Very Daring Almost Gateau

When I saw this month's Daring Baker challenge recipe, Filbert Gateau with Praline Buttercream from Great Cakes by Carol Walter I almost decided to sit this one out. The cake chosen by the host, Chris of Mele Cott, sounded delicious, but the idea of substituting for all those eggs, nuts, and liquors was, well, challenging.
The original recipe calls for ground hazelnuts, 7 egg yolks, 5 egg whites, and 1/4 C of clarified butter. The first time I tried to make the cake, I used oat flour plus a few tablespoons flax seed meal to substitute for the nut, tofu to substitute for the egg, dairy free margarine for the butter, and added lemon juice and baking soda to get some lift. I've had some bad experiences with tofu in the past, and sadly, this first attempt to modify the recipe did nothing to change my opinion of the much maligned soy product.
The second attempt, which you see here, had Ener-G egg replacer instead of tofu and did not include the lemon juice and baking soda. The cake itself tasted amazing, virtually identical to a nut based cake, but had not risen at all. I made do with two layers instead of three, and put the rest of the cake together, using one of my own buttercream recipes with strawberry preserves instead of cherry and adding a thin layer of strawberries between the cake layers, since the poor thing was so short!
The cake itself wasn't a great success, but as usual I learned some new techniques and now have a really great substitute for nut meal in recipes. Be sure to check out all the other Daring Bakers, so you can see what the cake is supposed to look like!


Aparna Balasubramanian said...

I can understand the difficulty of replacing regular ingredients.
The cake looks quite nice and at least you got a good replacement for nuts.
I wish I could find a good substitute for eggs, but most of these things are not available here.

Speedbump Kitchen said...

Brave girl!! I think strawberry is a great addition to 'buttercream", it makes it actually taste like something!

Maggie said...

I like the oat flour + flaxseed meal replacement for the nut meal. I'm always thinking how much flaxseed meal tastes like walnuts. And smart girl for using your own buttercream recipe.

Anonymous said...

I love the berries and chocolate. Thanks for posting about your substitutions. It's great to be able to get ideas from others.

Angela's Kitchen said...

Thanks for sharing your cake. We do all gluten and dairy free at our house, alternating with other stuff (egg, soy, the gluten free grains, etc...) I am so glad there is gluten free oats now! Oat flour is great. Nice idea using the flax to make it nutty tasting! Brilliant!

(Maybe use flax seed "goop" as a binder also to see if you get more rise from the Ener-G replacer?? Hmm.. Now I have to do this cake egg free!)

It's great to see how other "allergy mommas" alter some of these challenges!

Anonymous said...

Great job on your cake and very daring indeed! I'm glad I only had to veganize it and not try to sub out nuts. Way to go!

maybelles mom said...

great job. we did strawberry too and it really added something. (though we did it the nut/egg way)

Lauren said...

Wow! Great Job with the substitutions! Also, you weren't alone in having a cake that didn't really rise. Anyways, your cake looks amazing!