Chefs Now Ruffle up Vegan Cakes, Bakery Items    

People nowadays prefer to have vegetarian, gluten-free cakes, patissiere and other bakery products.    

2 min read
(Photo: iStockphoto)

Brown rice and rice milk, both organic, coupled with fresh apple juice baked with vegetable colours and vegan toppings can make for a delicious birthday cake, say new-age chefs.

With consumer tastes becoming ever more sophisticated, the demand for gluten free and vegan foods is now seen to be percolating even to bakery, patissiere and chocolate products.

People nowadays prefer to have vegetarian, gluten-free cakes, patissiere and other bakery products. So to cater to their needs we chefs have no other option but to create products that are egg less and those which suit diabetics too.
– Niklesh Sharma, Executive pastry chef, Malaysia-based Academy of Pastry Arts.

The academy recently launched its first set up in India and is poised to offer courses on pastry manufacturing According to industry estimates, the cake segment occupies nearly 20 % market share following the bread category, which is approximately 78 %of the baked products market.

Fondant cakes, which are basically designer cakes topped with sugar icing, is a new trend that has cropped up.

Innovative chefs have come up with sugar free alternatives to fondants using organic unsweetened cocoa, palm sugar, turmeric, and beetroot.

These serve as substitutes to the sugar icing, say chefs who have made use of organic cashew nut cream to stick toppings on which makes the cake attractive and taste just like a fondant cake.

“Desserts or cakes that are eggless and made out of low sugar items are indeed a good option for vegans. We use olive oil as substitutes for eggs,” says Tan Wei Loon, Asia Pastry Champion who was present at the launch of the pastry academy.

With over 30 million people in India diagnosed with diabetes, the focus now seem to be shifting to alternative options to satisfy the sugar rush.

Alternatives for bakery items include whole wheat as opposed to refined wheat or sugar free items that use stevia syrup.

Stevia, a plant that works as a very healthy sweetening agent has been recommended for those who suffer from high blood pressure and obesity.

“Yes, we do make vegetarian patisserie for our customers, but that is only on certain occasion since it is very time consuming because they are prepared without eggs. And surely for a country like India, I would love to do so, as many of them want to have vegetarian dishes,” says Ewald Notter, the World Pastry Champion.

“Right now people are mostly health conscious, curious non-vegans and many can’t imagine how cheesecake can be made without dairy cream cheese or even cheese spread without cow’s milk!,” says Loon.

Plenty of pure vegetarian eateries and restaurants in India cater to the “lacto-vegetarians” or those who consume cow’s milk and its derivatives.

“India really deserves an International Pastry school as 60 % of the executive pastry chefs and pastry instructors go to Malaysia for enhancing their skills and knowledge,” says Niklesh Sharma.

The Malaysia-based Academy of Pastry Arts says it wants to attract aspirants who wish to learn the art of elegant pastry making which even specialises in baking for vegans.

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