Tuesday, December 28, 2010

My Vegan Baking Adventures 1

I think everyone who loves sweets should enjoy sweets, so I am doing all I can to hone at least a few flavors that will be delicious vegan and gluten-free options available from the Sweet Shop (our in-progress online store project!)

Because I figure there are a pretty good number of you who may not know anything about vegan baking, that you, much like me, will be interested to know some of the different tricks & pitfalls.

So- hey, I have a blog, why not keep you all up to date on this adventure as it progresses, AND for those of you that do know a thing or two, or MORE about vegan baking- I'd deeply appreciate your comments & suggestions!!

Today was ingredient gathering day. I mean if you're gonna make a vegan cake, you can't just go butter & egging it up- whole different process to create moist, delicious cake with out a stitch of dairy/animal by-product.

Armed with my recipe, I headed to the market.....ok, margarine? Really? Easy!! I've used it before at some point, I can handle that...hmmm, hit my first wall. None of this SAYS "margarine"...so many "spreads",  lots of "65% oil" labels (so what the heck is the other 35%??)...and not a dang thing is going to help me enough to just clearly say VEGAN on it, is it? I'm still looking...

Mind you, I live in West LA, land of MANY, MANY vegans...but this is a baking journal for people living everywhere, so I did not just go straight to wholefoods (which by the way, I may just do on the next batch), but hit up a local Ralph's...so the selection was Imperial, Blue Bonnet, I Can't Believe it's Not Butter, and about 4 others~

So I start reading ingredients...first one- "whey (from milk)" um, not vegan. Second one, buttermilk, also not-vegan....finally I see the top of one of em DOES say VEGAN! YAY!! So here's what I ended up with:

Smart Balance Certified Organic 100% Vegan "whipped buttery spread"

Step one, complete- now to bake the cake!!! :o)


Rose said...

It might be better to use the smart balance in a stick, rather than smart balance in a tub, for the same reason one would use stick butter, rather than whipped butter. But that would probably require a trip to Whole Foods. West LA Ralph's tend not to have the greatest selection of such things (amazingly).

Beth G. @SweetLifeKitchen said...

Can you believe the West LA Ralph's didn't have it?! I was trippin!! Agreed, I'll definitely use the stick next time- I was happy with how they came out, Stephaine and Nate both didn't even know they were vegan!! Thank you for the tip- let me know any other pointers you've got- this is all new to me!

O'Tootsie Pop said...

Hey Beth! My boyfriend is macrobiotic/vegan and I can probably get some recs for you if you like. His favorite places to shop in the LA area are the Santa Monica Co-op and Erewhon. They also have some great natural sweeteners he has experimented with, such as the Suzanne's products. Happy vegan baking!

Beth G. @SweetLifeKitchen said...

I'll be near Erewhon tomorrow and will definitely check it out!! Thanks for the heads up!! :o)