Tag Archive for vegan desserts

Coconut Milk Substitutes

A couple weeks back, I was craving a vegan dessert that used coconut milk as its base. Now, normally, I keep a can of coconut milk in my cupboard at all times. It’s easy enough to do–shelf-stable, and good for so many applications–both savoury and sweet.

But for some reason that day, my cupboard was coconut-milk free! I had used up my last can and not replaced it.

Coconut Milk Substitutes

So I started thinking about substitutions. What could I substitute for that can of coconut milk?

There are surprisingly quite a few options. I tried them all out, and here’s what I found:

  1. Make your own coconut milk. Click here to learn how.
  2. Use a powdered coconut milk. I bought mine at the Bulk Barn, but there are several large manufacturers who also sell it in grocery stores. I’ve seen Grace Brand, for example, in my local Loblaws. Basically, you use a couple tablespoons of the powder and stir it into water or another non-dairy milk.
  3. Pure Creamed Coconut. This little pouch contains the milk, solids and fat from the coconut, so it gives you a more balanced coconut milk. Again, you just add a few tablespoons to water to create your coconut milk. It’s available in grocery stores beside the canned coconut milk.

 

I tried all 3 coconut milks, and examined them both for texture (thickness, creaminess, etc) and taste against canned coconut milk, and of the 3, the Pure Creamed Coconut was my favorite.

While I like the idea of making my own coconut milk, it does leave behind a lot of solids, and unless you use those solids in some cookies or energy balls, that means waste.

The coconut milk powder that I bought required me to mix it in with a non-dairy milk. I didn’t like this idea for two reasons: first off, you have to have non dairy milk on hand, and you may not. Secondly, the coconut milk just tasted like cashew milk (which was the base milk I mixed it into). What I have to experiment with is mixing the coconut milk powder into water and seeing how that turns out.

The Pure Creamed Coconut was my fave and the most like canned coconut milk of the three. However, there were a few small solids in there, so just be aware that it may not be as smooth and creamy as your regular canned coconut milk.

One last tip: if you are using pure creamed coconut, it helps to soak the unopened pouch in a bowl of hot water for 5 minutes or so before you use it to soften it up.

Have you used coconut milk substitutes? What’s your favorite? Let me know in the comments below.

Vegan Eton Mess

Ya gotta love the British. Only from the country that gave us mushy peas could there come a dessert called Eton Mess.

The British love their layered desserts. Take, for example, the trifle: layers of cake interspersed with macerated fruit, whipped cream, and sometimes booze. There’s truly nothing not to like about that.

Vegan Eton Mess

Eton Mess is another example of a British dessert that sounds a bit… dodgy, but is actually quite delicious.

It’s thought to have originated at Eton College (hence the name), but it is also kind of a messy dessert. It looks messy. But, like a trifle, all the working parts come together to result in something really tasty.

Regular Eton Mess is made by throwing together a few simple ingredients: strawberries, usually, though really any kind of nice summer fruit can do, berries especially. Secondly, there is a creamy element. This can be just whipped cream, or a mixture of whipped cream and Greek yogurt. Finally, there’s the textural element–and that is meringues or pavlovas. In fact, this dessert is a great excuse to use up leftover pavlovas or ones that have broken by mistake.

Now, of course this recipe is vegan, so that means no whipped cream, no greek yogourt, and no meringues (which are made with egg whites). However, that doesn’t mean you can’t make a really great version using zero animal products. Because you can.

Aquafaba (duh) is the star of this dish. You use it both in the meringues and also as a whipped cream replacement, and it performs brilliantly in both roles.

And yes, while it looks like a mess, it actually is really tasty. The chunks of pavlova add a nice crunchy textural element to what would otherwise be a very smooth and creamy dessert. Give it a try!

Vegan Eton Mess

Vegan Eton Mess

Ingredients

  • 2⁄3 cup aquafaba
  • 1⁄4 cup plus 2 tbsp granulated sugar (divided)
  • 1⁄4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla beans or 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 pint fresh strawberries or raspberries
  • 1 tsp white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 single-sized portion vegan yogurt

And here’s how to make it:

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