There are many possibilities for browning your dishes. You need sugars that can caramelize (in milk, lactose, and directly in sugar syrup), and / or proteins that will also degrade with temperature, usually milk proteins or egg proteins.
How to make vegan gilding?
There is a lot of protein and free sugars in fruit and vegetable juices. The sugar in carrots begs to caramelize, there are also beta-carotenes, which are yellow-orange pigments. For the gilding, it is important to have a low heat oven or to put only the last 10 minutes of cooking otherwise the beta-carotenes degrade and become dull brown.
- Make a carrot juice (or else buy it ready-made in a bottle).
- Add a little sugar if necessary and brush with a brush, in two layers, as with an egg.
- It is possible to reduce the juice a little in a small saucepan over very low heat to concentrate the pigments and sugar and form a sort of carrot syrup.
How to replace eggs and butter?
- “I have tested many vegan shortbread recipes and the result is often crumbly and very dry. My children prefer industrial snacks.”
Vegan pastry is gaining momentum. It’s not easy for it to be good and replacing butter and eggs is a real challenge.
For the shortbread, it is particularly delicate because the ingredients are flour, butter, sugar, eggs. Removing butter and eggs, drastically reducing sugar is the big trend. Only the flour will be left!
It is recommended to favor whole flours. If you make shortbread with wholemeal flour, coconut oil and a little agave syrup or another sugar a little “healthier” than sucrose (bench sugar), it is sure it is difficult to feast. Next to industrial snacks designed to be addictive with sugar and aromas, the competition is lost.
Go gradually into replacing ingredients.
- Keep the flour type 55 or 45 at first. Wholemeal flours are very beneficial for health, but they are also responsible for the very dry side of shortbread. These flours should be kept for other preparations (such as bread).
- Gradually reduce the doses of white sugar, this is great, but the palate must be readjusted.
- Do with your children, nothing like getting your hands dirty to find something better.
It is possible to use coconut oil or even a hazelnut oil, much more fragrant which will give good aromas to your shortbread.
For eggs, they provide binder, so it is possible to add fiber to try to compensate for this.
Try, for example, a few boiled and mixed dates. You can make date paste yourself, it is both sweet and fibrous (over 7% fiber). This forms a good binder and naturally sugar the preparation. It is also possible to use soft dried apricots. They must be mixed with the rest of the ingredients. The glycemic index is very interesting in dried apricots, it is a low GI.
Using sesame paste is also possible, it is both rich in fiber and fat. This can partly replace eggs and butter.
Baking pancakes and pies
- “The top is golden brown and the bottom barely cooked regardless of the oven temperature, even in hot air”. What should be done ?
The choice of baking sheets and molds is fundamental in cooking. For cooking which requires coloring or drying, preference should be given to metal, grill or hot plate. For “wet” cooking such as clafoutis, flans, crème brûlée etc … It is possible to use ceramic or glass.
For shortbread, avoid baking paper, even if it is more practical, it is the same thing for pies or quiches. Paper is a thermal insulator that retains vapor. It will be difficult to color and dry.
Depending on the oven, you must adjust the cooking height. In the case of a tart mold for example or a metal plate, it is rather at the bottom of the oven.
Hot air is very good for most cooking because it is more homogeneous. If you really want to color at the bottom, put the heating mode “high and low” and place your preparation on the bottom of the oven, a few minutes to sear.