Cake Concepts Clarified

During the baking and serving of this Filbert Gateau, the July Daring Bakers challenge hosted by Chris of Mele Cotte, it seems there were a few concepts I was a little unclear on:

Concept #1: Your husband is allergic to hazelnuts so don’t count on him to help you eat this cake. How did I not know this? Have I really not made anything with hazelnuts in the more-than-half-my-life we’ve been together? Oh well, I suppose it’s discoveries like this that keep a marriage alive.

Concept #2: Do not bake jewelry into the genoise. Especially earring studs that have potential to do serious bodily injury. Luckily I discovered it before our dining room turned into an ad hoc piercing parlor.

Concept #3: Buttercream does not pipe very well when it’s cold. It cracks.

Concept #4: It’s a good idea to pay attention when the recipe says “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.” Unless of course you like an unrisen cake.

Concept #5: “Trim the side edges so they are perfectly straight” generally does not mean you want sides that look like the surface of the moon. Well, actually, I was pretty clear on the concept, it was the execution that I got hung up on.

But despite my woes, when all was said and done, the overriding concept here was that this was a delicious and spectacular special-occasion cake that made a lovely July 4th dessert. (OK, it’s not what I would normally serve for the 4th, but I’ve got to take advantage of crowds when I can for these rich desserts.) This concept can be further clarified by checking out the other Daring Bakerscakes. Thanks to Chris for a wonderful choice!

Post a comment » 39 Comments

  1. Great job, Susan! It looks terrific and I applaud you for sticking with the challenge despite hubby’s allergy. Glad you found the stud before someone broke a tooth or worse :)

  2. Despite ur woes..I like the decoration

  3. Well done, Susan. Mine has a moon surface too. ;-) Fortunately at the end only taste is what counts.

  4. what a gorgeous creation susan!! i love it!! great job for this challenge!!

  5. That looks awesome! Why did I ever stop doing the DB challenges? I’ll have to re-join sometime when my schedule frees up a bit.

  6. Looks beautiful!

  7. Mine cratered too, but it looks like you more than salvaged it. It looks wonderful.

  8. It looks like a gorgeous yummy cake to me (inbaked jewelry and all!). Great job Susan.

  9. Your take turned out fantastic! Glad ya caught the earring before it was too late. :)

  10. Hope you had all your friends over to share this cake with you. Looks absolutely decadent! Hazelnuts & chocolate has to be one of my favorite food combinations.

  11. I had no idea you were so punk rock, Susan! Piercings in the cake?!? :)

    Seriously, I always love to see your finished masterpieces, because they are really an inspiration to the budding chef in me!

  12. The end result looks amazing! It makes me feel a little better to see the challenges you encountered…

  13. I’m loving this pierced cake Susan…LOL! O boy, what a tale & what a lovely cake…well done!

  14. So, is the jewelry in the cake like the New Orleans king cake? Whoever gets it in their piece is king for the day?
    (or queen, I guess)
    I love the spiral design on the cake dotted with the hazelnuts, very creative.

  15. It looks fantastic! I had to miss the challenge AGAIn this month as I was away. I’m really hoping for a bread this month though and to be honest, I don’t think I could have faced another layered cake after the opera. Yours looks absolutely fantastic though and what a funny story about your husband! How did you not know that!!?

  16. I love the part about the earring — just adds texture! I suppose there are ways to get the sides smooth, but mine look like yours. At least the ganache poured smoothly! Looks delicious.

  17. You did a great job, and you’re funny, to boot! Unfortunately, I had to bow out at the last minute, but this cake is definitely on my to-do list!

  18. My cake wasn’t the smoothest either but I think you did a great job distracting from the bumpy surface. Great job!

  19. Oh, great post–so good. All very true statements, though I think you were a little hard on yourself about the sides of the cake. If you are that close to the cake you are generally about to consume it.

  20. your cake looks fantastic, too funny about the earring glad you found it before eating!

  21. What a wonderful cake!
    I did the challenge too and it was really worth the effort.

  22. Wow – you made me laugh! I wonder what allergies my boyfriend has that I haven’t stumbled on yet?! How in the world did the whole earring get in there?

  23. Beautiful cake. Moon sides, allergic reaction inducing tendencies and all.

  24. Your cake looks beautiful! I loved reading your post- I’m glad it all worked out for you in the end.

  25. My husband has a nut “allergy” too….although his is just in his head. Glad you found the earring before someone ate it! Great job!

  26. Okay I just want to know if that was a gold earring because in that case I would have liked to find it in my piece. Make that a pai of them. The cake looks beautiful.

  27. beautiful cake! precious earring photo!!!

  28. I would say that despite your concept “misconceptions”, your cake seems to have turned out extremely well.
    Never knew buttercream could crack. Out here it’s so warm, its tough enough trying to keep my buttercream from flowing away!

  29. it looks perfectly risen to me! in fact, it looks terrific. i’d try to take a bite out of the computer screen, but i’m scared i’d choke on that earring. :-)

  30. It looks beautiful! The earring reminds me of a King Cake with a ring baked in, lol!

  31. I love the design you chose for the top of the cake, Susan. It’s so impressive!

  32. WoW! Your Gateau is perfect and I love how you decorated the top! The picture of a slice looks absolutely yummy =D

  33. Susan, the cake looks spectacular! I decided to bow out as I am finding it difficult to stick to the schedule, and the recipe, what with substitution. I am going to just follow you daring bakers, and try out whatever fancies me!

  34. Your cake looks great – glad you found the stud before anyone else!

  35. Beautiful looking cake! I love the lessons learned! Great Job!! :)

  36. The earring picture is hilarious! I’m so impressed that you had it done by the 4th.

  37. Ouch on the earring and the nut allergy but I think you are too hard on yourself: you did a fabulous job with the challenge!

  38. I think your cake looks fabulous!

  39. This cake is……. wanderful….

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