Vegan Strawberry Fraisier [Daring Bakers]

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.

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  1. Good on you for giving it a go. My pastry cream was too runny as well (I cheated and popped it in the freezer) and I didn’t even have the excuse of using a vegan recipe!

    I think your frasier looks great. I love the sugar dusted almond topping with the strawberries. Plus, nothing says dig in like slighty oozy pastry cream! Mmm.

    Comment by Suz — July 27, 2011 @ 3:54 pm

  2. Yay you. Its always a challenge to go gluten free on cakes and I think you did a great job. So glad it tasted delicious…mmm!

    Comment by Deeba — July 27, 2011 @ 5:43 pm

  3. Great job!! Your Fraisier looks good. I always want to try vegan recipe but kind of scared:-(.

    Comment by Reem — July 27, 2011 @ 6:53 pm

  4. Bravo for going vegan with this challenge! It doesn’t sound easy. Have you heard of agar powder? It’s a vegan gelatin substitute. I’ve had success with it in the past, it sets really firm.

    Comment by Jeanne — July 27, 2011 @ 8:37 pm

  5. Hi Jeanne – I have but didn’t think to try it. This was the first time I had ever made a pastry cream, much less a vegan one, but if I have firmness issues in the future I’ll be sure to give it a shot. The collapsing cream did not make for a particularly attractive pictures. 😛

    Comment by JM — July 28, 2011 @ 11:47 am

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