Finally, this week was the moment many of us have been waiting for – the vegan episode of the Great British Bake Off (GBBO)!
This was the first time in the hugely popular TV show’s nine-year history that contestants have been challenged to bake vegan-style; a sign of just how popular veganism is becoming.
With an audience of almost 6 million, the show undoubtedly introduced many people to just what can be achieved in the kitchen without using eggs or dairy. Not least of these, was GBBO judge Paul Hollywood who confessed that he hadn’t been too keen on the idea of a vegan round, but that it had shown him that it was ‘possible to create great-tasting food’.
The six contestants were challenged to create savoury tartlets with shortcrust pastry, tropical meringues and a celebration cake. Many of the usual vegan staples were in abundance in the white tent – coconut oil, aquafaba, nutritional yeast, falafel, hummus and cashew ‘cheese’.
Those who have been vegan for a while, may well be familiar with such ingredients but for the entirely non-vegan contestants, it was new territory – much as it is for new vegans. However, as the show demonstrated, the good news is that going vegan doesn’t mean going without – especially when it comes to cake!
As a vegan, you can still enjoy many sweet and savoury dishes, and if you are a keen baker, you can cook and bake a huge range of dishes involving everything from dairy-free buttercream and béchamel to sponge cakes and ganache.
For many, transitioning to veganism offers the opportunity to experiment with new ingredients and try new ways of making traditionally non-vegan dishes.