The first thing I decided was to buy ground almonds. There was no way I was going to successfully blanch, roast, de-skin, hull ect... those hazelnuts to then try to chop them by hand. NO way siree. So ground almonds it was. Next I figured I could save some time by buying praline paste and I was lucky enough to find a tube at whole foods (although it did set me back by £5.99....suggestions for what to do with the rest?). Finally, I chose not to make the infused syrup because this cake was reminding me of the Opera Cake challenge and I'm pretty sure that it was the way to sweet syrup which ultimately killed my cake. This cake also reminded me of that celebrated Viennese cake the Sachertorte; which might just be my favorite cake, making this Filbert Gateau a close contender.
Unfortunately I didn't really take any pictures of the process because I was trying to make it as quickly as possible- but a lot of the steps are exactly the same at previous challenges. The only happening of note was discovering that after all these months, I already had a cooling rack! So I was feeling pretty darn professional while icing the cake- and thank god I did have it because I was able to recycle so much of the fallen chocolate ganache.
Now doesn't that cake look like some monster vanilla oreo? It's just bursting with butter cream frosting! But I'm not letting anyone twist this cake to lick the frosting out.
And finally- the butter cream decorations were done in my office using a ziploc bag. I had never really done any cake decorating so I think I managed pretty well. But I will admit that I wasn't aiming for a flower centerpiece- that just sort of evolved on its own. But I guess it did work out for the best as we got the Birthday Girl an orchid!