Sunday, August 31, 2008

First Daring Baker's Challenge - SUCCESS!

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!
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. :)

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.

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.)

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!


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). (-:

Anonymous said...

Your ├ęclair is just beautiful! And thanks again for finding us that saved many a vegan Daring Baker's hide!

LizNoVeggieGirl said...

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

maybelles 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.

Anonymous 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)


silverrock said...

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