Creating clean label better-for-you cakes can be quite complex – getting the right taste, texture, lightness and indulgence while eliminating ingredients like eggs and milk is a tricky situation, as every baker knows. Offering it as a bake-at-home cake mix makes it even more challenging.
However, according to Palsgaard, with the right emulsifiers, some other special ingredients and a bit of know-how, this can be achieved. The ingredients specialist has launched a new ingredient blend – called SE 8102 – specifically for this purpose.
Global application manager Haydee Carlos outlines the challenges in creating tasty, moist and fluffy eggless or vegan cakes.
“Egg is a unique product that has a tenderising and toughening property at the same time. It gives the structure and softness that is typically attributed to cakes,” said Carlos.
“The challenge is how to replace the eggs with plant-based alternative without compromising on these attributes.”
Until now, a typical dairy-based alternative to replace egg has been whey protein concentrate. However, said Carlos, this is not suitable for plant-based or vegan cakes.
“This is where ingredients like flax seeds, chia seeds, tofu, aquafaba and different combination of starches come into play.”
Key to egg replacement
Palsgaard claims that, with the right emulsifies and special ingredients, creating a sumptuous free from cake can be achieve. We asked Carlos to explain.
“Bakers need to know that using just a single solution for a complex natural product like egg will not result in a similar structure, however, an emulsifier will give the aeration that is missing when eggs are removed. It also gives the softness that is expected of a vegan or plant-based cake. An emulsifier formulated with the combination of plant proteins is the key to egg replacement.”
The plant-based trend is currently enjoying a trajectory growth. Despite this though, Carlos said there are very few cake mixes on the supermarket shelves that have been specifically developed for use in plant-based products, although retail cake mix by itself usually does not contain egg and milk typically has also been removed for addition during baking at home.
Palsgaard SE 8102 was specifically developed for use in vegan or egg-less cake mixes. It’s a mixture of soy protein, wheat protein, vegetable fibre, xanthan gum (E415) and guar gum (E412), and best used in combination with our Emulpals range of powder whipping emulsifiers.
It can replace 100% of a cake’s egg content, which, of course, makes it plant-based, a trend that is currently enjoying a trajectory growth.
“Our product can help cake mix manufacturers develop a complete product. All the home baker has to add is water."
The meeting of minds
Carlos said the new blend was developed by Palsgaard’s R&D company Nexus, in combination with the three application centres located in Denmark, Mexico and Singapore.
“Palsgaard is already well versed on powder whipping emulsifiers, and to create SE 8102, this was combined with the study of plant proteins, fibres and hydrocolloids. Aside from developing the egg replacer, application of this product was studied in different types of bakery products like sponges, muffin, brownies and other indulgent, plant-based treats.”
Carlos added, “We’ve already done the trials for you, you just need to bake the plant-based cake and eat it.”
Palsgaard has introduced four new recipe concepts that highlight the ways cake mix manufacturers can respond to the better-for-you trend.
“Cakes are typically high in fat, but they don’t have to contain the unhealthiest fats,” said Rikke Bloch, senior application specialist at Palsgaard.
“Switching from margarine to liquid oil is one of the best places to start if you want a healthier cake mix, because something that’s low in saturated fat is going to be much better for the heart.”
The company recommends using Emulpals 115, a whipping emulsifier that provides efficient aeration and builds a uniform crumb structure, along with OilBinder 01, a stabiliser that reduces oil leakage. As well as being low in saturated fat, the cakes offer additional health benefits.
“We wanted to show how innovative you can be when it comes to creating cake mixes with liquid oil. But you can’t do it without a good emulsifier,” said Bloch.
Emulpals 115 delivers aeration in a few minutes, a great choice for people who don’t want to spend 10 minutes with a hand blender, while OilBinder 01 keeps the oil in the mix and will create a cake with the same properties but with a considerable decrease in saturated fats.
Concept 1: Gluten-free choux pastry
Normally, the process for making choux pastry is fairly complicated: heating water with the margarine, then adding the flour and beating in the eggs. With Emulpals and Oilbinder 01, this can be done in one step without any machinery. Even a child can do it at home.
Concept 2: Olive oil cake
Palsgaard’s next concept makes the most of olive oil’s benefits, being rich in antioxidants and healthy fats. It also has the added advantage of giving a great crumb structure and mouthfeel.
Concept 3: Easy-bake almond shortcrust pie
Palsgaard’s third concept features almonds, touted to boost energy, improve memory, offer anti-ageing benefits, improve digestion and promote bone health. Bakers just add the dry ingredients to the liquid ones and stir the batter for two minutes. The dough can hold a range of different filling types, like fruit and jam, and delivers good crumb structure and mouthfeel.
Concept 4: Reduced-fat chocolate mud cake
Palsgaard’s final concept is a super-moist chocolate cake. Unlike the traditional mud cake on which it is based, it contains oil rather than butter, and cocoa instead of chocolate, and can be mixed using the simple all-in-one method. The resulting cake has a great texture, structure and mouthfeel.