This month I made a significant variation from the standard recipe outlined by the Daring Baker Challenge host: I went vegan. My cousin V. was in town, and, among a number of her other dietary peculiarities, she is currently not eating dairy (she does eat fish, and just started eating gluten again, so it is something you have to check in every now and then about). So I used the suggested recipes for making the vegan pastry cream, and vegan chiffon cake, and came up with something that was visually unappealing but still tasted quite good.
Blog-checking lines: Jana of Cherry Tea Cakes was our July Daring Bakers’ host and she challenges us to make Fresh Frasiers inspired by recipes written by Elisabeth M. Prueitt and Chad Robertson in the beautiful cookbook Tartine.
The pastry cream was essentially a pudding – sweetened, flavored (with lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla) almond milk, thickened with flour. It unfortunately didn’t have any stiffness to it whatsoever, and without the ability to put in some whipped cream or gelatin, I was a bit at a loss at what to do. As you can see above, the thing started to collapse within seconds of me lifting away the plastic wrap.
The chiffon cake was pretty dense and chewy–apparently a common problem among gluten-free cakes (I certainly didn’t have to make this gluten-free, since the pastry cream was full of it anyway), according to V.–but not too disagreeable. Most everyone loved the addition of the thin layer of almond paste at the top, and, of course, the big pile of sliced strawberries I had picked up at the farmer’s market earlier that day.