Tips to prepare vegan cakes and pastries

7 May 2018

You can make delicious desserts without using any animal products. Yes, you heard right: not a single animal product, including milk, eggs or butter. And that’s not all… You can also do away with wheat flour: vegan, gluten-free cakes suitable for coeliacs and anyone else trying to cut down on gluten

How on earth can you make a homemade cake without any eggs or flour? Without any butter? Well, it’s not only possible but delicious as well. In fact, once you’ve tried the result, you’ll probably never go back. Here are some tips:

1. Swap wheat flour for flour made out of teff, wholegrain rice, millet, potato starch or tapioca. You’ll get spongy, slightly sweet cakes that are lighter than ones made with refined wheat flour. Vegetable flour (chickpea or lentil) is ideal for making bread as it gives a good crust.

2. Use olive oil instead of butter, including for greasing the mould to stop the mixture sticking. If the recipe calls for butter, you can make some vegan butter to use in the same way: simply mix half a cup of coconut oil (it’s solid, so you’ll have to heat it up) and half a cup of extra-virgin olive oil.

3. Use yogurt instead of eggs in fairy cakes, pancakes, cupcakes and the like. You can also opt for creamy tofu, a wonderfully versatile ingredient that works wonders with frittatas and scrambled egg dishes.

4. If the recipe calls for egg whites, a good substitute for 1 egg white is to mix 1 teaspoonful of agar-agar with 1 teaspoonful of water. Simply beat the mixture, refrigerate for half an hour and beat again lightly before use.

5. As well as being packed with healthy fats and keeping cholesterol under control, avocadoes are also great replacements for butter in biscuits and the like. Make a creamy puree and add to recipes in the same proportion as butter.

6. Two good vegetable substitutes for honey are maple syrup and agave nectar.

7. If the recipe calls for milk, you can always use the same amount of walnut drink. Not only is it highly nutritious, since each glass contains five whole walnuts, it also adds a lovely sweet touch to your creations, just the thing for brownies!

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