Meatless in Miami: Vegan Baking 101 at Sublime
Sublime's head pastry chef, David Kalas, led about 30 (mostly female) folks interested in learning new ways to bake animal-byproduct-free and the many ways you can replace the role of an egg in traditional baking. Baking, as it's been said, is a science, and clearly the eggs are there for a textural/binding purpose as opposed to being eggy-tasting.
|Sublime head pastry chef David Kalas.|
Replacing the milk part in the recipes is easy-peasy because you can just use your favorite non-dairy milk -- soy, almond, rice, coconut, hazelnut, cashew, hemp -- all of which seem to be gaining popularity and becoming more readily available. For the butter, simply swap it for Earth Balance, one of the best products of all time.
Kalas, a Philly native and a vegan himself, started off training to be a chef at the Cordon Bleu. However, midway through the course (which includes stuffing sausages into intestinal casings, dissecting all sorts of creatures, and "hacking things"), the whole process grossed him out to the point that he became a vegetarian and shifted his concentration to baking and the pastry arts. He told me the most pleasant surprise of vegan baking is that not only can you make desserts that equal the taste of their traditional counterparts, but also you can make them better. One taste of Sublime's sumptuously rich desserts will handily attest to that.
P.S.: After the workshop, I told my friend about the class, and she asked, "But this Egg Replacer stuff, it's expensive, right?" Actually, one box costs $5.99 at your local health food shop and is the equivalent of 113 eggs, not to mention the fact that it can hang out in your pantry for ages without turning into rotten eggs.