Wednesday, July 30, 2008

My First Daring Baker's Challenge...and one of my new toys


Ta-da!


Today is officially my "coming out" day. Not in the sense of a blushing debutante (although all of you who think, or would like to think that way, are by all means welcome to do so), but in terms of being a member of the Daring Bakers.

Considering that I have waited a full month (and then some) to participate in the July challenge, I am surprised at how easily I put this task off until the very last minute. Life, and my innate knack for procrastination got into the way. However, this month at least, I have another very valid excuse for not wanting to complete my challenge sooner.


On July 26 2008, I finally received my much-coveted Canon EOS 450d!! YAY!!! I am now a proud owner of a DSLR!! However I feel compelled to warn you that I have not yet mastered the functions of this camera, nor yet feel comfortable using it, in case you expect mind blowing photos. I have lots to learn and a long way to go.


But I digress. This month's challenge is hosted by Chris of Mele Cotte, and the task is to attempt Carol Walter's Filbert Gateau with Praline Buttercream. I could not be more excited!! Layered gateaux are by far my favourite thing to both eat and make. I know this makes me sound a tad masochistic, but I always like a challenge. So thank you Chris, for choosing this cake!!

Oh, and although this cake looks a little on the heavy side (texture, mouthfeel, flavour etc.), it is as light as a goose down pillow!! The swiss meringue buttercream and the whipped cream really made a difference!! One thing that I am not satisfied with though, is that my layers are not perfectly and evenly straight. This, I admit, is my own fault. Due to greed I have decided to lather an excessive amount of buttercream and whipped cream filling onto the cake layers. And due to laziness I had not bothered to pipe and spread them out evenly. This resulted in the afore-mentioned effect on the cake, and in my anguish for being so careless. Oh, and on being careless, I also dunked a whole recipe's worth of praline powder into my buttercream instead of the 1/3 cup stated on the recipe. Sigh.



But at least it was delicious, right?
(J: I think it tasted really good with the full amount anyway. I don't know why you want to make it with only 1/3 cup.)

Bless his soul.


The complete recipe is available on Chris' website. It contains quite a bit of information, thus I will not post it here. But for those of you who have not attempted it, please give it a go; it's really not that difficult if you read all the instruction carefully.


PS. I will update you on my other new toy in the next post.

56 comments:

Aparna said...

Welcome to the community.
That is quite an impressive looking cake. Your pictures are pretty good too.

lachandra said...

Wow! Good job, it looks so elegant... This is just my second challenge and I'm impressed.

I'm Morgana, from Madrid.

http://morgana.blogolosas.com

Passionate About Baking said...

Very very nice first challenge Christy...it is stunning. can see you are enjoying your new toy! I wanted to get the Canon 450D too, but then settled for the G9 which is my rcent new toy! Good for you; those pitcures are as stunning as the cake! Welcome to Db's!!

Christine said...

Welcome to DB your cake is elegant and beautiful. I am trying to master my canon too!

Rachel said...

Welcome to the Db's..You cake has minimal decoration and that is the beauty of your cake..good job!

BC said...

Gorgeous pictures. You are right about reading carefully - it makes the recipe much easier.

giz said...

What a way to come through the gates. Your cake is wonderful - the ganache is like ice and your decorating is simple yet sophisticated. Great job.

Marye said...

Great job! This was a a tough challenge...but yours looks awesome.
marye
bakingdelights.com

Dharm said...

Welcome to the DBs!! Your cake looks superb! Congrats too on the 450D. I have the 400D myself and I think Canon's are just great cameras.

Y said...

Nice one! Looking forward to seeing what else you new camera can do! :D

Speedbump Kitchen said...

Congratulations on a very successful first challenge! The cake is beautiful!

Oakley Rhodes said...

Congrats! This is GORGEOUS!!!

I use flickr to upload my photos - though I've used so many that I had to pay to upgrade to a pro account. But I like the features and the upload quality.

Oh, and congrats again on the DSLR. Mine changed my life. Literally. You'll get the hang of it. promise :)

I'm going to be buying a new lens for my food photos soon - hooray for diving into our hobby with gusto and technology!

Nangil Girl said...

Welcome to Daring Bakers!! You first challenge def looks like a success :)

Laurie said...

Congratulations!! This is a masterpiece! :) I can't wait to see your next challenges.. :)

crumblycookie said...

I got a Canon Rebel recently too! (But I got the 300D, because it's all I could afford.) It didn't take me long at all to figure out how to use it. Have fun with it!

genkitummy said...

such pretty decorations! your cake top looks so smooth and i like the side piping!

TERESA said...

wow¡¡¡¡ yOUR FIRST CHALLENGE LOOKS SO ELLEGANT¡¡¡

GOD JOB, AND WELCOME¡¡

Julie B said...

Beauty and good tasting! Fabulous. I am excited for my first Daring Bakers Challeng in August. I have been waiting a full month as well! Great job. It looks so pretty.

Tartelette said...

Welcome to the Daring bakers! Your cake turned out wonderful...especially with all the praline!

CoutureCarrie said...

