It Puts the Buttercream on It’s Cake Or Else …

Aaaah it’s Daring Bakers time again kiddies!  This time the recipe is a:

Filbert Gateau with Praline Buttercream
From Great Cakes by Carol Walter

I managed to be in a foreign kitchen for yet another challenge.  Faaabulous. However, the timing was perfect because I was on vacation with my family and for our annual “Happy Birthday to Everyone” party, I am the delegated cake-maker.  I didn’t tell anyone in my (Southern, meat, butter, cheese, milk loving) family that this happened to be a vegan cake until after everyone finished swooning over how delicious it was.  Oopsies?  I also had to explain what the word vegan meant to a couple people, but hey, it’s all about spreading the word one cake at a time.

I must be honest, I cut a lot of corners trying to make this recipe as close to the original as possible – and vegan.  The hard part was figuring out how to substitute the obscene amount of separated eggs.  So, I made two 9″ cakes – based on a VCTOTW recipe for Almond Cupcakes.  In one cake, I used corn starch as an egg substitute and soy yogurt in the other.  Silly me forgot which cake was which when they were in the oven so my experiment was for naught.  One of the cakes rose a lot higher and was fluffier (probably the soy yogurt?) and the other was denser and rose 2/3 as much as the other.  It would be good to know which was which!  I skipped the whipped cream all together because I simply didn’t have the resources to make it work 😦 The buttercream was also a VCTOTW recipe with my filbert almond paste added.  That’s right kiddies, it’s all almonds all the time.  I used the VCTOTW ganache recipe – can we see a theme here?

Oh, isn’t that lovely?  Obviously I need to work on my ganache skills.  I think I just needed to make a bigger batch and do a second cover.  I read a few tutorials, and next time it will be shiny and smooth like a really nice hairstyle.

I did use rum in my sugar syrup and in the buttercream – I like the added kick that alcohol adds to baked goods.  When I worked in a French bakery, we brushed layer cakes with cointreau and other liquers.  I also used apricot preserves to cover the crumb layer under the ganache.  I hate fruit with chocolate (except strawberry) but the apricot flavor was just a whispy hint of something special – really lovely.

The final product was immensely lauded.  The joke going around the table was how impressed everyone was with my skills – my driving to the bakery and picking up cake skills.

A rather unappetizing look at the inside of my cake – but it was devoured so quickly that this is all I got!  This isn’t my proudest Daring Bakers attempt, but I think it might have been the most delicious (so far).

25 responses to “It Puts the Buttercream on It’s Cake Or Else …

  1. It’s really beautiful! And if it’s your tastiest challenge then it’s very special!

  2. Very Sexy Cake. I love the cut piece, it looks really rich and good

  3. Yum. And I love this family birthday trip idea.

  4. mylittlestitches

    I think ganache like that looks far more attractive than perfectly smooth ganache. Smooth ganache always look plastic to me.

  5. I think it looks great! I also had ganache issues…but I know I’ll kick it’s ass next time around!

  6. Your post’s title made me snort praline buttercream out of my nose!

  7. It looks fabulous! I also consulted VCTOTW for this one…thank goodness for Isa! 🙂

  8. Looks great! Thanks for completing the challenge. 🙂

  9. Your cake looks great!!! I love feeding people a great dish and then after they tell me how good it is, I tell them its vegan! Is that wrong?! Great job on your cake, especially in a foreign kitchen.

  10. everyone knows almonds are the best nuts! sounds delicious.

  11. I didn’t use the apricot glaze, but crumb coated the outside with buttercream. It helped the ganache have a smoother appearance.

    Nice job with the veganization! You’ll have to make the genoise again to figure out which variant rose more than the other. I’m sure it’ll be appreciated, though!

    Christina ~ She Runs, She Eats

  12. I am always in awe of alternative bakers and abking. You did a fantastic job and I am sure the cake was a success with the whole family!

  13. Pretty, very pretty!

  14. Your cake looks great, good job with all the changes!

  15. So cool that your family loved it and didn’t even know it was vegan… success!! VCTOTW is always a trusty source for replacing all those egg-laden cake recipes. Awesome job!

  16. I love the idea of a “Happy Birthday to Everyone” party/vacation! Kill a bunch a birds with one stone! Fabulous! I also love the title of your post – I laughed immediately. Are you an Opie and Anthony fan by the way? Just wondered… they use that reference a lot, too.

    Anway, your cake looks great and actually, the picture of the slice looks moist and delicious! You can see how creamy it must have been.

  17. VCTOW has helped me through many a recipe. For this one I used the buttercream recipe for my praline frosting and it worked like a charm! What a great idea to use the almond batter recipe ….

  18. I want to eat that buttercream with a spoon!

  19. That’s vegan? Color me impressed. I’m ova-lacto, so I only have to substitute main and side dishes; I’m not sure I could tackle all the steps for vegan baking.

    Just lovely; great job!

    P. S. LOVE your blog’s name.

  20. I am so impressed by the alternative bakers particularly the vegans. It was a tough recipe to follow but so worth it. Congratulations, especially on everyone else loving it also. Be blessed

  21. your cake looks amazing! i would call that one hell-u-va success, indeed! 😀

  22. Ooo, your cake looks great!

  23. Oh. These pictures are making me whimper a little.

  24. coulditbeseitan

    Thank you so much to everyone for your kind comments!

    Rebecca – Your reaction is more than I could have ever hoped for!

    Debyi – I don’t think it’s wrong at all! It’s like serving kids vegetables hiding in pancakes or something. It’s GOOD for ya, kiddies!

    Tara – Thanks! My family is pretty ingenious haha. I have to admit, I had to google Opie and Anthony to find out who they are.

    Stephanie – I was lacto-ovo for a long time too. Once you figure out a few simple tricks, vegan baking can be just as easy as regular baking. It’s almost more exciting to see what can be done with unexpected ingredients!

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