Friday, October 21, 2011
UPDATED AND IMPROVED VERSAWHIPPED CREME
I fnally posted my in-progress recipe for a low-fat, fluffy, light vegan "whipped creme" made with the product Versawhip 600K™ almost a week ago. Please go to that blog post to read more about the product and the story behind this recipe and its development (as well as where to buy Versawhip 600K™).
RETHINKING THE RECIPE:
I was thinking about that recipe all week because the main failing of the recipe is that it won't hold it's fluffy texture for very long. The air seem to go out of it. Mind you, you can beat the air into it again and it's good as new. But this bothers me anyway and I was looking for an improvement, if not a solution.
Look at what happened when I left the batch from that last post in the refrigerator for about 5 days, which I did on purpose just to see if it would whip up again after so long. It went from this:
To this in 5 days of refrigeration:
I whipped it up again with a hand-held beater and it got right back in shape!
But I got to thinking about something I had read when I was researching xanthan gum in relation to gluten-free baking. I read in one article: "Xanthan gum can be used to thicken or stabilize liquids, suspensions or emulsions...Xanthan gum is a hydrocolloid (link) which means it works by controlling the structure of water within foods and liquids. Its long, chain-like, molecules increase the thickness and viscosity of liquids."
Pondering this gem of information, I wondered if a tiny bit of xanthan gum, in addition to the slightly larger amount of agar I had used in the last batch, might be able to provide enough structure to hold in the air that is beaten into the mixture. I also thought a tiny bit more sugar might help because Versawhip 600K™ seems to react well with sugar. It was worth a try, and the recipe below is the result, which is still not perfect, but IS improved. (The little bit of extra powdered sugar did not make it overly sweet, by the way-- it actually improved the flavor.)
BRYANNA'S VERSAWHIPPED CREME, TAKE 3 (OCT.21, 2011)
Yield: 3 cups
IMPORTANT NOTES— Fresh or canned coconut milk [even the "lite" type], or homemade full-fat nut milks do not work with this mixture. Versawhip 600K™ does not seem to do well with fat (it deflates the mixture), and coconut or nut milk is too high in fat. However, commercial soy milks or nut milks (such as Silk Almond or Almond Breeze) and So Delicious® Coconut Milk Beverage work because they are quite low in fat. Tofu also makes it refuse to whip up—even as little as 3 tablespoons!
Please follow the steps, timing and combinations as outlined in the recipe.
1/4 cup soymilk (homemade or commercial) or other nondairy milk (Please read Notes above.)
1/2 teaspoon agar powder
1/4 cup original or unsweetened soymilk or other nondairy milk (Please read Notes above.)
1/2 tablespoon pure vanilla extract or vanilla paste
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 cup organic powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon organic grated lemon zest
Mixture C: (have this measured out ahead of time)
2 teaspoons Versawhip 600K
1/8 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 pinch table salt
Mix the 1/4 cup soymilk and the agar powder together in a deep 2 cup heat-proof bowl (the size is important because the mixture boils up). Mix with a small whisk or fork. Let stand while you proceed.
Place Mixture B ingredients in the bowl of your stand mixer with a whip attachment that touches the bottom of the bowl, or in a bowl that you can use with an electric hand-held mixer (do NOT use an immersion/stick blender).
Combining A, B and C:
Whisk Mixture A again and then microwave at 50% power for 30 seconds. Whisk and repeat once. (IF YOU HAVE NO MICROWAVE, place the bowl in a small to medium saucepan which will accommodate it [use a canning jar ring or something similar to rest the bowl on] and which contains enough simmering water to come about halfway up the sides of the bowl. Stir the mixture constantly with a small whisk until the agar is dissolved and thickened and feel silky when rubbed between your fingertips, not grainy.)
WORKING QUICKLY, scoop the cooked agar mixture into Mixture B in the mixer bowl, using a small spatula to get all of it out of the bowl or pan. Dump in Mixture C and immediately (this is important!) start beating at medium speed for a few seconds. Stop and quickly scrape the sides of the bowl downward so that all of the powder gets incorporated into the liquids. Quickly turn the machine on again and beat on high speed for 4 minutes.
The creme will increase in volume by about 5 times, and should be white and fluffy and hold a peak. You can use it immediately or scoop it into a bowl or container, cover and refrigerate. If you serve it immediately it will not be cold, but it will be the consistency of whipped crème. If you refrigerate it first, it will lose some of the air that was beaten into it, so you will need to beat it in a stand mixer or with a hand-held electric mixer (NOT an immersion/stick blender) back to its original fluffy condition. But it will be cold—it’s up to you.
It will look more airy after a time in the fridge.
BEFORE SERVING AFTER REFRIGERATION (IMPORTANT):
Whip again until the volume increases again and it is creamy and smooth. Use immediately.
This was analyzed using soy milk; it will be lower in fat and calories using some other non-dairy milks.
Nutrition (per 1/2 cup serving): 55.8 calories; 3% calories from fat; 0.2g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 80.6mg sodium; 37.4mg potassium; 10.4g carbohydrates; 0.1g fiber; 9.9g sugar; 10.3g net carbs; 1.3g protein; 1.1 points.
To finish off this particular experiment, topped a couple of pumpkin cupcakes with some of the Versawhipped Creme and left one in the refrigerator overnight.
This is a freshly iced one:
This is after spending a night in the refrigerator:
It actually spent all day in the fridge as well (we just split it) and looked pretty much the same as when I took this photo. And the stored second batch of Versawhipped Creme? This is what it looked like after a day and a half in the refrigerator:
Compare it to the first batch:
There is quite an improvement, even if it isn't perfect (yet!). It's tricky stuff, that Versawhip.