Friday, September 3, 2010

Vegan transition

Not that I've ever been opposed to vegan foods, but I just never had much "exposure" to it. And ignorance is bliss, perhaps?

So needless to say, with the new job coming up working for a vegan cafe/bakery... I've spent lots of time practicing the transition of "regular" baker to vegan baker. After spending an entire evening making these items, I have come to the epiphany that while simply subbing out "regular" items for vegan items (egg replacer, vegan butter, soy cream cheese, etc) is easy enough... the results aren't going to yield the same results. Maybe close, but not perfection. Especially for someone like me who has been (and always will be) fully nommaging on everything - vegan or not.
Plum Kuchen. Made this before... this time came out super dense. Eek.
Caramelized Pear Upside Down Cake. Made this before too. I forgot that I didn't really like it. This time was no different - in fact, it was probably worse.

Vegan Othello Cookies, adapted from the Williams-Sonoma Baking book
(I halved the original recipe to make these "tester" cookies.)
4oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped - for melting
1Tbsp Earth Balance vegan butter - for melting
1.5Tbsp AP Flour
1/8t Baking Powder
1 Egg Replacer egg
1/3C Sugar
1/2t Vanilla Extract
5oz. semisweet chocolate chips - for folding in

Preheat oven to 350.

Melt bittersweet chocolate and butter in a double boiler. Let cool slightly.
Combine flour and baking powder.
Combine egg, sugar, and vanilla extract. Beat until light and fluffy. Fold in melted chocolate mixture, then the flour mixture, then the chocolate chips. Don't overmix.

Scoop mounds of batter onto prepared baking sheets (parchment or foil), approx 1Tbsp placed 1.5 inches apart.

Bake for 6 minutes. Then turn sheet 180 degrees, continue to bake until tops appear dry - approx 5 min. The cookies will come out very soft. Let cool completely on baking sheets before removing.

Yields about 6 - 10 cookies, depending on size.

These came out kind of weird. "Greasy", due to the fake butter I suppose. Put these in the fridge, and they came out white, and very hard. Oops. Not a major fail - but still a no bueno kind of cookie test.

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