Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Dare to Bake: Keeping it Together

January, oh where did you go? New Year's Eve snuck up out of the blue, the month flew past, and it's already the 27th and time to post about the Daring Bakers Challenge. The January 2011 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Astheroshe of the blog accro. She chose to challenge everyone to make a Biscuit Joconde Imprime to wrap around an Entremets dessert.

As I have mentioned earlier, I (and my roommate, actually) are keeping a gluten-free (or, at least, extremely limited) and dairy-free household. This has led me to experiment with my baking a bit more. I've also come to realize how difficult it is to make certain desserts without gluten, dairy, or eggs. The wrap-around joconde is officially one of them. As a solely vegan or gluten-free pastry, I think it would have been a success, but sadly the combination doomed us to structural failure.
My Chocolate Mess

Chocolate Pate
20 g almond meal
30 g powdered sugar
20 g sweet sorghum flour
20 g cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp vanilla
2 tbs oil
1/4 cup almond milk

1. Combine dry ingredients. Incorporate wet ingredients so that batter is thick, but not a dough.
2. Spoon into a piping bag (woohoo!) and pipe a narrow strip of design (maybe 3-4 inches wide) onto a silicone baking mat or parchment paper on a sheet pan. Stick in the freezer while you mix up the sponge batter.

The Sponge
85 g almond meal
75 g powdered sugar
25 g brown rice flour
25 g tapioca starch
10 g granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup almond milk
1/4 cup ground flax
2 tbs - 1/4 cup oil
1 tbs cider vinegar

1. Combine all dry ingredients.
2. Whisk together almond milk and flax seed in a little bowl and set aside.
3. Add all other liquid ingredients to the dry except for the vinegar. Add flax "egg" after it gets a little gummy. Mix until just combined. Add in vinegar. Add more oil or milk to get the consistency of thick pancake batter.
4. Spread evenly over your design. Bake at 475 F for 10 minutes until edges start to brown. Cool. Flip onto wax paper. Finish cooling completely.

Watch this video before going any further. Then premold the joconde, leaving an extra circle to separate fillings.

Entremet - mmm, the innards

12 oz firm silken tofu
1 tbs tahini
2/3 cup powdered sugar or 1/2 cup granulated sugar + 2 tbs arrowroot or corn starch
2 tbs Kahlua or espresso

1 tbs agave
1 tbs cocoa powder
1/2 cup chopped dark chocolate, melted

1. Whiz together first four ingredients until smooth. Set aside half.
2. Process the rest with the agave and cocoa. Fold in the melted chocolate.
3. Layer the two fillings, separating with a round of the joconde.
4. Top with ganache (melt some chocolate, and some almond milk, et voila!)

It was tasty. Don't get me wrong. But a crumbly mess, nonetheless. I want to try it again, as I really enjoyed the technique. For eggs, I had used flax to bind and baking soda + vinegar to leaven. The vegan I pretty much have down. The lack of gluten gets me. Tapioca starch is not enough. I have had a couple of successes with xanthan gum, so I might try that next time (although, my biscotti attempt was a complete and utter failure).

Stay tuned for a cuppa joe.


Ashlae said...

That video makes it look so freaking easy. Props for taking the challenge an extra step and making it vegan! It looks delicious.

Unknown said...

Wow. I love sponge cake. I need to try this soon! If you want to see a lot of other cool recipes and stuff too, check out Its pretty awesome too.

Brandi said...

Wow! It's wonderful to see someone doing the Daring Bakers' challenge with vegan ingredients. I've been wanting to join (limited to the Candida Diet restrictions), but have been too nervous as of yet. You're a great inspiration that one can do it with restricted ingredients if they set their mind to it. Thank you!