Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I'm a Buttercream Machine

Or at least that's how I'm feeling these days. With four challenges under my belt and three of them involving cake and buttercream, I feel like I'm well schooled on buttercream and that actually being well schooled came in handy for this challenge.

The recipe called for quite a bit of hazelnuts and when I went to my Ghetto Shaws, there were only three measly 1/2 cup packages of hazelnuts. Arugh. Okay, I already knew I wasn't going to make the "hazelnut praline" hooey but I still grabbed a bag of pecans just incase.

Being that I don't own a food processor, I decided I would try pulverizing my hazelnuts for the cake in my blender. Um not the brightest move. (Sorry that the picture isn't flipped for your viewing pleasure).

The parts of the nuts that got chopped started to get a little gummy in the blender and some parts didn't really get chopped at all. Plus, I got a supreme case of the lazies and didn't toast the nuts (I really should have!) so that meant the big chunks of nuts later got filtered out when the dry mixture put sifted thru the mesh sifter. Whoops!

However, for all my hazelnut mishaps, the batter came together nicely.

It seems light and frothy and I was excited about what sort of cake it would produce.
The cake came out perfectly golden and springy to the touch. I was very, very pleased with the results. Onto the buttercream. Alright, so it wouldn't have been a "drama" if my Granny's hand mixer hadn't died in the middle of making the frosting. Drats!

There was no way I was going to be able to beat the semi soft butter into soft whipped buttercream by hand. What was I going to do? Luckily I remembered that the buttercream recipe from my first challenge, the Dorie Greenspan party cake of March was different in that the butter was melted. So I knew I could melt the butter, allowing me to stir it in by hand and end up with a fantastic buttercream.

And you know what? It worked out great! I had a split second of doubt as I poured the melted butter in and started stirring but it quickly came together.
It was shiny and beautiful if I do say so myself ;)

I started on my ganache. The recipe said use a very good quality chocolate. Hmm...personally I'm a nestle's choco chip girl!

The ganache was so easy to make, and I loved pouring it over the cake. I was suppose to smooth it out and make it look all pretty and uniform but I liked how the cake looked with the ganache dripping down the sides. And since I already knew I wasn't piping out hazelnut praline cream all over it, I left the cake be as is.

Actually, I'm very pleased with how my cake ended up looking. I happened to have friends over the night I was ready to serve it. All agreed the cake was very good. Moist and pleasant enough but not near enough hazelnut flavor. Drats! I really should have toasted those darn nuts. Damn my laziness. Oh well, at least I know now for next time ;)


HoneyB said...

Yup, I feel like a buttercream machine too....however my waistline is telling me to stop! lol Great job!

Christina said...

Heh, I use my hand-held mixer to make buttercream, it's all I have! I didn't know you could use melted butter, though.

Nice job! You're right, it looks lovely the way the ganache drips down the sides.

Christina ~ She Runs, She Eats

Faery said...

Oh the cake is sooo beautiful with the ganache dripping down the sides of the cake

Leah said...

Thanks Honeyb! Yeah my jeans are definitely starting to get a little too tight too!

Christina, I'm so glad someone still has a hand mixer. I feel like such a baking reject for not owning a kitchen-aid but my place is so small I don't know where I'd put it.

Thanks Faery!!! A cake dripping in ganache is truly a thing of beauty ;)

Leah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Troop Leader said...

You know, adding a little flour to the nuts makes them less likely to do that congealing thing.

For the record, I still have a hand mixer, as well. ;-)

Anonymous said...

So pretty! Even without the food procesoor and electric mixer your cake looks amazing! Indeed, it looks better with the ganache dripping by the sides instead of fully covered! And I'll so have to check that Dorie Greenspan recipe for melted butter frosting.

Leah said...

Isa - thanks! And can I just say again I love that you added nutella to your buttercream. I'm going to try that move in the future.

Yeah, I honestly didn't know who Dorie Greenspan was before (I know, shock and horror) but that buttercream for the party cake we did for the March Daring Bakers was really fun to make and I liked that I could use melted butter (or really soft butter) instead :)

Lauren said...

Mmm! Your cake looks wonderful, I love the design!

boston guerilla said...

Thanks Lauren!!!