That is an incredibly gorgeous cake - looks almost too pretty to eat (but I'll bet it was yummy!).

Sara said...

Oooooh, I LOVE your decorations...so elegant! Awesome job. :-D

Mrs.French said...

yum, yum, yum and congrats on the new camer. I cannot tell you haven't used it much from the photos here, they are wonderful!

MaryMary said...

Your first is quite spectacular!! Welcome!

Elra said...

Your first challenge is absolutely looking good and the layers look prefect to me.

Lorrie said...

Welcome to the Daring Bakers! Your cake looks so pretty and classy :) a classy cake haha. You did an amazing job!

Oakley Rhodes said...

I take photos in large or medium format - then use iPhoto to import/edit - then I upload to Flickr, then use the flickr photos in an imbedded html tag in my post.

Let me know if I can help any more...

The rain definitely gets hard to handle around here, but it makes summer that much more magical. I love it here because I get to really FEEL the seasons, without having too many extremes - we hardly ever get over 100 degrees in the summer, and it only ever snows for a few days a year. Winter lasted so long this year - it was in the 40's all the way up until June! We called it Junuary, but then all of a sudden the summer hit - hard. It's been a hard year for Oregon crops, but everything seems to be growing pretty well now.

As for suggestions for the dreariness - I'd say embrace it and do the staying-in-bed thing! Also, it must be nice to bake in a kitchen when it isn't freaking hot outside. Oh, and, soups!!!

Vera said...

Christy, congratulations on your first challenge! And welcome to DB! The cake is lovely, very elegant! I'm sure it tasted fantastic with all this praline :)Beautiful photos as well!

Tara said...

Beautiful! It looks so delicate and the ganache on top is just perfect! You've got talent!

Ruth said...

Your cake is stunning and your pictures I love!!

silverrock said...

Ooo I love the way you chose to decorate your cake. It looks so professional. Great job on your first DB challenge, hope to see more from you in the future!

Leslie said...

welcome to the DSLR life! I too have yet to learn all of the bells on my Canon! Love your cake!

pea & pear said...

Christy, looks so good!!!
I wish I had time to make it I love the way you dressed it.
Well done!!!
Ali

Lunch Buckets said...

Very nicely done! Welcome to the group :)

silverrock said...

Pinenuts are quite expensive over here too. A bag containing about 2 cups of the nuts will run you about $5-6. Crazy, eh?

And thanks for commenting on my perfectly even layers... the trick to it is that I divided my batter into 3 parts and baked the three layers separately in individual 9-inch pans! It takes the hassle out of trying to slice the cake after it's been baked... and removes the risk of me messing up the gateau :P

culinarytravelsofakitchengoddess said...

Welcome the the DB's. What a lovely first challenge, that cake is stunning :)

Ann said...

Wow... I can't believe I missed this post! Absolutely stunning and a fabulous first DB result!Ann at Redacted Recipes

MsC said...

Oooh your ganache came out SO beautiful! Well done!!

Oh my! Apple pie! said...

Wow! your cake looks beautiful!

Leslie said...

Welcome to Daring Bakers!!!
YOur cake is just STUNNING!!!!!
Thanks for your comment on mine!!!

Eat4Fun said...

I, too, am a first time Daring Baker.
Great job on your cake! The piping along the side of the cake looks very elegant.

Isa said...

This was my first DB challenge too! but I guess yours turned out a little prettier than mine! It looks awesome! And great pictures!

*fanny* said...

ok so this is drop dead gorgeous. and you must be sooo excited baout your new camera!

xx fanny

Lauren said...

Welcome, and that cake looks gorgeous! Almost to good to eat!

Lisa said...

Congrats on your first challenge! It looks beautiful.

linda said...

Congratulations on your first challenge! Love the look of your cake, very different from the other ones.

Olga said...

love how "clean" and elegant your cake looks! gosh, I wish I would have saved some to eat for later :)

Jeanine said...

Welcome to the DBers! Your cake is absolutely beautiful! And your pictures are awesome now already, can't wait to see what you will be able to do once you learn how to use all the bells & whistles it has. :)

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

That cake looks very pretty! I love the neat piping job! Very well done!

Cheers,

Rosa

~Angela~ said...

Nice usage of the DDS header! Loved the way you worked the fonts. :)

Oakley Rhodes said...

Oh! Please please please come visit, move here, live here, eat here! We can totally be foodie nerds together, enjoying the rain while we heat up a kitchen!

Oakley Rhodes said...

Ok, I'm tired of waiting... what's your other new toy!?

Aran said...

congrats on your first challenge christy. absolutely stunning photos! welcome to the DB!

Lori said...

It was a delicious cake! Your pics and cake are fabulous.

I so need a DSLR (see my crying to my husband...)

Sophie said...

That's beautiful, especially for your first daring bakers challenge :). Great job! I love the little flowers on the edge of the cake, definitely adds a sweet, soft touch to it

Lilandra said...

congrats on the DSLR and the "cake"

Paula said...

Oh I am so jealous of your camera - the photos (both they in themselves and the cake of course) are beautiful.