The title of this article/info-share especially holds true for me. You see, I’m embarking on making some vegan cakes for a cake order this weekend (pictures forthcoming when completed) and the last time I did home baking with real cake orders, I did it with all of the good old fashioned ingredients that most bakers use: wheat, eggs, milk and butter. Not anymore. And as I’ve not completely mastered this as of this writing, I’m nervous. I know it will be decent no matter what. But I want to make sure the cakes are absolutely delicious and not gritty. As a friend has lovingly offered their kitchen scale for my use. I am grateful and appreciative as I await arrival. In the meantime, I am turning to some King Arthur Flour gluten free cake mixes because they are comprised of the flour mixes I make at home, but also with the specific ratios that I know King Arthur would use to ensure consistency in baking (which I haven’t done without the scale as of yet). I also know that the rice flour component is superfine, which should eliminate the gritty texture we all very much hate in our should-be-tender baked goods. And the great thing about gluten-free flours is that they are generally also free of the ridiculous number of additives that are found in conventional wheat flour mixes.
That said. I cannot fail.
Therefore, I will do my damnedest.
So, I turned to the KAF website to research best way to replace the eggs with their cake flour and they are not recommending that eggs be replaced. They have indicated that the results with flax meal, bananas or applesauce has not been good See the discussion here. This concerns me a little bit. But I have no choice and I have to replace the eggs. Since the mix calls for 4 eggs, I can only assume that the eggs are needed for both binding and leavening. So, I have two mixes. The first thing I’m going to do after I write this article, is use a half binding / half leavening approach. Ener-G egg replacer offers the leavening effect while bananas and applesauce provide the binding effect. For the time being, I’m avoiding flax meal. I have made one cake with flax meal and the texture was so firm that it was like eating a cake-flavored English muffin. The texture could have been due to other factors. However, as I have never seen a cake take on that texture before, and I can’t be sure that flax meal wasn’t the cause, I’m staying away from it for now.
This is no small challenge… but we can do this.
With nearly every chemical component being replaced in this baking endeavor, and with food manufacturers providing all sorts of products for which to experiment, the baking community is on the cusp of developing a whole new world of baking science for which the world has yet to see. It will be interesting to see what kings of delicious baked goods we come up with in the next ten years. This article will not have as much research and information as I would like (as I have some baking to do), but I wanted to share this with all of my readers. (And I will hopefully have more answers very soon).
So, when you click on This KAF Community Contribution About Ways to Replace Eggs, you will see some ideas that diversify into ingredients beyond the usual four egg substitutions (flax meal, banana, applesauce and Ener-G egg replacer). There are suggestions for binding and leavening and for particular use in cookies, pancakes, waffles and biscuits.
I am particularly interested in the idea of whipping xanthan gum and water to get it to act like an egg white.
There is nothing definitive for the best egg-replacer for cakes from this King Arthur Flour community contribution. However, the list of ideas gives me plenty of fodder for experimentation, which, as you know, I find rather fun – and sometimes frustrating – as is par for the course.
Enjoy and happy experimenting!