Vegan Baking: A Guide
If you haven’t already heard, this week is National Baking Week, so with the final of GBBO coming up, people are testing out their own baking skills more than ever before. With the sudden rise of Veganism, this year was the first time that the judges gave the contestants a vegan baking challenge.
Judge Paul Hollywood stated that “We wanted something different and something to represent what was happening in this country. Veganism is something that seems to be growing. That’s why it is in”
Fancy trying out some vegan bakery recipes yourself? Before you go crazy in the kitchen, we’ve written a short guide as vegan baking is a little more than just omitting the butter, eggs and milk and hoping for the best! If you follow the tips below, your kitchen creations with look and taste amazing- your friends and family won’t believe they’re vegan!
Tip 1: You’ll need a ‘binder’ to replace the eggs
Eggs have an important function in baking, as they help to bind everything together. As an alternative, a lot of vegan food bloggers/websites use flax/chia “eggs”, which is basically seeds mixed in a little water, forming a sticky paste. These have a neutral taste so they work well with a lot of recipes, they’re also high in minerals, proteins and vitamins too! Although these “egg” replacers do work, we understand that these ingredients are a little pricey so we recommend using mashed banana/another veggie or fruit purée which do roughly the same job. Just bear in mind that these ingredients have a less neutral taste.
For vegan meringues, aquafaba (chickpea water) work a dream if you whisk it with sugar along with a little cream of tartar- trust us it works!
Tip 2: Vegan milk alternatives are a vegan baker’s best friend!
One of the easiest substitutions in vegan baking is milk as there are so many milk alternatives available that can be used instead. Which is the best to use? It mostly depends on the flavours you’re going for but we recommend using unsweetened soya milk, as it has the most similar consistency to cow’s milk (as opposed to almond which is thinner). Just be careful with replacing cow’s milk with the tinned variety of coconut milk, as this has a much higher fat content and so could affect the way in which the cake mixture behaves.
Tip 3: Plant oils and vegan spreads are a lifesaver!
Vegan spreads (like Pure) are the easiest to use as a substitute as it is also in solid form like butter. However, if you have none in, then no need to stress as sunflower oil and coconut oil work well too especially in thicker mixtures like banana breads, flapjacks and loaves (as opposed to something light like fairy cakes).
If you fancy being extra adventurous you can use a little nut butter too in place of some of the oil –it tastes amazing in flapjacks!
For vegan cake/bake recipes visit www.basilandvogue.com
Image: Andri Neocleous