Thursday, April 22, 2010

Lessons From the CIA – Baking Without Eggs

I find eggs to be one of the trickiest substitutes in allergen-free baking. A couple weeks ago I took a gluten-free baking course at the Culinary Institute of America. Even though the focus of the class was on avoiding gluten, I was able to learn quite a bit about baking without eggs.

Chef Coppedge was a big fan of Ener-G egg replacer. Those of you have tried egg replacers know that this one is free of the top eight allergens and gluten-free. I have used this before (successfully) in cakes, muffins and cookies. What surprised me though was his suggestion to use this in cream fillings. As long as you aren’t making eggs dishes (like scrambled eggs or something like a frittata) or something that requires peaks (like meringue), he seemed to think using egg replacer would work. Great news! I have added a cooking project to my list to try making pudding with Ener-G egg replacer. Has anyone tried this?

The only caution is to always add the egg replacer last – just before you are ready to pop it into the oven. It contains a fast acting baking powder, so you should mix it and add it to your baking project last thing.

The other option we talked about for replacing eggs was flax seeds. This, along with applesauce, was always one of my favorites and is quickly becoming a preference.

Chef Coppedge recommended a mixture of 1 part flax seed meal to 4 parts water by weight. (He’s a big fan of doing everything by weight – “weights don’t lie”). I had seen formulas of 1 tablespoon flax seed meal to 3 tablespoons water and 1 tablespoon flax seed meal to ¼ cup water (with each of these equaling one egg). So I decided to do a little science project. (In other words, I took out my kitchen scale and tested them.) The results? I determined that these formulas do indeed get the same result, so pick whichever is easiest for you.

But the coolest thing about flax seed ‘eggs’ is that you can make them ahead of time and keep them in the fridge. He even pulled a big vat of flax seed goop out of his fridge to show me. You can just measure ¼ cup of goop to equal one egg.

Come back tomorrow for a show and tell of how to make flax seed goop. For more Baking Lessons click here.

2 comments:

Food Allergy Works said...

thanks there are some great tips here that I can really use, being a rotten baker.
I prefer ORGRAN egg substitute.. but it's such a personal thing.
great--will follow,

Colette said...

Food Allergy Works, thanks for your comment! Baking is definitely my thing!

I do use Organ egg substitute quite a bit (especially for breads), but flax seed goop is quickly becoming my preference for things like cakes, brownies, cookies. I love that it's so easy to make the goop and store it in the firdge.