Double Daring Bakers for January 2009

  I am continuing to catch up on the previous Daring Baker challenges & this months extra challenge is:

Strawberry Mirror Cake!


I had never heard of a Strawberry Mirror Cake before, so I was flying blind on this one, although it sounded intriguing. As always, I put the challenge off to the last minute, so this on the afternoon of the 30th, I set out on my mirror cake adventure. Actually, it came together fairly easy, especially since I didn’t have to temper any eggs, or worry about heat affecting anything. I had to make quite a few substitutions on this challenge, but I think it turned out pretty good. I did half the recipe, just because there isn’t anyone to share it with this month & I really don’t need to be eating the whole thing myself. I have put my subs & notes in pink. For the rules, we had to make a white cake and the flavors had to be strawberry. We were able to sub the alcohol or omit it altogether. Well, I didn’t have any kirsch or strawberry liquor, so I used Grand Marnier. Flavor wise it worked great, I have always loved strawberries & oranges together. We also had to do the mirror. My mirror came out smooth looking, but I don’t know if I would call it a mirror. For some reason, all of my photos came out a little blurry, so sorry about that. I don’t know if I would make this again, but it was good. Mainly a texture thing for me, I really don’t like Jello, so the texture of the Bavarian Cream was a little too jelloy for me. Huge thumbs up for the cake from the whole family.


Strawberry Mirror Cake

Daring Bakers Challenge #9: July 2007 Host: Peabody (Culinary Concoctions by Peabody)
Absolute Rules for this challenge:

1. Cake must be a white cake.

2. Cake must be strawberry. If you for some reason don’t make the strawberry flavor Peabody did not find alternative recipes. So if you are going to deviate it will be up to you to figure out how.

3. You must do the mirror

Allowed Modifications: You may substitute the alcohol for a non-alcoholic flavor or omit

You may decorate the cake BUT a portion of the mirror must be visible

Recipe Quantity: One (1) 10″ Cake

Special Pans: 11 x 17″ Jelly Roll Pan, 10″ Springform Pan, 8 1/4″ Cake Round or Tin (or pattern)

A. Strawberry Mirror Cake

3 eggs soy yogurt

3 egg yolks silken tofu

¾ cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

3 egg whites Ener-g egg replacer

1/8 tsp cream of tartar

2 TBSP sugar

2/3 cup sifted cake flour

½ cup water

1/3 cups sugar

2 TBSP kirsch or strawberry liqueur Grand Marnier

1.Preheat oven to 450F. Butter & flour the sides of an 11 X 17“ jelly roll pan(rimmed baking sheet). Line bottom of pan with a sheet of parchment paper cut to fit bottom pan exactly. I used a square silicone cake pan.

2.Beat eggs, egg yolks & ¾ cup sugar together in a medium bowl until thick & light. Beat in the vanilla.

3.In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until foamy, add cream of tartar & beat until whites begin to form peaks. Add the 2 TBSP sugar & beat until the whites hold stiff, glossy peaks(do not over beat).

4.Sift flour over the egg yolk mixture & fold in . Stir in ¼ of the whites. Then carefully fold in the remaining whites.

5.Spread batter evenly in pan. Bake until light brown & springy to touch (7 to 10 minutes).

6. Cool in pan 5 minutes. Run a knife along edge to loosen. Invert cake tin to cut out 8 ¼“ circles of cake. Wrap the cake layers, separated with waxed paper, & set aside. Cake may be frozen at this point.

B. Strawberry Bavarian Cream

2 ½ TBSP unflavored gelatin vegan gelatin

1 ½ cups strained strawberry puree(1 ½ baskets) pureed in Vitamix, didn’t strain

5 egg yolks silken tofu

2/3 cup sugar

1 ½ cups milk soy milk

1 TBSP lemon juice

several drops of red food coloring omitted

1 ¾ cups whipping cream silken tofu

1.Sprinkle the gelatin over the strawberry puree in a small bowl & set aside until spongy.

