Sunday, 21 November 2010
Vegan MoFo - Mix v. Scratch: Battle GF Chocolate Chip Cookies
It's time once again for a Mix v. Scratch battle. And yet again, I have no pictures. I did this earlier in the week, and I forgot to take pictures. Sorry.
I should say from the start that gluten-free baking, for those who are unaware, can be temperamental. Also, it's one of the few times when tasting the batter or dough doesn't necessarily give you an idea of how the finished product will taste. So I kinda feel like you have a higher risk of failure, since it's harder to correct before you bake. You pretty much have to take it all the way to the end before you know whether or not you've done it right.
Battle Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies
The mix was from The Gluten Free Pantry:
How I made it vegan: I used Ener-G egg replacer for the egg and Pure sunflower margarine for the butter. I felt OK using the egg replacer this time because it only calls for one.
Time: Apart from having to stand there mixing for 3 minutes (and, of course, scooping out the cookies), this mix was pretty damn quick. It also didn't make very many servings, so I only had to bake two batches.
Initial results: The chips were a bit small, and they were thinner than I like. They were also quite sticky - they didn't even want to come off the parchment paper.
My taste test: These were actually quite nice. They had a good flavour and, despite being thin, were still pretty soft.
I made the basic chocolate chip cookie from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar, subbing Dove's Farm GF plain flour for the a-p flour. I could've sworn I'd made them GF successfully before, so I thought I was safe.
Time: It seems like chocolate chip cookies from scratch always take about 3 times longer to make than you feel they should. These took quite a while - first you have to cream the margarine and sugars together, and then you have to actually do all the scooping and baking of the cookies themselves. And since the recipe made about twice as much as the mix, the baking itself took a lot longer.
Initial results: Like I said, I thought I'd made these GF before, but I must have been wrong. The first batch was so oily - they spread really thin in the oven, and the rest of the dough was literally floating in oil. I ended up adding more flour to absorb the oil, which actually made it a little worse. I should've just left them alone and mixed the oil back in for each new batch.
My taste test: Despite that seeming failure, they were still quite good. I think I preferred the second batch - they weren't as oily and didn't flatten out, but they were less dry than the rest. Because they didn't flatten, they were a little doughy on the inside, which I actually really like.
The Verdict: I hate to say it, but most people preferred the mix. One other person (besides me) preferred the scratch ones, mostly because they had more and bigger chocolate chips. But everyone else thought the mix ones were better.
The best part, though, was when I asked if anyone could tell they were gluten-free, and everyone was in complete shock and said they never would've known the difference (for either cookie). That made me pretty happy - I can't hide the fact that my stuff is vegan since everyone knows I'm vegan, but I like to be able to surprise people with just what can be done when you have a restricted diet. So even though my scratch cookies didn't win, I was happy with the overall result.