The August 2009 Dar­ing Bak­ers’ chal­lenge was hosted by Angela of A Spoon­ful of Sugar and Lor­raine of Not Quite Nigella. They chose the spec­tac­u­lar Dobos Torte based on a recipe from Rick Rodgers’ cook­book Kaf­fee­haus: Exquis­ite Desserts from the Clas­sic Caf­fés of Vienna, Budapest, and Prague.

This chal­lenge was a fail for me, with no fault to the hosts. I was a bit hes­i­tant about this chal­lenge, because it was going to be dif­fi­cult to veg­a­nize. The cake layer calls for 6 eggs and I haven’t had much luck with vegan sponge cake. The tof­fee top­ping was another chal­lenge alto­gether. I am the cham­pion ruiner (an actual title in our home) of sev­eral things, and any­thing related to mak­ing stove top candy falls into that category.

Here goes…

I wanted to make a lit­tle cake, so rather than bak­ing 6 indi­vid­ual lay­ers, I made a large, thin sheet cake and cut out 6 5 inch circles.


My sponge­cake came out very not sponge­wor­thy (haha!). Rather, it was dense and rub­bery. Silken tofu was not my friend this round. Oops.

I made my own choco­late but­ter­cream, as the one called for used eggs. The top wedges were sup­posed to be dipped in a beau­ti­ful amber col­ored tof­fee that would rapidly harden. I was all pre­pared with my oiled off­set spat­ula and parch­ment… and it failed. Light col­ored, wouldn’t harden. And this isn’t the first time I’ve run into this. Here is my ques­tion: could it be organic sugar? Back before we were veg (which also coin­cides with before we cared about what we put in our bod­ies), I never had prob­lems carameliz­ing reg­u­lar crap sugar. What could it be?

For what it’s worth, here are the pictures.


The whole mini­cake, topped with not-amber not-hardening sticky wedges. :(


And inside shot of all of the lay­ers. Well, it kind of looks like it’s sup­posed to… kind of. Bet­ter luck next month!

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6 Responses to Daring Baker’s Challenge = quasifail

  1. Courtney says:

    I think it looks pretty! A recipe with 6 eggs WOULD be tough to veganize…kudos to you for trying!


  2. Josiane says:

    It may not have turned out as the orig­i­nal recipe would have, but the pic­tures are pos­i­tively craving-inducing nonetheless!

  3. Stacy says:

    Awww, I think it looks cute :)

  4. Caitlin says:

    It does look pretty! Late– night crav­ing inducer. Eh, don’t worry about it. I went to one of those so-called famous cof­fee houses in Vienna, and the dessert was com­pletely lack-luster. By the way, I’m friends with Ted– he said he was fly­ing out to your book release party– I hope it went well!

  5. Vegetation says:

    I think even attempt­ing to veg­a­nize any­thing with that many eggs deserves hon­ours!! I’m cer­tainly impressed!!!

  6. Diann says:

    This was a tough chal­lenge. I used beet sugar for my caramel and it turned out great, although I burned myself really bad — stuck my knuckle in it, pulled it back, but hey — that caramel just sticks to it and keeps burn­ing — ouch!

    I made a lit­tle cake too. It was very rich with all the but­ter­cream. I think your lit­tle cake looks great!