Cutting out dairy but looking for a replacement? We show you four ingredients that you can use to make your own vegan cream at home.
Whipped, double, or single cream is a versatile ingredient: the perfect accompaniment to strawberries and other desserts, as well as tasty addition to a huge range of savoury dishes. The good news is vegans have a multitude of options available to them when it comes to the white stuff, from shop-bought squirty cream, to homemade thick and whipping cream. Favourite options include soya, coconut and cashew cream, which all have unique qualities and flavours. Plus these recipes can easily be adapted to suit your purpose. Here we guide you through a list of our favourite purchases – as well as some easy tips for creating the perfect vegan cream.
It is easy to pick up commercial soya single cream, which is sold in small cartons in the refrigerated section, as well as long life alternatives usually found in the free from areas in supermarkets. It is also possible to buy spray soya cream, usually in specialty or health food shops.
Soya cream makes a good base for a number of dishes, including mushroom stroganoff, and fact can be used interchangeable with dairy single cream in most recipes.
While it’s easy enough to buy, it is also possible to make your own. Simply mix two level teaspoons of cornflour into a paste with 50ml of soya milk. Once the paste is smooth, put it in a sauce pan with another 70ml of soya milk, and heat over a low flame until it has thickened. You should keep stirring the mixture.
Place the liquid in a blender with three tablespoons of sugar, a dash of vanilla extract and 100ml of soya milk. Mix slowly, adding 180ml of vegetable oil to the cream as it blends. Don’t worry if it curdles – just stir it and add another dash of cold milk.
The beauty of cashew cream is that you can season it to work well in savoury or sweet dishes – it is extremely versatile with a lovely, thick texture.
To make it yourself, soak 100g of raw cashew nuts in water for four hours or more, then rinse well. Put the drained nuts in a blender with 100ml of cold water, and blitz at high speed until they are smooth and creamy. This may take several minutes. If you want a runnier cream, add more water.
If you want to use the mixture in a savoury recipe, add salt and lemon juice or vegetable stock to taste. For sweet dishes, use vanilla extract and agave, rice or maple syrup. You can store this cream in the fridge for several days, if you keep it well-covered.
It seems like you can make anything out of this magic ingredient, and creating coconut whipped cream is easy as well as tasty.
You will need a tin of full-fat coconut milk for this – some swear by the Thai variety, as it has the thickest layer of cream at the top. Put the tin in the fridge for a couple of hours, or in the freezer for 30 minutes. Be careful not to shake the tin when you open it.
Scoop out the layer of cream, and beat it with electric beaters until it becomes thick and creamy. Chill it until you are ready to eat it, at which point you can mix in sweeteners such as sugar, icing sugar or agave syrup, and a dash of vanilla extract.
This miracle liquid – tinned chickpea water – is popular as an egg white alternative used in meringues, chocolate mousse and as a binder in veggie burgers. But some adventurous cooks also like to use it solo, dolloped on top of fruit or in desserts.
To make cream, use the liquid from one can of chickpeas. Put it in the bowl of a stand mixer with a pinch of cream of tartar, and combine well. Add a teaspoon of vanilla extract and 200g of sugar, then leave to mix for a good 10 minutes or longer – until the liquid has become fluffy with soft peaks.