I am now officially a daring baker!
I got through my first challenge which was filled with eggs, egss, more eggs and butter . The original recipe Filbert Gateau with Praline Buttercream came from the book Great Cakes by Carol Walter. The recipe uses 7 egg yolks and 5 egg whites in the cake and another 3 egg whites and 3 sticks of butter in the frosting. What a challenge to start with for a vegan baker! But that’s what being a daring baker is all about. I embraced this recipe with all my vegan love.
Firstly, I switched the hazelnuts to almonds because Mr. Sugar Plum Vegan prefers them. I also used organic spelt flour in the cake to make it wheat free. The cake itself didn’t rise as much as I would have liked it too so I only cut the cake into two layers instead of three. I used organic orange oil instead of alcohol in the cake to make it baby friendly. The praline buttercream was made using Follow Your Heart cream cheese that I got as a sample from this great company. It turned out delicious–we are still eating the leftover frosting! My ganache was made using vegan chocolate and almond milk–my husband sang a song about it because it tasted so good. It goes, “Oh my gosh, Oh my gosh, Oh my gosh it’s vegan ganache!” Super cute and sung in the voice of King Julian of Madagascar–our son’s new favorite movie.
I also skipped the whipped cream filling layer because I couldn’t find the Soyatoo Whipping Cream, which I love by the way. You use it just like regular whipping cream and it tastes amazing–use it if you can find it. And finally my apricot glaze turned into stawberry glaze because I just plain forgot to buy apricot and had some strawberry in the fridge. Overall my cake turned out delectable. I skimped a little on the decoration and went for the simplistic look. It was a fun challenge and I can’t wait for more to come!
Sugar Plum Vegan’s Almond Gateau with Praline Buttercream
1 Almond Genoise
1 recipe sugar syrup, flavored with orange oil
1 recipe Praline Buttercream
1/2 cup Soyatoo Whipped Cream, whipped to soft peaks
1 recipe Strawberry Glaze
1 recipe Ganache Glaze, prepared just before using
A few almonds for decoration
1/2 cup Earth Balance vegan spread
1 cup organic sugar
1/2 c vanilla soy yogurt
1 cup almond milk
1 cup white spelt
3/4 cup almond meal–I ground my own almonds in the food processor
2 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
Cream Earth Balance and sugar in mixer. Add soy yogurt and almond milk and mix well.
Stir together flour, almond meal, baking powder and salt.
Add dry to wet and pour into a high six inch cake pan or two or three small sided ones.
Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about an hour.
The cake can be made a few days before just wrap it tightly
Sugar Syrup–adapted from original recipe
1/2 cup water
1/8 cup organic sugar
1 tablespoon orange oil
Bring the water and sugar to boil in heavy sauce pan and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add the oil. Let it cool before coating the cake. This can be made in advance and any left over can be used to sweeten your ice coffee or tea.
Praline Buttercream–adapted from original recipe
1 recipe creamy cheez buttercream
2 tablespoons orange oil
Blend buttercream into paste and add oil.
Creamy Cheez Buttercream
1/2 cup Earth Balance Vegan Spread
1/2 cup Follow Your Heart Cream Cheese
2 cups organic powdered sugar
1/4 cup almond milk
Blend Earth Balance and Cream Cheez for a few minutes. Add sifted powdered sugar and blend again for a few more minutes. Add almond milk and blend one more time until you get a creamy goodness that bowl lickable! Refrigerate the buttercream for a few hours or overnight. It will keep for a while.
Praline Paste–adapted from original recipe
1/2 cup almonds, toasted/skinless*
1/3 cup organic sugar
Pour sugar into a skillet and heat on low flame for about 10-20 minutes until the sugar melts around the edges. Do not stir the sugar. Swirl the pan if necessary to prevent the melted sugar from burning. When the sugar is completely melted and caramel in color, remove from heat. Stir in the nuts with a wooden spoon and separate the clusters. Return to low heat and stir to coat the nuts on all sides. Cook until the mixture starts to bubble. Watch out this is some hot stuff!! Spread out evenly on a silpat or parchment paper lined cookie sheet. As it cools, it will harden into brittle. Break the candied nuts into pieces and put them in the food processor–but not before you try a few–yummy! Pulse into a powder and process several minutes to make a paste. Store in an airtight container and do not refrigerate.
*to remove almond skin just soak them in hot water for a few minutes and the skins will remove easily with your hands.
1/3 cup organic strawberry preserves
2 teaspoons water
Bring preserves and water to boil and simmer for a few minutes. Remove from heat and press through stainer. Brush on cake while still warm.
1/2 cup good vegan chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup almond milk
2 teaspoons orange oil
Set up a double boiler with a large pot filled with water and a metal bowl over it. Melt chocolate in double boiler and once melted, remove from heat and whisk in almond milk and orange oil. Let cool a bit but do not let it get cold or you’ll end up with vegan truffle base.
Assembling The Cake
Cut the cake into two layers and trim the top of the cake so it has a flat surface. Place one layer on a 6-inch cake circle. Using a pastry brush, moisten the layers with the warm sugar syrup mixture. Using a pastry bag with a round tip, make a well with the praline buttercream on one layer by circling around the edges to create height. Fill the well with the buttercream and put the other layer on top. Refrigerate to chill for at least 30 minutes.
Remove cake from fridge and trim the sides so they are perfectly straight with a slight bevel at the top so the ganache will pour easily. Brush the tops and side of the cake with warm strawberry glazr, sealing the cut areas completely. Chill while you prepare the ganache.
Place a rack over a cookie sheet to catch the ganache drippings. Remove the gateau from the refridgerator and put it on the rack. Wit a metal spatula in hand, and holding the ganache bowl about 10 inches about the cake, pour the ganche onto the cakes’s center. Move the spatula over the top to get a smooth apperance. The ganache should cover teh top and run down the sides of the cake. When the ganache is poured and is coateing the cake, life one side of the rack and bang it once on the counter to help spread the ganache evenly and break any air bubbles. Patch any bare spots on the side witha smaller spatula, but do not touch the top afeter the “bang”. Let the cake stand 15 minutes in refridgerator to set.
Decorate the cake to you fancy using any leftover praline buttercream and the extra almonds. Refridgerate uncoverd for 3 hours to allow the cake to set. Allow to set at room temperature before eating if you can wait that long.
Blessings to you and enjoy!