗎???

  51. looks fabulous~!@!!!!!!I'm gonna try this one during thanksgiving holiday~~long weekend is good for this challenge cake....

  52. 這個已經是神的境界了~~挖挖

  53. 真係每一個蛋糕都係咁令人賞心悅目...我都好想跟你哩個食譜做一個,有唔明我黎問你呀!!!

  54. Hi 查查~
    我想以你的程度﹐呢個蛋糕真係piece of cake啦 ^__~

    Is this who I think it is??! I am glad to see you here! Don't forget to show me your masterpiece when you're done!

  55. 你好呀,我想請問下呢,如果我整7吋圓形模

  56. Hello~



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