Here's a good story:
This woman who I knew to be a organic only vegan calls me for a cake (I knew when I heard the message this was going to be a nightmare!). She is finding herself too busy to make this cake. She asked if I used whole wheat flour, etc. I told her you just can't make a good cake using those ingredients, and that there is no call for them in our area, but I did make allergen free cakes. No, she wants all organic.
So., she wants a 1/4 sheet cake (tiny) and she's drilling me as to what specific ingredients I use. Then she tells me she will drive the 1/2 hour drop off organic eggs, milk and butter for me to use. Next question will I deliver to her 30 minutes away. I said yes for $30.00 (trying to avoid the trip!). Next we talk about decorating. She said leave it white, because her kids want candy like M&M's, etc! I said "You let your kids eat M&M's?" She said on special occasions! This is after she said no to fondant because of the animal byproducts in gelatin! Well, of course at the end of the conversation she says she is just checking things out right now, not to do anything, but that she will get back to me! How did I know?!!! You gotta laugh!
Sounds like trouble. Go with your gut.
Run Away This cake sounds like way more trouble than its worth
I don't want to start anything. But just wanted to say that you CAN make a darned good cake using vegan ingredients. And in fact, for my boyfriend I regularly make whole wheat cakes using natural sweeteners and organic ingredients.
Given they quite a bit more expensive than normal cakes. They are not the exact same texture. But they can be quite exquisite and yummy.
also, many vegan parents allow their children to make food choices, and to eat non vegan food for special occasions. but she may not have wanted to fondant because she wanted to eat some of the cake herself, sans candy.
a tip on making a good whole wheat cake, use whole wheat pastry flour. use less than called for, and substitute corn starch for some of the missing. (use roughly the same formula for substituting AP flour for cake flour.)
I think its very nice of her to deliver the ingredients you would need. But if you think its too much you should just say so.
I agree with alien sunset, I use lots of organic products with no trouble. Now days you can find almost any product in an organic version. Even organic white flour at some speciality stores. However, I would never ask someone else to do this for me just because it can be a lot of trouble to say, buy a whole bag of organic sugar for one cake. I try to have my family eat MOSTly organic and natural but if theres a time to splurge the birthday cake would be it!! again alien sunset your right about the major increase in cost!! It really can break the bank
You might suggest that if she has a Wild Oats or Whole Foods nearby maybe they make speciality cakes like this
I have no issue with organic, don't get me wrong. I also have a daughter who is allergic to dairy and eggs so I make my share of allergen free desserts with white flour and sugar. However, I have personally yet to have a delicious, great mouthfeel cake, great crumb with whole wheat flour and liquid sweeteners. There is a big difference between straight Vegans (which in essence my daughter is almost one) to a complete organic vegan. That is all that I was pointing out. Thanks snicker for pointing out about the natural food store. Although I have tried some vegan things from the local one, and they were downright awful! I will definately point her in that direction, because honestly, I don't think anyone can make her happy unless she baked it herself.
Izzybee...I think I may have misunderstood at some point, but she uses organic eggs for her cakes? I have never found a truly vegan egg substitute & would lovee to know how she gets organic eggs. My SiL is an organic vegan, but she doesn't touch any eggs & even selective about her vegan milk & butters. I can't afford the stuff, but she fixes everything organic. She uses homemade applesauce instead of eggs in her cakes.
That is so funny! It didn't even occur to me that vegans not only don't eat eggs, they don't eat dairy either! My daugher, being allergic to both eats all soy stuff. And there is an egg substitute that you can put together or buy comprised of baking soda, oil and something else I can't remember. That's what I use for my daughters baked goods and it works very well.
Ha thats too funny. I have had a few interesting experiences like that...I've started experimenting with vegan/organic baking...and I'm getting my chocolate chip cookie recipe pretty darn good...I just need to figure out a way to get a little bit of a more brown sugar taste and I think they would pass as just "really good cookies" rather than "really good fat free sugar free dairy free cookies". My feeling is if I can make it taste as good, or better...I might as well make it healthy as possible. I have started using all natural sugar free (sometimes home-made, sometimes store bought) applesauce as an oil substitute for almost every cake--I think it gives it a lighter texture while retaining all the moisture and not taking away from the taste.
I had a client make me crazy about organic/vegan food colorings for their wedding cake...they wanted me to use all berry extracts which (1) all end up looking brownish and (2) dont really taste as yummy as you imagine they will....
Then we got to the wedding, and it had a CARVING STATION and seafood. I almost choked.
I about died laughing when I read Mikaza's post. Don't you love it?!
too funny mikaza!! Make sure you send me that cookie recipe when you get it perfected. My daughter would love it!
Well, I'll post what I have so far...and maybe you have some suggestions on how to make it better!!
It is based off a recipe from Sweet and Natural by Meredith McCarty
1 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup unbleached white flour
1/2 cup malt-sweetened chocolate chips
1/2 cup vegan bittersweet chocolate chips (I use Safeway brand)
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp sea salt (I usually omit this, but sometimes I use it)
1/2 c. unsweeted applesauce
1/4 c. brown rice syrup
1/4 c. maple syrup (I have also used double apple sauce and omitted this, but I think it adds a nice sweetness to keep it in)
1/2 c. water
2 tsp. vanilla
Preheat oven to 350. Line baking sheets with parchment. Mix all dry ingredients in one bowl, wet in another, then combine. I use a wooden spoon to mix. Then I use the 2 teaspoon method (regular tableware teaspoons...one to scoop the other to push it onto the cookie sheet!) and place about 2 inches apart on sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes. These cookies do NOT really brown like regular chocolate chip cookies, so at about 10 or 12 minutes, check for springy-ness. You want them to dent a bit when you touch but sort of rebound too--if that makes sense!?!?
I am thinking that next time I make them I will try adding a little bit of brown sugar substitute or some cinnamon...I think that they have great texture, and a bit of a sweet taste...but I really crave that brown sugar-y taste!! Any suggestions?
mikaza, have you tried adding a little molasses (unsulfered) to the cookies to give it a more brown sugar taste?
molasses is what makes brown sugar brown afterall.
hahah no, I havent tried molases yet...I'm having a "DUH" moment right now...hehehe.
I was a little confused after you mentioned that she was vegan but wanted a cake that included dairy and eggs. Guess shes not a strict vegan.
I may be doing a vegan wedding cake this August for a couple. They have a family member who is a pastry chef but refused to do their cake saying you couldnt get a good tasting vegan cake and she didnt want to fool with it. Im finding it very easy to make vegan cakes. Although Im not using whole wheat flour either. This weekend Im making the mudcake recipe vegan style. Well see how well it turns out.
Good luck with your client. What shes asking doesnt really make much sense to me. Vegan but has animal products in it, organic but wants M&Ms on it. Weird stuff.
Okay, she doesn't have time to make the cake, but can drive 1/2 each way to drop off the supplies?
I have heard that gelatin can be replaced by Agar agar, that is if you are making from scratch.
and if you don't feel like playing with agar-agar (I have trouble finding it in my area)
you can try rolled buttercream.