First attempts at using flax eggs - simnel muffins and coconut bread
For some reason, I have of late, and whereof I know not, become particularly keen to cook with flax eggs. I have no idea what's inspired this interest in all things flax (though if you were to guess it's because I have a bag of flax seed in the cupboard in need of using, you may not be entirely wrong.)
I've not used flax in anything before, but for a first attempt I decided that cake might be in order, and a simnel cake at that.
Do you have simnel cake where you're from? It's a British cake, but I'm not sure if it's slipped the moorings and taken off for stardom and popularity abroad.
For those simnel-unfamiliar among you, it's a fruity, spicy cake traditionally made at Easter (yes, it's taken me that long to get around to posting this) and it's normally covered with marzipan. There are 11 marzipan balls on top, a nod to the 12 apostles minus Judas, who's forever been bumped from his shot at cake glory. The Wikipedia link to simnel cake is here if you're interested. (And it's still there if you're not.)
That all sounded like too much hard work though, so I wrapped all the usual simnel ingredients - sultanas, mixed peel, cinnamon, nutmeg and the requisite marzipan - into a few muffins.
Flax got in on the act as an egg replacer, and here's what happened next:
Taste and texture wise, not bad, not bad at all. There wasn't a whole lot of rising, and the top was a bit crusty from being left in the oven too long, but you can't have everything. (Well, OK, you can, but you have to be a better cook than I am.)
After that Easter-themed rush of blood to the head, I had to cook MOAR FLAX CAKE. And for that, I turned to a recipe from Bill Granger that had been in The Independent a while back. (For some reason I can't find it on the Indy's website, but this appears to be the same one.)
It's not a vegan recipe, but the substitutions aren't hard - almond milk for milk, vegan margarine for butter, and those all important flax eggs for the eggs.
This turned out much better - a load of rising, and a delicious soft cake. It even convinced the other half that coconut could be good, after many years of confirmed coconut hating. Score!
More flax experiments are definitely on the way...