Vegan Baking 101: Chia “Eggs” & Date Paste [and other substitutes]

For those of you that are baking pros, bear with me for a moment. This is a necessary precursor to a recipe that’s on its way to you!

Chia Egg & Date Paste

So here’s the thing: sometimes, substituting things in vegan baking is common sense. We all know that you can substitute non-dairy milks for regular milk when it comes to baking (right?). My top choice for this is rice milk because of its neutral flavour, but I’ll use almond milk if the recipe looks like it needs something creamier/fattier. I don’t use soy – especially not in chocolate flavoured things, because you can taste it. It doesn’t necessarily taste like soy, but it definitely reminds me of cheap, nasty easter eggs.

As far as egg replacers go, you have a lot of choices. You should consider what’ll suit your recipe best – not all vegan egg substitutes are as flexible as using actual eggs. I’ve made some notes below for your reference; all of these are for using egg substitutes as a binding agent, not a rising agent (I’ll talk about this in another post). Continue reading

Webbed Pumpkin-Tamarind Trees (or… Broccolini® “Chops”)

Hold off on the hyperventilating – today’s recipe tastes nothing like “chops”, I promise. The shape, however, was too similar for me to pass up on the name. I know it’s been a week since I posted here – it’s because I’ve been working on something special… And I don’t just mean this dish. I’ll be revealing some exciting news about Appetite Affliction over the coming weeks, so hang tight and stay tuned!

Trees cocooned in spiders webs after flooding in Sindh, Pakistan
Photo credit: Russell Watkins / UK Department for International Development

Do you remember the photos that circulated a while back, of the trees in Pakistan cocooned by spider webs due to severe flooding? When I asked some friends what famous tree images (photographs, paintings etc.) they could think of, my friend Hugh mentioned them – and a recipe idea started to drive me crazy. It drove me crazy for a few weeks, actually, and I was finding inspiration in the most unexpected places. After some trials, I eneded up with these beautiful, delicate, rice-paper-wrapped stalks of broccolini. I used tamarind as the main flavour, as it’s a prominent ingredient in that part of the world.

Webbed Pumpkin-Tamarind Trees (or… Broccolini® “Chops”) – yields approx 15

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Cake Walk 1

Lyttleton Terrace (next to Bendigo Wholefoods)
Bendigo, VIC 3550
P: (03) 5442 3499

The Cakewalk shop front is barely two weeks old. Julianne, the owner, has been making custom cakes from home for over a year and has now expanded with this neat little bake shop next door to Bendigo Wholefoods. Continue reading

Cashew Béchamel Sauce (White Sauce) – V2.0

When I came up with my own vegetable stock concentrate, I knew I needed to update an old recipe that’s very near and dear to me – my cashew béchamel sauce. This version is made from scratch, with no pre-packaged/processed ingredients. No more powdered vegetable stock; no more margarine.

The taste variation between this and the original recipe is VERY subtle; the only really noticable difference is that this one has a pale yellow tinge from my vegetable stock concentrate. The two recipes/variations are interchangable – your choice depends on how much effort you want to put into your food and how much you care about eating pre-packaged/processed ingredients. I’m not going to judge you either way!

Just like the original, there’s a number of ways you can use this very versatile sauce, so please don’t feel limited by my suggestions. My favourite way to have it is baked on nachos (instead of cheese), but it’s also good with lasagne, enchiladas & moussaka. It’s a great creamy pasta sauce base and works well on cauliflower & broccoli. I’m currently refining a creamy potato bake recipe that utilises it – so stay tuned!

Cashew Bechamel V2.0
Makes 3 & 1/4 cups

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