Sunday, August 31, 2008

First Daring Baker's Challenge - SUCCESS!

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I've become a Daring Baker!! Woo! And not just any Daring Baker, mind you . . . an alternative Daring Baker. Why? Because I thought I'd continue to try my hand at some vegan baking!

This month's challenge? Eclairs!
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Now, since the challenge recipe contained major quantities of butter, eggs, whole milk, and heavy cream, I had to do a little searching and editing on my own. :)

CHOUX:
I used this recipe, but with the following modifications:
~ I used 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, instead of 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
~ I used the dough hooks on my hand mixer to beat the dough, since during my first failed attempt, the dough kept wrapping around/up my beaters, clogging everything up.
~ I baked the eclairs at 400 for 20 minutes, at 350 for 20 minutes, and then propped the oven door open and let them cool slowly for 20 minutes.

PASTRY CREAM:
I used the pastry cream recipe from The Joy of Vegan Baking. This would have worked out fine the first time 'round, if I hadn't mismeasured the cornstarch! (Whoops.)

GLAZE:
I used the glaze recipe given in the challenge, subbing soy creamer for the dairy. The chocolate sauce did not thicken up at all, and the glaze was drippy/runny at room temperature. So, I whisked in 2 teaspoons of cornstarch and cooked the glaze again, until it was thick and glossy. It tastes and looks great, but didn't "set" until refrigerated. If I were to make this again, I would cut the water in the sauce WAY down, or just use an altogether different glaze recipe. (However, I wanted to try at least one component of the original recipe, since we are supposed to stick as close to the challenge recipe as possible!)

I wasn't sure at first that vegan eclairs could exist . . . but lo and behold, I made them in my very own kitchen!! The choux dough was a little tough at first, but softened after a night in the fridge, filled with pastry cream and topped with chocolate glaze. The eclairs were DELICIOUS, and I ate them all myself. :)

Want to see more Daring eclairs? See the link over on the right.

I can't WAIT to find out what the September challenge will be!

9 comments:

Ricki said...

Wow--does that ever look amazing! I'm not a huge fan of eclairs but I think this might make a convert of me. Great entry!

Monika K said...

Wow! I think of all the vegan eclairs I've seen online so far, yours takes the cake/pastry! You're an inspiration to us all (and particularly to me, because I'm feeling far too lazy to make anything that complex). (-:

shellyfish said...

Your éclair is just beautiful! And thanks again for finding us that recipe...it saved many a vegan Daring Baker's hide!

VeggieGirl said...

Ahh, congratulations on becoming a Daring Baker, AND for successfully creating GORGEOUS éclairs!!

maybelle's mom said...

wow, I looked twice to make sure they were vegan because they look so puffy. I know some of the vegan bakers had a tough time. Great job.

Carrie™ said...

Your eclairs look so decadent. I'd eat them all myself too!

VeganCowGirl said...

I bow down to your magnificence! This is totally and utterly amazing on so many levels. WOW!!! They look amazing - and the skill....yikes.

Courtney said...

Catherine, those are gorgeous! They truly are lovely! Congrats on your first successful challenge--may there be many more successful baking projects in your future :o)

Courtney

silverrock said...

Looks like someone did an amazing job on their first DB challenge! That's always exciting... way to go!