Gastronomixs

Vegan dessert

Vegan (noun)
Plural: Vegans
A person who does not eat or use animal products.
(Source: Oxford Dictionaries)

As the number of reservations with specific dietary requirements are increasing, it is up to the chef to be able to cater to those needs. A vegan diet is quite a challenge for most chefs when it comes to making a dessert composition, as you suddenly have to come up with something that does not require dairy or eggs; the very ingredients contained in most desserts.

When creating a vegan composition, it is just as important to think in terms of which products can be used, as it is to think of those products which cannot be used. Almond milk or coconut cream are excellent substitutes for dairy, agave syrup can replace honey, the liquid from chickpeas can be used to replace egg whites, and agar agar can substitute gelatin.

In many components a stabiliser or emulsifying agent such as pro-espuma, pro-sorbet, or pro-crema are needed. However, these products contain milk proteins and cannot be used in a vegan composition. Luckily there are a number of products available that serve the same function and that meet all the vegan requirements. These include cortina, sucro, gellan gum, and super neutrose. Once you research the properties of these products, you'll see that they are excellent substitutes.

Just by doing a little research into the options and possibilities, a vegan composition can be made relatively easily with these components. Take this dessert with pineapple, coconut, lychee, and citrus, for example. Six of the eight components can be used just as they are. In the sorbet made from Napoleon sweets (hard sour lemon-flavoured candy balls), the stabiliser pro-espuma has been replaced with super neutrose and the gelatin in the lychee tartare has simply been left out.

Serves 8.

Vegan dessert

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Ingredients

300

ml

sugar water

250

g

white wine (sweet)

450

g

water

75

g

sugar

200

g

Napoleon sweets, lemon flavour (or other hard sour lemon-flavoured candy balls)

1

tsp

agar agar

10

g

super neutrose

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400

g

coconut milk

125

g

sugar water

5.8

g

agar agar

24

g

lime juice

0.8

g

gellan gum

1

tsp

ginger syrup

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250

g

lychees, fresh

25

g

Japanese pickled ginger

1

cm

chilli pepper

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250

g

dried coconut

100

g

flour

1

g

ground cardamom

125

g

coconut milk

150

g

sugar

200

g

calamondin juice

250

g

sugar water (1:1)

4.5

g

agar agar

 

 

neutral oil

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1

 

pineapple

100

ml

white wine

150

ml

water

250

g

sugar

2

 

cinnamon sticks

1

 

vanilla pod

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500

g

pineapple, peeled

150

g

sugar

1

 

lime, juice and zest

1

 

vanilla pod

As needed:

 

sugar water (1:1)

As needed:

 

xanthan gum

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Preparation method: pineapple cooked sous vide with spices
  • Preheat the sous vide system to exactly 83°C.
  • Bring the white wine, water, sugar, and spices to the boil.
  • Leave to infuse next to the heat for half an hour.
  • Peel the pineapple and cut into quarters.
  • Remove the core and slice each quarter into long strips. Save the cut-offs for the gazpacho.
  • Pull vacuum the pineapple with the liquid.
  • Cook for one hour at 83°C.
  • Cool over iced water and allow to ripen in the refrigerator.
Preparation method: pineapple gazpacho
  • Place the chopped pineapple in the thermo blender together with the sugar, the lime juice and zest, and the vanilla seeds scraped out of the pod.
  • Mix at full power for one minute.
  • If the pineapple is too sour, sweeten the gazpacho with a little sugar water.
  • Bring the liquid to the boil and pour through a passing cloth to create a clear gazpacho.
  • Allow to cool and bind with xanthan gum to a jus-like thickness.
  • Store in the refrigerator.
Preparation method: sorbet of Napoleon hard sour lemon-flavoured candy balls
  • Dissolve the Napoleon sweets and the sugar in the liquids over a low heat.
  • Add the agar agar and bring to the boil whilst stirring.
  • Add the super neutrose and stir with a whisk until it is dissolved.
  • Set to cool.
  • Churn into ice cream in a sorbetière and store in the freezer at -14˚C.
Preparation method: coconut gel
  • Boil all the ingredients together, except for the lime juice.
  • Pour out the mixture and leave to firm up.
  • Mix the firm mixture in the blender together with the lime juice until completely smooth.
  • Transfer to a piping bag with a smooth nozzle and keep in the refrigerator until use.
Preparation method: lychee tartare
  • Clean and finely chop the lychees.
  • Repeat this process with the ginger and garlic.
  • Mix everything together and marinate at room temperature for at least half an hour.
  • Pour everything into a sieve and set aside to allow all the liquid to drain. 
Preparation method: coconut macaroon
  • Weigh all ingredients together in a bowl.
  • Knead until the dough is smooth and sticks together.
  • Roll out the dough between two silicon mats.
  • Bake at 140˚C until nice and brown all-round.
  • Allow to cool and store in an air-tight container.
Preparation method: calamondin pearls
  • Pour a layer of oil into a container and put in the freezer.           
  • Mix the calamondin juice with the sugar water and agar agar and bring to the boil whilst stirring with a whisk.
  • Pour the liquid into a squeeze bottle and keep warm.
  • Take the oil from the freezer. The oil should be cold but not set.
  • Drip pearls of the liquid into the cold oil.
  • Make sure that the oil is cold enough, or the pearls will blend together or sink to the bottom and form a flat side.
  • Sieve the pearls from the oil and store in the refrigerator until needed.
Finishing & presentation
  • Lightly scorch the pineapple with a kitchen torch and place on a plate.
  • Arrange the lychee tartare, calamondin pearls, coconut jelly, and Napoleon sorbet around the pineapple.
  • Break the coconut macaroon into pieces and add to the composition.
  • Pour the pineapple gazpacho over the dessert at the table.

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