This November, at Whitworths Sugar, we celebrated World Vegan Month.
It sounds cliché to say but we do love trying out new things and new recipes and thought it was a great challenge. Even though we have a pretty varied diet and often eat vegan at home, we rarely do bake vegan. Why is that? Well I think that vegan baking sounds a little trickier.
And you know what? It was much easier than expected. It’s true, when we think vegan baking, we think new ingredients, new techniques. But also wonder, will it be a fail? Will my cake be dry? How can it bind without the eggs?
Our advice? Just find a recipe you like, follow the steps but give it a go. There are so many great benefits to a vegan diet. It can sometimes be less calorific than its non-plant-based alternative. Cooking vegan is better for the planet and it is better for your health. So many good reasons, I’m sure you must be sold now, right?
To be ready to tackle vegan baking, first, fill your cupboards with some vegan essentials, like
- VEGETABLE OR SUNFLOWER OIL
A true essential, as oil will replace your butter, it will keep your cake moist and fluffy. Some recipes might also use vegan margarine.
- COCONUT OIL
You will find that coconut oil is very versatile, as it can be both solid and liquid. To be used mainly as a butter substitute, so it is ideal for frosting, cakes, spreads etc. It pairs so well with chocolate. Also, did you know that it does not contain any trans-fat? Bonus!
- FLAX SEEDS
So here is the answer to all your questions. How can we substitute eggs? The answer? Flax seeds! Like eggs it helps to bind a mixture together and work wonders. You can buy a bag of ground flax seeds, so you do not have to grind it yourself.
- COCOA POWDER
You probably already have some in your cupboards, cocoa powder is a staple in vegan recipes. Our advice: always buy a high-quality cocoa powder, you will not regret the extra pennies.
- DAIRY-FREE MILK
There are now so many dairy-free milks available in most supermarkets. They are so easy to get your hands on. But here, it does depend on your preferences, as some milks do have a distinct flavour / taste. It will also depend on the recipe.
- APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
I must admit, this is a strange one, I did wonder why apple cider vinegar! Well, it does activate the baking soda and helps cakes raise – so definitely not an ingredient to leave out of a recipe.
- CORN FLOUR
Corn flour works like magic, it adds structure and make your cake lighter and less dense.
So far this month we have made,
- A vegan shortcrust pastry, though we only used oil, it was light and ‘buttery’
- A vegan Bakewell cake which was truly delicious. It was moist and light! No one could tell it was vegan
- A smooth vegan hot chocolate made with coconut milk, packed with flavours!
- Chocolate vegan cupcakes with crunchy peanut butter filling, rich and decadent, a must try!
- Vegan chocolate chip cookies which were soft in the middle and crunchy on the outside
We have had so much fun learning about different ingredients, do not hesitate to share your favourite vegan recipes with us by commenting below, we are always open to suggestions!