7 Vegan Baking Tips

Blossom Lady
Oct 19, 2022 01:15 AM
7 Vegan Baking Tips

The more I prepare vegan desserts, the more certain I am that there is no one-size-fits-all recipe for using and choosing sweeteners, cocoa, starches, or other ingredients. Try some of the following suggestions and see if you do not find that your already great vegan desserts are even more delicious!

1. Gather your ingredients and equipment.
This is nothing new, but still a reminder: do a mis en place first! This simply means gather all your utensils and ingredients so you can prepare before you start making the recipe. Determine your dry and liquid quantities. Prepare your baking pans. Set the baking sheet in place, preheat the oven, and check your oven thermometer. Do nuts or seeds need to be soaked? Tofu to blanch? Chocolate to chop or melt, oil to chill, or ingredients that need to be brought to room temperature? Do it first! It will pay off when you are in the middle of baking a cake.

2. Sugar in its many forms is an important ingredient in baked goods.
All granular organic sugars have larger crystals than refined white sugar, and if you grind or powder them before using, you'll get a baked good with the best crumb. Grind organic sugar (the light sugar from which most of the molasses has been removed) in a food processor until the crystals are relatively uniform and visibly smaller. Whole cane sugar, on the other hand, still contains all the molasses, which is reflected in its light brown color and caramel flavor. Pulverize four cups each of this very coarse sugar in a high-speed blender and one cup in a regular blender. Stored in an airtight container, the prepared sugar will remain lump-free. Coconut, palm and maple sugars are also best powdered and stored in airtight containers. Date sugar burns easily and does not dissolve. You should sprinkle this sugar over already baked cobblers and French fries.

3. Do not substitute maple syrup for rice syrup or agave nectar.
Maple syrup was my favorite sugar more than 20 years ago when I left the kitchen for butter-sugar egg tarts, and I still like it. Use grade B, which is dark. Then you get more sweetness for your money. If you stock up or buy a large quantity, store it in the freezer (it gets more viscous, like vodka) or in the refrigerator.

Rice syrup has a slight caramel flavor that I find irresistible. However, in my opinion, cakes baked with rice syrup become gummy and are not sweet enough, while cookies and crisp toppings generally turn out too hard. Thick and sticky rice syrup is easier to measure and stir into batter, so heat it before measuring. To heat, open the jar of syrup and place it in a pot of very hot water. Stir a few times with a kitchen knife until it liquefies.

4. The agar flakes will dissolve, but you can not skip the soaking.
Measure the flakes into your saucepan and pour the liquid specified in the recipe over the flakes at room temperature. Do not stir or heat and let soak for 15 minutes while you prepare the other ingredients.

5. Arrowroot, cornstarch and tapioca starch are not all-purpose powders.
All three powders, when combined with agar-agar, give richness and a creamy mouthfeel to egg-free desserts. There is no difference in dosage when substituting one powder for another, but the applications in cooking are different. Cornstarch needs to be cooked for a full minute, while tapioca starch needs to be cooked for 45 seconds.

6. There is also no one egg substitute that fits all.
When substituting eggs in recipes, be sure to pay attention to what function you are substituting. Binding? Liquid? Fat? Baking soda? If you are baking cakes, you are probably already using vinegar in combination with baking powder and baking soda. Apple cider vinegar is the most reliable and healthy choice.

7. Non-alkalized (natural) cocoa powder and Dutch processed cocoa powder are not interchangeable.
If no difference is specified in the recipe, check which baking soda is used. If baking powder is specified, use natural cocoa. The very darkest cocoa powder, called black cocoa, gives Oreos their characteristic color. This highly alkalized cocoa does not contribute to the flavor, so use only one to two tablespoons.

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