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Saturday, October 15, 2011

THE VERSAWHIPPED CREME RECIPE (STILL IN PROGRESS)-- A READER REQUEST

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Oct. 21, 2011--  See the newer, improved version of this at this newer blog post.

Well, I know I've kept some interested parties waiting for a few years, but I think it's time to get this recipe-in-progress out there and maybe someone can improve upon it (and if you  do-- let me know!).  I've written about the product Versawhip 600K™ several times on this blog before and promised a recipe would be forthcoming. By way of an explanation for the long delay, here's what I wrote back in June of 2008: 
"For those of you who are waiting eagerly for the vegan whipped topping recipe that Julie Hasson and I have been working on, I'm afraid you will have to be patient! What we are working with is a product called Versawhip 600K, a soy product. It's not cheap, but, as I mentioned last month on my vegsource forum, you can get a pretty good price at L'Epicerie in New York City. [Update-- the links in this post are to amazon.com, where it is now available, and the 2 recipes that I have developed use no more than  4 teaspoons of the product, so it goes a long way.]...

We are working separately (we live in different countries!) and tossing ideas around by phone and email. My first batch was pretty good, and certainly looked good, but was lacking in several departments. I haven't had as much time as I would like to to work on this, and other ideas I have for using this product, so my progress has been slow. Today (rather guiltily) I spent most of the day on it (this included research on food science) and had to throw out two experiments. That is the nature of recipe development, and this product is particularly tricky-- there is a steep learning curve! Recipe development begins in your head, and ends in the kitchen, but in between, you crack open the books, you do online research-- it takes time. This is particularly true in alot of vegan cooking because you need to know what you are aiming for, and then how to achieve that with products that act differently from the ones you used as an omni! If you are a perfectionist, it may take even longer!"

Well, long-story-short, Versawhip 600K™ proved to be a bit more problematic than we expected!

Versawhip 600K™ is a "pure enzymatically treated soy protein which can be hydrated with water and whipped to make a foam. Can replace egg-albumin or gelatin...", to quote one online vendor. (The product also contains seaweed-derived alginates.)  And several vegan chefs have done their homework and discovered that Versawhip 600K™ IS, indeed, vegan and also kosher (some of the other Versawhip™ products are not). It is used mostly in Molecular Gastronomy and is a hydrocolloid. It definitely has potential for vegans, but it has alot of quirks.  It does not fluff up in the presence of fats, for instance.  It seems to like the presence of sugar, however. Perhaps this is the weakness of the whipped creme recipe-- you don't want to make it too sweet!

Julie developed a marshmallow recipe and a soft meringue recipe using this product, both excellent. I had success with a marshmallow creme recipe (which I call "Marshie Fluff" as they do Down Under) and posted it on my blog here.  However, I must tell you that I'm still am not satisfied with the "whipped creme" recipe.  I did two further experiments today and the last one is the one I will share with you here, as I promised one of my readers, Stephanie-- but be aware that it has  flaws.  It makes a good topping (and very low in fat) for fruits or desserts that are going to be eaten immediately, but you can't leave it sitting for long because it seems to weaken and lose both its volume and shiny, creamy quality (although, if it's refrigerated, you can whip it up nicely again).

So, with some trepidation, I present it in its latest incarnation. As I said before, feel free to experiment-- just keep me posted!

BRYANNA'S VERSAWHIPPED CREME (OCT.15, 2011), IN PROGRESS
   Yield: about 3 cups
IMPORTANT NOTE— Fresh or canned coconut milk [even the "lite" type] does not work with this mixture. Versawhip 600K™ does not seem to do well with fat, and coconut milk is quite high in fat. () Tofu also makes it refuse to whip up—even as little as 3 tablespoons!

Mixture A:  
1/4 cup    soymilk or other nondairy milk (NOT coconut milk but UPDATE-- So Delicious Coconut Beverage, which is low in fat, works!)  
1/2 teaspoon    agar powder  
Mixture B:  
1/4 cup    soymilk or other nondairy milk (NOT coconut milk!)  
1/2 tablespoon    pure vanilla extract   
1/2 teaspoon    lemon juice  
6 tablespoons    organic powdered sugar  
1/2 teaspoon organic grated lemon zest  
Mixture C: (have this measured out ahead of time)  
2 teaspoons    Versawhip 600K  
1 pinch    table salt  
  
Mixture A:
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.
Mixture B:
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 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 (the Versawhip and salt) 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 Versawhip 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.  











Use immediately or scoop into a container, cover and refrigerate. It will look more airy after a time in the fridge, and lose volume, so, just before serving, whip it in the mixer (or with a hand-held beater) again until it recovers its volume and creaminess, and use immediately.  I'm not sure how long it will last in the fridge, to be honest.

Nutrition (per 1/2-cup serving): 44.4 calories; 3% calories from fat; 0.2g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 67.3mg sodium; 33.5mg potassium; 9.2g carbohydrates; 0.1g fiber; 8.5g sugar; 9.1g net carbs; 1.1g protein; 0.9 points. 


Happy experimenting!


6 comments:

Kristina @ spabettie said...

I love versawhip 600k! I used it to make a macaron... while I am not COMPLETELY done with the recipe, I am very excited about how the three batches have turned out so far.

I may try your recipe - it would be nice for the holidays... when I try I will report back! :)

Tammy said...

Thanks for sharing your experience and creativity. Very interesting to understand a bit more of the behind the scenes process of vegan food creation....

Vegiegail said...

Yay! Thank you for sharing the recipe, Bryanna! I've been waiting for this! I'm definitely going to try making it with So Delicious Coconut Milk. It has roughly the same amount of fat as soy milk, so it should work great. I will let you know the results, for sure!

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

I look forward to your experiment, Gail! Not being able to leave well enough alone, I had a brainwave today, so I'm going to try one more thing and will post it if it works. (I'm trying to get it to a point where it will hold up for long and not deflate so fast.)

Anonymous said...

If you add xantham gum it should help it hold longer.

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

That's what I did, anonymous-- see this ost: http://veganfeastkitchen.blogspot.com/2011/10/updated-and-improved-versawhipped-creme.html
But I'm afaid to add to much or you get that "gummy" mouthfeel.