2.Combine egg yolks & sugar in a bowl’ beat until light. Bring milk to a boil in sauce pan. I didn’t heat it at this time. I waited until I combined them. Pour hot milk into yolk mixture ans stir with a wooden spoon (it doesn’t say so but I would temper the egg mixture first to be safe). Return this mixture to the saucepan & cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until your finger leaves a clear trail in sauce when drawn across the back of the spoon. (Do not boil or mixture will curdle.) Immediately remove from heat & stir in softened gelatin mixture. Pour into a stainless steel bowl places over a bowl of ice water. Stir in lemon juice & a few drops of red food coloring. Cool over ice water, stirring occasionally, until mixture thickens to the consistency of softly whipped cream. I just put it in the fridge for a bit, whipped, back in the fridge, whipped, etc.

3.While gelatin mixture is cooling, whip the whipping cream until it holds soft peaks. When the gelatin mixture resembles softly whipped cream, fold the whipped cream into the gelatin mixture. This was a little confusing, but just did my best.


Strawberry Mirror

1 tsp lemon juice

1 TBSP kirsch Grand Marnier

1 TBSP water

1 TBSP unflavored gelatin

Few drops of red food coloring omitted


1.Prepare strawberry juice.

2.Place lemon juice, kirsch, & water in a small bowl. Sprinkle gelatin over this mixture; set aside until spongy & soft.

3.Measure 1 ½ cups Strawberry juice into a small saucepan & bring to a simmer; pour over gelatin mixture & stir to dissolve gelatin. Tint to desired color with red food coloring. Place bowl over bowl of ice water & stir occasionally until the mixture is syrupy & just beings to thicken (do not let jell); remove from ice water.

4.When mixture is syrupy, pour a 1/16” layer over the top of cake. Refrigerate until set.

Strawberry Juice pureed in Vitamix, didn’t strain

1 ½ pints of strawberries(18 oz)

¾ cup sugar

¾ cup water

1. Wash & hull strawberries; coarsely chop.

2. Place strawberries in saucepan; crush to start juices flowing. Place over low heat; add sugar & water; simmer slowly 10 minutes.

3.Pour juice & pulp through damp jelly bag or cheesecloth-lined colander & drain into a bowl for 15 minutes (Do not press down on fruit).

Soaking Syrup

Combine water & the 1/3 cup sugar in saucepan; bring to a boil to dissolve sugar. Cool to room temperature; flavor with liqueur. Set aside or refrigerate in glass jar until ready to use.

To Assemble the Cake:

1. Brush sides of 10” springform pan lightly with flavorless salad oil or almond oil. Cut out a cardboard circle that is exactly the same size as the bottom inside of the pan; cover cardboard with aluminum foil & fit into bottom of pan. Center one layer of the cake bottom of pan. Brush the cake with some of the soaking syrup to just moisten(not drench) the cake; set aside. I lined with parchment paper (a mini springform pan) & didn’t use the soaking syrup, just added the liquor to the cake batter. I did that mainly because I forgot about the syrup.

2. Prepare Strawberry Bavarian Cream. Immediately pour about half of the Bavarian Cream over the first layer of cake in the pan. Set the next layer of cake on top of the cream. Pour remaining Bavarian Cream over cake & smooth top of the cream with spatula. Refrigerate until the cream sets (1 to 2 hours).

3.Prepare the Strawberry Mirror.

To serve: Wrap a hot towel around the outside of springform pan for a few minutes. Run a small sharp knife tip around the edge of the Strawberry Mirror to separate it form the sides of pan. Mirror will tear when sides are unlatched if it is stuck at ANY point. Slowly unlatch the pan & slide it off the cake. Slice cake in wedges & serve in upright slices.


January Daring Bakers

 pink_db.jpg  Are you ready for the January 2009 Daring Bakers Challenge?This challenge was more about technique than about baking a recipe. We were allowed any flavour we waned and any shape, we could go round or square, roll or fold but we had to shape them! So here we go: January – something light… Tuiles – what could be lighter??

