30 July 2008

Filbert Gateau with Praline Buttercream *OR* How Satan Gets His Kicks

Consider the hazelnut, or filbert if you prefer. A little package of flavor that God gave us to make our coffee worth drinking. In its humble shell you'll find all sorts of delicious nutrients for your health. But Satan, always trying to manipulate God's perfection into unimaginable atrocities, whispered into an unknown chef's ear "Think how much better this recipe would be if that hazelnut was skinned." From then on, for no reason at all, (Except some claim the skin is "bitter." Grow some, you wussies!) from then on, chefs and bakers the world over have added countless hours to their already busy lives attempting to de-skin the common hazelnut.

Yesterday I made the Filbert Gateau with Praline Buttercream from the cookbook Great Cakes by Carole Walter and submitted by this month's host Chris from Mele Cotte. It took a long time, it was mostly enjoyable and I completed the Daring Bakers' Challenge. But holy crap! Skinning 3 1/2 cups of hazelnuts is something that should only be sentenced to those convicted of crimes against humanity. Seriously. It was only through sheer willpower that I kept going. I felt my sanity waning. I had thoughts of sitting behind bushes and pelting people with half-skinned hazelnuts. I dreamed up plans of training an army of hazelnut-skin-eating chipmunks with those collars around their necks that wouldn't allow them to swallow an entire nut. I almost cried.

With that being said, here's the cake:

16 comments:

The Irreverent Cook said...

Hi!! Haha, don't you think perfectionists have more to do with skinning hazelnuts than satan? Thank goodness I managed to get skinned hazelnuts, otherwise I would have just left them in =) Your cake looks gorgeous, by the way =D

Rachel said...

I was lucky enough to find skinned hazelnuts:). gorgeous gateau!

Cheryl Harris said...

I burned myself skinning mine, mostly because I was overtired. But your cake looks gorgeous, and I enjoyed reading the post!

Veron said...

Your cake looks so pretty! All worth the hazelnut skinning , I must say!

shellyfish said...

Skinning is not so fun, I agree, but good grief Tricia, your cake is beautiful!

Em said...

Looks beautiful :)

Have a delicious day!

Lesley said...

That is funny.... I love your cake, it's pretty!!

tricia said...

irreverent - you might be onto something there. being a perfectionist, the skinning was almost unbearable.

rachel - you're so lucky!

cheryl - i was tired too, which is probably why it bothered me as much as it did

veron, shellyfish, em, lesley - thanks guys!

una donna dolce said...

3 things...

1 - The second picture is Gooorgeous!
2 - I love your alternate title
3 - maybe we should start making perps of heinous crimes peel hazelnuts several hours each day...a whole new form of capital punishment...

Debyi said...

I totally agree with you about skinning the hazelnuts, next time I would leave them on. It took me about 2 hours! Your cake looks amazing, hopefully the skinning was worth it.

pacificoutpost said...

You're a better woman than I - I ditched the hazelnuts all together for this recipe and used the lovely (and naked) macadamia nut instead. Your finished product looks well worth the effort!

tricia said...

una donna dolce - an intriguing idea. now if i only had some networking with prison officials...

debyi - actually only liked the cake. so i'd say no to the worth it part. but it's all a learning experience, right?!

pacificoutpost - i have to disagree. your genius is thinking of macadamias makes you the better woman!

Quentin said...

Looks good but why is it in the grass? I realize that kids are messy eaters and all...

tricia said...

dearest quentin - in answer to your query: it was a dark, overcast day and photographs always look better in natural light sans flash but i couldn't take the picture indoors because of the darkness caused by the previously mentioned weather. we have no outdoor furniture to speak of so instead of putting in on the sidewalk i opted for the greenest patch of our lawn, complete with spent clover blossoms, to take advantage of all available light. the end.

Quentin said...

Well either way it looks mah-velous!

Lauren said...

Ooo, your cake looks wonderful! I love your design!