D IS FOR DAIRY-FREE

January 19, 2017

As soon as you start baking food to be free from a particular ingredient, it suddenly becomes problematic for another allergen.  Substitute flour with ground almonds and you make it gluten-free but now it contains nuts.  Take out butter and replace it with margarine and you make it dairy-free but now it contains soya.

So it was a real find to discover that baking gluten-free cakes doesn’t mean you can’t also go dairy-free (easily, I might add).

The mistake that so many people make is to take a recipe they’ve always used and then substitute the ingredient they can’t have.

But food doesn’t always work like that.

Anyone who did Domestic Science (cough, cough, mentioning no ages) knows that different ingredients create different structures, and using an alternative to dairy follows this rule.

Take butter.  Using margarine has always been a cheaper alternative.  But it means adjusting.  Make a ‘buttercream’ icing and you don’t have to add as much milk.  Do so and you’ll get something resembling scrambled eggs (udge).   How do you take your pancakes?  Use oil in the pan and the texture on the pancake’s not the same (and it’s always pleasurable creating that lace effect around the edges).

So what’s the answer with cake?

Oil.

Really?!

Yes, and most oils work well, although you’d be well-advised to avoid Olive Oil as the flavour isn’t quite right.

So find yourself a cake recipe that uses oil and make sure you substitute milk for soya milk and you’ll be well on your way to creating a sumptuous dairy-free cake, and I dare you to challenge anyone to guess what’s “missing”!!!

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