This month’s challenge is brought to us by:

Karen of Baking Soda of

& Zorra of
They have chosen Tuiles from: The Chocolate Book by Angélique Schmeink & Nougatine & Chocolate Tuiles from Michel Roux.

“Traditionally, tuiles are thin, crisp almond cookies that are gently molded over a rolling pin or arched form while they are still warm. Once set, their shape resembles the curved French roofing tiles for which they’re named. The Dutch angle: traditionally this batter was used to bake flat round cookies on 31st December, representing the year unfold. On New Years day however, the same batter was used but this day they were presented to well-wishers shaped as cigars & filled with whipped cream, symbolizing the New Year that’s about to roll on. And of course the batter is sometimes called tulip-paste….

What we would like you to do is use one of the batters given, shape it either prior (using a stencil) or right after baking & pair it with something light: fruit, sorbet, a mousse, or maybe even a fruit soup, think glazes or dips…..Bend it, shape it, anyway you want it!”

Before I get to the recipe, I wanted to let you know what I did. I ended up using the Vegan Tuile recipe from Vegan YumYum (, see at end of post. It was really easy, and pretty quick too. The problems that I ran into was mainly from reading the recipe, and then forgetting what I read! 🙂 It called for 2 tablespoons of the flax seed “egg”, but she had you make more than that. Well, I used all that I made instead of just the 2 tablespoons. After I noticed that my first batch came out very lacy, I added more flour. It wasn’t quite enough, so on the next batch, I added a little more. They came out best, appearance wise, they all tasted really good. Too buttery for everyday cookies, for me, but I will be making these again. It was a lot of fun shaping these, which would have been even easier if I had used the right amount of the ingredients 😉 I also made 6 at a time because I am an impatient person, so the last couple out of each batch were hard to shape, so I would recommend doing only 3 – 4 at a time. On to the recipe:

Following is a recipe taken from a book called “The Chocolate Book”, written by female Dutch Master chef Angélique Schmeinck.
Yields: 20 small butterflies/6 large (butterflies are just an example)
Preparation time batter 10 minutes, waiting time 30 minutes, baking time: 5-10 minutes per batch
65 grams / ¼ cup / 2.3 ounces softened butter (not melted but soft)
60 grams / ½ cup / 2.1 ounces sifted confectioner’s sugar
1 sachet vanilla sugar (7 grams or substitute with a dash of vanilla extract)
2 large egg whites (slightly whisked with a fork)
65 grams / ¼ cup / 2.3 ounces sifted all purpose flour
1 table spoon cocoa powder/or food coloring of choice
Butter/spray to grease baking sheet

Oven: 180C / 350F

Using a hand whisk or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle (low speed) & cream butter, sugar & vanilla to a paste. Keep stirring while you gradually add the egg whites. Continue to add the flour in small batches & stir to achieve a homogeneous & smooth batter/paste. Be careful to not overmix.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap & chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to firm up. (This batter will keep in the fridge for up to a week, take it out 30 minutes before you plan to use it).

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or grease with either butter/spray & chill in the fridge for at least 15 minutes. This will help spread the batter more easily if using a stencil/cardboard template such as the butterfly. Press the stencil on the bakingsheet & use an off sided spatula to spread batter. Leave some room in between your shapes. Mix a small part of the batter with the cocoa & a few drops of warm water until evenly colored. Use this colored batter in a paper piping bag & proceed to pipe decorations on the wings & body of the butterfly.

Bake butterflies in a preheated oven (180C/350F) for about 5-10 minutes or until the edges turn golden brown. Immediately release from bakingsheet & proceed to shape/bend the cookies in the desired shape. These cookies have to be shaped when still warm, you might want to bake a small amount at a time or maybe put them in the oven to warm them up again. (Haven’t tried that). Or: place a baking sheet toward the front of the warm oven, leaving the door half open. The warmth will keep the cookies malleable.

If you don’t want to do stencil shapes, you might want to transfer the batter into a piping bag fitted with a small plain tip. Pipe the desired shapes & bake. Shape immediately after baking using for instance a rolling pin, a broom handle, cups, cones….

