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First attempts at using flax eggs - simnel muffins and coconut bread

For some reason, I have of late, and whereof I know not, become particularly keen to cook with flax eggs. I have no idea what's inspired this interest in all things flax (though if you were to guess it's because I have a bag of flax seed in the cupboard in need of using, you may not be entirely wrong.)

I've not used flax in anything before, but for a first attempt I decided that cake might be in order, and a simnel cake at that.

Do you have simnel cake where you're from? It's a British cake, but I'm not sure if it's slipped the moorings and taken off for stardom and popularity abroad.

For those simnel-unfamiliar among you, it's a fruity, spicy cake traditionally made at Easter (yes, it's taken me that long to get around to posting this) and it's normally covered with marzipan. There are 11 marzipan balls on top, a nod to the 12 apostles minus Judas, who's forever been bumped from his shot at cake glory. The Wikipedia link to simnel cake is here if you're interested. (And it's still there if you're not.)

That all sounded like too much hard work though, so I wrapped all the usual simnel ingredients - sultanas, mixed peel, cinnamon, nutmeg and the requisite marzipan - into a few muffins.

Flax got in on the act as an egg replacer, and here's what happened next:

Taste and texture wise, not bad, not bad at all. There wasn't a whole lot of rising, and the top was a bit crusty from being left in the oven too long, but you can't have everything. (Well, OK, you can, but you have to be a better cook than I am.)

After that Easter-themed rush of blood to the head, I had to cook MOAR FLAX CAKE. And for that, I turned to a recipe from Bill Granger that had been in The Independent a while back. (For some reason I can't find it on the Indy's website, but this appears to be the same one.)

It's not a vegan recipe, but the substitutions aren't hard - almond milk for milk, vegan margarine for butter, and those all important flax eggs for the eggs.

This turned out much better - a load of rising, and a delicious soft cake. It even convinced the other half  that coconut could be good, after many years of confirmed coconut hating. Score!

More flax experiments are definitely on the way...

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  1. I've used Ener-G Egg Replacer for a while now. Simnel Cake does not exist (that I know of!) here, but fruity and spicy cake sounds great! I've had flax seeds in cereal before and it didn't set well with me - nausea shortly thereafter - so I'm a little hesitant to add it to my diet. I'll let you do it for me. ;)

  2. There is a recipe for "Simmel" cake in Joy of Vegan Baking, which involves marzipan. I thought it was German. Learn something new every day!

  3. I've never heard of simnel cake but it sounds a lot like fruit cake. It looks like you got good results from your experiments! One thing to keep in mind is you should keep flax in the freezer because it goes rancid quickly.

  4. Yay, for flax! Good for you on trying something new. I'm that way with chia seeds and kabocha squash. I've made kabocha once before, but now I can't remember how. Must make food with those ingredients, aaaahhhh!

  5. I never really got into the flax thing out of pure laziness, though I do think it adds flavor in some recipes. If I feel a recipe needs lift, I add more baking soda.powder--or 1 T soy flour plus some water, my old pregan standby (Back then I did it to save money. Now I do it to save animals and money :)

  6. Woah that crumb in the second cake looks amazingly yum!!!

    Even I'm on a flax kick these days. It's because a friend told me that ever since she started adding flax into her diet on a daily basis, her hair has started to shine. haha Yep, vanity wins sometimes.

    I've mainly been adding it into the blender while making cashew-sesame mylk. So these days it's cashew-sesame-flax mylk for us. It adds a whole new level of smoothness to the mylk. And it's so delicious that I like to have plain, chilled mylk (something I haven't done since my pre-vegan days when I used to actually enjoy having plain, chilled animal fluids *puke*).

  7. Very pretty job! The coconut bread especially! I used to use flax more often as an egg replacer. Sometimes I do a mix of a couple things - soy flour, flax eggs, chia gel, silken tofu, etc. The only thing I haven't tried is the actual Ener-G replacer. I don't often veganize recipes, though, so following an exact recipe from a book I just use whatever they tell me too.
    Bummer for Judas not getting any cake.

  8. I'm a flax egg fangirl, I use it a lot in baking, either that or yogurt. I still haven't figured out how to use soy or chickpea flour as an egg replacer.
    Oh man, I would totally hit that coconut cake, it looks daaaaamn good.


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