Believe it or not, the picture above looks nothing like how it was supposed to look. Those cute vegan zucchini tarts were actually supposed to be…vegan cream puffs.
So, how did we get here?
On Dairy-Free State, I almost exclusively talk about successes. I want you to know about the things that I love so you can go out and love them too. Every recipe I post has been tested by at least me and my boyfriend, if not an entire department in my office or a group of friends at a party. Successes are what I post about because that’s the point of me writing this blog – I take the guesswork out of dairy-free living for you.
However, not everything works out as planned. Some recipes that I plan to make weeks in advance never end up on the blog because they don’t deliver the way I dream up. This, so far, is the case for the cream puffs.
The Wisconsin State Fair started last Thursday, and I thought it would be a lot of fun to make some vegan cream puffs to celebrate, so I collaborated with a friend at her apartment to figure out a recipe. We thought we had a good plan going, but the dough, which is French, turned out to be a lot more difficult than we thought (much like the French?)
Without eggs, it’s really hard to get that light-flaky cream puff pastry to rise. Like, at all. We were left with big poofs that were just right on the outside, but, shall we say, “custardy” on the inside. Not to mention we weren’t getting the whipped cream to whip up in the way we might like.
I had to leave early in the afternoon to go to my parents’ house for a cookout, and while we took a brief hiatus from figuring out how to make the dough work, it’s far from over. I definitely want to try again. We were so close and yet, so far from getting that stuff to puff up in a picture-perfect way.
I took the dough and the cream with me, and instead of completely tossing them, decided to try and salvage what I had. When I got to my parents’ house, I made zucchini tarts using Daiya cheese and some olive oil and thyme. They were far from what was expected, but they actually tasted pretty good, and made the best out of a bad situation. I’m planning on using the cream with some Belgian waffles.
So, what can we take from all this? Sometimes, even when you’re working with a real pro like my friend, things don’t turn out perfectly. And that’s okay. It doesn’t mean you should quit – it just means you’re forced to get creative in what you end up making. A lot of cooking involves just making stuff up. My promise to you is I’ll keep trying things and making things up so I can keep bringing great creations and adaptations to you.
Thanks for being readers, and being there for successes…and the occasional failure.