Chocolate Tuiles Michel Roux’s Finest Desserts
Makes 30 Preparation time: 15 minutes!
9 oz/250 grams dark or white couverture or best-quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2/3 cup/75 gr slivered almonds, toasted and cooled

Temper the couverture, & stir in the toasted almonds. Place the template on a sheet of rodoïde (or use a clean sheet of sturdy plastic such as a folder) & fill with about 1 tbs of the mixture. Repeat the process a little distance away from the first one. As soon as you have 5 tuiles fit, slide them onto a mold or rolling pin (side of a glass) to curve. Let cool completely, lift tuiles off the plastic only after the chocolate has set & just before serving, so that they keep their shine.

Anything you’d like to know & more: … /tuile.htm


Tuile Cookies by Veganyumyum

Vegan Tuile Cookies
Makes 1-2 dozen depending on size

1/2 Cup Earth Balance, softened
1/2 Cup Sugar
2 Tbs Flax Egg*
1 tsp Vanilla
1/4 tsp Salt
3/4 Cup All-Purpose Flour

Flax Egg
1 Tbs Flax Seed
1/4 Cup Water

Grind the flax seed to a powder in a spice grinder. Whisk with water and set aside. Use 2 Tbs of this mixture for the tuile cookies, you’ll have a little left over

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Whip the Earth Balance and sugar until light and fluffy, so it looks like the photo above. Once the Earth Balance is soft enough it should whip up just fine.

Add flax egg, extract, and salt. Whip until you see medium to stiff peaks like above. Gently fold in flour and mix until well combined. Your batter is ready, so prepare your workstation.

You can buy specialized tuile templates in lots of different shapes, but a piece of clean cardboard works just as well. I traced a glass and cut the circle out with an x-acto knife for my template. You can do circles, squares, rectangles, flowers, stars – anything!

Put your template down on your silpat and add a glob of batter. Using your offset spatula, carefully spread the batter out to fill the template, remove the excess batter.

Lift the template up to remove it. You’re cookies are ready to go in the oven. Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes or until edges are golden brown. You may need to experiment with baking time to reach the ideal balance between strength and pliability.

I recommend not making more than 2-3 cookies at a time. You’ll need to shape them immediately after they come out of the oven, and since they harden quickly, it’s difficult to shape more than 2 or 3 in one go.

It’s also important to completely cool the baking sheet between each batch. Dump the hot baking sheet in the sink and spray it down with cold water.  Dry thoroughly before the next batch.

When they come out of the oven, let them sit on the cookie sheet for 15-30 seconds. Gently remove them with a spatula and shape them immediately (this is the part where you might burn your fingers). You can make all sorts of shapes. If your template was circular, here are some ways you can shape them. I’m in the process of forming bowls in this picture, and I had already made cones, cylinders, and tacos.

I used regular paper, rolled into cylinders and cones and taped, to make the other shapes. Once cool the shape will set.


Recipes To Rival December Challenge

Welcome to the December Challenge for Recipes to Rival! The Challenge this month is: Appetizers


Think Tapas, little nibbles, noshing, YUM! I have to admit that I was a little bummed & discouraged when I saw the challenge for this month. I guess I was a little tired &stretched a bit thin, so I wasn’t really thinking about how easy this challenge was to veganize. Thanks to all those on the boards that helped me out. Much thanks to our host this month for a great challenge: Temperance of High on the Hog & Jen of Delightful Delicacies.

We were given 3 choices of appetizers with the challenge of making 2 of them. Our options were 1)Gruyere Cheese Gougeres, 2)Galatoire’s Oysters en Brochette, & 3) Blue Cheese, Pear & Walnut Crostini. I think I saw all that cheese & the oysters & freaked out. I had bought my dad some vegan blue cheese for his birthday last year & it was over $9.00, not including shipping, so I didn’t think I could afford that just for this challenge. The only vegan cheese I can get here is mozzarella, cheddar, sour and cream, so, mozzarella it is.

