We have all scoured the vegan section of our local grocer looking for different non dairy replacements for some of our favorite fixes (I am still waiting for vegan cottage cheese ;). But the honest truth is there are very limited options, EVEN in the bay area. It’s why I began researching how to make my own vegan butter, I mean… who doesn’t love food science? A year ago I was making a good amount of money working for a non profit, and every wednesday after my meeting in San Francisco I would rush to Rainbow Grocery Collective to purchase any weird powder I could get my hands on knowing someday I would find a use and be able to utilize my ingredients.
Notes on Xantham Gum:
Xantham Gum is in everything from make up to salad dressing. It is perfect for gluten free baking because it is derived from sugar, and is a thickener/ emulsifier. It is created by fermentation of sucrose, glucose, or lactose…so make sure that your xanthan gum is produced by one of the first two. With regards to this butter it allows it to spread more easily.
Notes on Soy Lecithin:
Lecithins are natural oils found in most plants and eggs. Everyone seems to cringe nowadays when they hear the word soy, it has such a bad rap. The truth is that, yes, the plant is dangerous but only in the hands of companies like Monsanto. Soy lecithin like xanthan gum is in most products, especially chocolate. It has emulsification properties which means that it “holds” the chocolate together. Make sure when sourcing that you are finding soy lecithin that is non gmo. In regards to the vegan butter it helps keep it together.
I have a coworker who is obsessively asking me for vegan croissants, and to be honest, I can’t blame him! The last time he got vegan croissants was in Paris. Don’t get too excited as I will not be posting a croissant recipe until I fully understand the fundamentals. To create the vegan croissants for his order I have been experimenting with various vegan butters, and most of the work has already been done. There is a man in brooklyn who has created a whole plethora of vegan butters that you can make at home. I rushed off to the store yesterday so I could make some European style cultured butter with some yogurt, but when I opened the yogurt I found something very different from the creamy deliciousness I was looking for. In the mood to make butter I switched my game plan to this White Chocolate Vegan Butter, the perfect accompaniment to toast, or inside some danishes.
White Chocolate Vegan Butter:
2 Tablespoons + 2 teaspoons soy milk
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
¼ + 1/8 teaspoon salt
½ cup + 1 Tablespoons + 1 teaspoon (115 grams) cocoa butter, melted
2 Tablespoons canola oil, safflower oil or sunflower oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1/2 vanilla bean
2 teaspoons amber agave syrup
2 1/4 tsp granulated soy lecithin
¼ teaspoon xanthan gum
1. Mix the soy milk, vinegar, and salt in a small bowl. Whisk with a fork and let sit for 10 min to curdle.
2. Meanwhile melt the cocoa butter in a small saucepan and turn off when you have a few chunks left as to leave the temperature as close to room temp as possible (this will make for a softer butter). Let sit until all chunks have melted and the mixture is homogenous. Add the cocoa butter and canola oil to a food processor.
3. Add the soy mixture as well as the rest of the ingredients and turn on the food processor for 2-3 minutes scraping down the sides of the bowl twice.
4. Pour into a mold (see above picture) and place in the freezer. The butter should be ready to use in about an hour. Store in an airtight container for 1 month in the fridge or in the freezer for a year! Makes 2 vegan butter sticks.
When I make butter at home, I love to make Danishes. I might just use this butter in a pie crust or a pan au chocolate. Here are some of my first croissants which will appear later on my blog!