It has been nearly a whole year since I discovered I had a dairy intolerance. At first, I thought it was the end of the world. My whole hobby relied wholly on butter, milk and cream. Taking dairy away from the baking world seemed like an impossibility.
As I got to grips with my new diet I realised how silly my worries were. There are so many dairy-free alternatives now, with new ones cropping up in the past year alone, that it’s never been so simple to enjoy a dairy-free lifestyle. Sure I miss traditional treats (cheesecake & banoffee pie being the biggest!), but it has meant that I have stepped up my baking game a lot. Making changes, to suit my new diet has actually been pretty fun.
When I started to give up dairy, I noticed that eggs were slowly being taken out of the equation. I have been a vegetarian now for nearly 10 years, so it only seemed logical to start incorporating a new vegan-friendly diet. It is only on the rare occasion I will eat or bake something that contains eggs and since discovering aquafaba I have found the need to use eggs in my baking, less and less. Experimenting with vegan baking is fun, not only because you get to share it with people who have a range of diet types, but you get to show off your baking wizardry when you tell someone it’s vegan. No-one ever believes you could create something without dairy or eggs.
After joining one of my favourite vegan-baking facebook groups, Plantified (a wonderful group that has so many inspiring and knowledgeable foodies within it!), I noticed some fantastic recipes submitted by the amazing Moira Wright which called for the use of ‘soy yolks’. After poking around and eyeballing all the amazing creations, I decided to take the plunge and give them a go myself.
Soy yolks (and the by-product soy-whey), created originally by Moira (links to the original recipes: 1 and 2 that include photographs and step-by-step instructions) are primarily made from soy milk and act as a binder, just as an egg would. There are two different types, soy yolks for denser bakes such as brownies & custards and then soy yolks for cakes and cookies (both are detailed below!). It seems like a lengthy process to go through, however, it is extremely quick once you have done it the first time and it really improves your vegan baking. So far I have made vegan creme patissier, the most amazing fudgy brownies (pictured above) and lemon curd slices (recipes coming soon!).
If you are looking for a way to take your vegan baking to the next level, you absolutely have to give these soy yolks a try. The soy yolks for brownies/custards require a special ingredient called Ener-G (available from Amazon here) and the yolks for cakes/cookies require an ingredient called Easy Whip (available from Amazon here). Both are available online and are a worthy investment as they last a long time. If you are looking for ideas for recipes on how you could use soy yolks you can search them on the Plantified facebook group and the Aquafaba facebook group, but most recipes can just have a straight substitute for the eggs. Remember: 20g soy yolk = 1 large egg yolk, 35g soy whey = 1 egg white. If you have any technical questions, feel free to ask me or post in the Plantified facebook group.
Soy Yolks for Brownies/Custards/Curds (Original Strength)
35g soy whey = 1 egg white
20g soy yolk = 1 large egg yolk