These app’s came together really quick, even hubby liked the crostini (would only eat one piece of the Gougeres though). He actually ate 3 of them.


Here is where you can get the recipes:

Check out everyone’s efforts here:

Here is what I changed:

Gruyère Cheese Gougères ©‘The French Laundry Cookbook’ By Thomas Keller, November, 1999
Makes about 4 dozen gougères (I only made ¼ of the recipe)
Gougères are a classical preparation often served at wine tastings in France. The puffs are made from a savory pâte á choux, or cream puff dough-flavored here with Gruyère. They are best served hot out of the oven, offering that creamy-dough gratification. Don’t add the cheese, & the puff is a base for a dessert.
1 cup water
7 tablespoons (3-1/2 ounces) unsalted butter Earth Balance
1 tablespoon kosher salt, or more to taste
Pinch of sugar
1-1/4 cups (5 ounces) all-purpose flour
4 to 5 large eggs Ener-G Egg Replacer
1-1/4 cups grated Gruyère (5 ounces) Vegan Mozzarella
Freshly ground white pepper

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with Silpats (see Sources) or parchment paper.
In a medium saucepan, combine the water, butter, salt, & sugar & bring to a boil. Add all the flour at once, reduce the heat to medium, & stir with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes, or until the mixture forms a ball & the excess moisture has evaporated (if the ball forms more quickly, continue to cook & stir for a full 2 minutes).

Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle & beat for about 30 seconds at medium speed to cool slightly. Add 4 eggs & continue to mix until completely combined & the batter has a smooth, silky texture. Stop the machine & lift up the beater to check the consistency of the batter. The batter in the mixing bowl should form a peak with a tip that falls over. If it is too stiff, beat in the white of the remaining egg. Check again &, if necessary, add the yolk. Finally, mix in ¾ cup of the Gruyère & adjust the seasoning with salt & white pepper.

Fill a pastry bag fitted with a 3/8” plain pastry tip with the gougère batter. Pipe the batter into 1-tablespoon mounds on the baking sheets, leaving about 2“ between the gougères as the mixture will spread during baking. Sprinkle the top of each gougère with about ½ teaspoon of the remaining grated cheese & bake for 7 to 8 minutes, or until they puff & hold their shape. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees F. And bake for an additional 20 to 25 minutes. When the gougères are done, they should be a light golden brown color. When you break one open, it should be hollow; the inside should be cooked but still slightly moist. Remove the pans from the oven & serve the gougères while hot.

Notes: These were good hot or cold. I did two diffrent sizes (Tablespoon & Teaspoon) & had a slight preference for the smaller ones. Feel free to try using a diffrent cheese, it makes a big difference in the taste. You can make them up in advance & stick them in the freezer, let them thaw for 10 minutes & then bake in oven as usual & you have warm fresh Gougères. I also thought that stuffing them would be a really good idea.
They turned out a little salty for me, I would cut back on the salt just a bit.

Blue Cheese, Pear & Walnut Crostini:
a baguette, thinly sliced about ½ inch each
olive oil omitted
mascarpone, for spreading (optional) soy cream cheese
any type of bleu cheese (gorgonzola, Roquefort, stilton), thinly sliced, or crumbled vegan mozzarella
freshly hulled walnuts
a few pears, peeled & sliced into small cubes

1. Brush your bread slices with olive oil, line on a baking sheet, then toast in a hot oven for a few minutes until browned & crispy. You can broil them as well, if you prefer.
2. Remove from heat & spread each toast with some mascarpone.
3. Lay bleu cheese slices, or spread some crumbles, on each toast & add walnut pieces on top. Return to a 375-400°F oven for a few minutes, just until the cheese is melted.
4. When the cheese is nicely melted, take the crostinis out of the oven & top with a few cubes of pear. Serve soon after.

I tried it with the soy cream cheese & without it. Personally, I liked it better with it. This would taste great with the blue cheese & brie would be amazing! (For all you omnivores out there)

I liked the Gougeres, but I probably wouldn’t make them again. I would totally make the Crostini again though, they were great.