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!