One of my first ever kitchen memories is helping my mom while she was baking a chocolate cake for my birthday. That was way back in the early 90’s when it was very common to use butter substitutes, like margarine, for misled “health” reasons.
As I grew up and purchased one of my first cooking books by Le Cordon Bleu, I learned that every recipe worth making contains butter.
Overnight, the stocks of margarine that we use to keep in the fridge were thrown out and replaced with butter sticks. It was so clear to my teenage self that if you want to bake like the French you must learn how to use butter like the French.
I guess this recipe is really some kind of a confession - I love butter. Therefore, finding a vegan replacement was one of my top concerns when I decided to change my diet (and baking habits).
One thing was sure - margarine was not the solution!
As you know, I did not go vegan overnight and actually that was not even what led me to my current lifestyle. My first goal was, and still is, to minimize the intake of processed foods; and margarine is about as processed as it gets.
With time, I found that virgin coconut oil is a good solution for most recipes (if you don’t mind the slight coconutty smell and taste). But I knew I could do better than that! And that is how my research began.
Today, I am sharing my first butter recipe which is perfect for sweet baked goods. There are 2 versions for this butter because honestly, I could not decide which one is better. One is slightly coconutty and the other has some chocolaty feel to it. I would love to know which one you prefer!
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Mix the milk with the vinegar and set aside.
Melt the cacao butter or coconut oil using a double boiler. If you don’t have a double boiler, create one: simmer a few inches of water in a saucepan and a stack a mixing bowl on top of a saucepan, making sure the bowl fits snugly.
Transfer the melted cacao butter / coconut oil to a food processor and add the curdled milk, lecithin powder and salt. Blend well together until a smooth, creamy mixture is created.
Transfer into a butter dish and refrigerate until set.
Remove from the fridge to thaw for a few minutes before using for baked goods.
The butter is good for about 2-3 weeks when kept refrigerated.
The recipe yields approx. 5 ounces of butter (~ 140 g).