This is what happens when Allison is reunited with an oven after two months of basically living in a hotel. I like to think it was a magical reunion. =)
I got back from Japan Wednesday night, when alll the other Daring Bakers were posting about this wonderful cake, brought to us by July's host, Chris of Mele Cotte, and all I could do was pass out in bed and dream about it since I had been up and riding planes for the previous 30 hours. 4 countries in 1 day, baby!!!! But no cake to show for it... yet!
So naturally the first thing I did when I woke up yesterday was plan out my baking schedule for the next week. I decided this cake should come first because, even though I missed the posting date, it's close enough that this can count as a late post rather than a skipped month... hopefully? And also because my grandmother's birthday was in June, and I know she loves praline and chocolate, and she happens to be visiting us in Canada this week.
I had my doubts about this cake before starting it... I wasn't really sure how all the flavors would work together, and while I know hazelnuts and chocolate to be a killer combination, the idea of hazelnut praline with apricot and chocolate was kind of rubbing me the wrong way. So I decided to use cashews instead, since I had never used cashews in anything before, and I guess I was just in a cashew mood. I am generally not a fan of apricots, and my mom had about 40 peaches in a huge basket in our kitchen that she was begging me to do something with... so I made a year's worth of peach preserves and used some of that for the cake! And ooh it was peachy. Also, my grandmother doesn't like rum, so I just used grand marnier and vanilla throughout. However, in the peach preserves, I added some lychee liqueur and cinnamon.
Every Friday, my dad's band comes over and they practice their rockin' music in our garage. Lucky for my cake, today is Friday! So it was eaten and well appreciated after band practice, and then was packed up in yogurt containers and sent off to the band members' wives.
Everyone loved it, even my mom who always says she doesn't like buttercream (but who eats it every time I make it!). I was actually surprised at how awesome it was! I think I will definitely make this cake again in the future - definitely. Cause it was prettty ridiculously wonderful.
So thanks Chris! I don't think I would have made this cake normally after just looking at the recipe, but I'm so glad you gave me a reason to because it turned out to be incredible!! YAY for Daring Bakers!!
If you're interested in making this cake, get the recipe from the host's blog here!