The more I learn about pastry, the more I realize that European pastry is on a completely different level compared to classic American pastry. My impression is that European pastry is all about introducing flavor depth through manipulating eggs, butter and technique. Croissants
and danish pastries come to mind. American pastry, on the other hand, tends to build off bold flavors with a strong sugar backbone accentuated by spices. Apple pie
come to mind here.
In the quest to become an adept baker, it’s important to draw from as many influences as possible. One trick that many American style bakers use to improve flavor depth is taking a cue from European bakers by using cultured European style butter.
How does American style butter differ from European style butter? Let’s take a look.
This Vegan Parsnip Cake recipe is carrot cake's long lost brother, featuring parsnips which are slightly spicy and astringent. Parsnips are teamed up with pineapple, golden raisins, non-diary yogurt and a touch of cardamom to make a vegan cake that's lighter and spicier than carrot cake but every bit as tasty. Like carrot cake, Vegan Parsnip Cake should be liberally frosted with Easy Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting
or a variant thereof
for best results.
Pumpkin Cheesecake is one of my favorite desserts during the holidays. This vegan recipe variation pairs pumpkin with Easy Vegan Caramel Sauce
for a great way to end a feast. It also features barley malt syrup, lemon juice, cinnamon and ginger powder to help marry bold pumpkin flavor with vegan creaminess. I recommend opting for non-hydrogenated vegan cream cheese so you can avoid trans fats. This vegan cheesecake also goes great with a dollop of Vegan Vanilla Ice Cream
This Vegan Blueberry Frozen Soy Yogurt recipe is super simple to make. It's just unsweetened vegan soy yogurt mixed in an ice cream maker with the fruit jam of your choice. I happened to have blueberry jam when I made this batch. Be sure to use quality soy yogurt. There are some brands out there that don't taste anything remotely like yogurt and they are to be avoided. It's also recommended using quality jam made with sugar instead of high-fructose corn syrup. Be sure to use unsweetened soy yogurt or else your frozen soy yogurt will come out too sweet. This recipe is already on the sweet side so the fruit comes through with intensity.
Vegan yogurt usually consists of a base of either soy, nut, rice or coconut that is fermented with lactobacillus cultures. Depending on the base and fermentation method, hydrocolloids
such as tapioca starch, agar or xanthan gum may be added to increase viscosity.
Non-dairy yogurt isn't actually an egg replacer that's on par with eggs. It's about as effective as traditional dairy yogurt as an egg replacer in baking applications. This isn't much but it works great in things where significant binding power isn't needed such as vegan cakes
. It won't help you get things very dense and chewy like traditional eggs can but it's great for holding in moisture and adding flavor complexity at the same time.
I thought I didn't like scones until my friend Debbie told me I just hadn't had the right scones. She explained to me that good scones feature a complex flavor and a dense, not too crumbly texture. I then began my journey to create vegan scones based on the teachings of this scone-ophile. The result is this Scrumptious Vegan Scones recipe. I used golden flax meal for it's binding abilities, apple cider vinegar for its subtle flavor complexity and ability to enhance crumb, just the right combination of all-purpose flour and whole wheat flour and Vegan Butter to enhance buttery flavors. Finally, raisins or berries adds just the right amount of fruit flavor and sweetness while still allowing the rich, buttery flavors to come through. I'm now a self-described sconeophile
and enjoy eating scones amongst other sconerati
This Vegan Cherry Almond Coffee Cake recipe makes a perfect light vegan snack or dessert. Non-dairy yogurt, a touch of arrowroot flour and just the right ratio of all-purpose flour and whole wheat flour make a wonderfully moist vegan coffee cake. Layers of cherry jam and slivered almonds add another dimension of irresistible flavor that goes perfect with tea or coffee.
This is the classic vegan cheesecake recipe of dinner party legend. It relies on the amazing flavors of your favorite vegan cream cheese enhanced with a touch of non-dairy yogurt, non-dairy milk and just the right amount of flour for optimum flavor and texture. It's worth buying a spring form pan for.
This Vegan Apple Pecan Coffee Cake recipe is great for those afternoon tea sessions with your extremely friendly next door neighbors. No friendly next door neighbors? More for you then. This vegan coffee cake uses pecans, cinnamon, allspice and a touch of non-dairy yogurt to let the apples really shine.