Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Afternoon Tea for Vegans

I hosted  a very successful Afternoon Tea in the stunning dining room at Lennoxlove, Haddington at the weekend but  for the first time High Societeas had to cater for a vegan.
Now coming from a farming background being brought up with sheep, cattle and poultry I can't imagine living any other way. However as a professional caterer my interest was stirred so I started with the Vegan Society website which says-

Vegans choose not to eat anything which is taken from animals, for example:
  • No meat, fish nor other substances that come directly from killing an animal, such as animal fats and gelatine
  • No dairy products such as cows milk, cheese and yogurt; nor goats milk
  • No eggs nor foods containing eggs such as Quorn
  • No honey
So that covers pretty much all of the main ingredients for baking!! -eggs- how will I make cakes rise and add bulk ? without dairy products what will I use to bind ingredients? What will replace butter and margarine?and of course, the burning question..... what will the overall flavour be like?

From years of baking I know exactly what I expect my baking to taste like, how I expect the texture to be and what it should look like, so I have found that I have to look at the end product differently. I can't expect everything to be exactly the same but my aim is to produce  baking for vegans, gluten-free and dairy-free to the same high standard using whatever ingredients are available to suit the dietary needs of my guests - and I enjoy a challenge!!

Sandwiches and Savouries? well thats a whole different issue!
My vegan sandwich for last weekend was...

White bread spread with Vitalite, avocado, humus and cashew nuts

It went down well but I have a lot more research and experimenting to do.

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