Because the Mid-Autumn Competition approaches on September 29, the Chinese language custom of having fun with mooncakes takes middle stage. These intricately crafted treats, which resemble the moon with their spherical form, are eagerly awaited every year.
However with the rising variety of vegans in the USA, the seek for a plant-based mooncake choice might be difficult. Conventional mooncake flavors typically include components like lard or hen egg yolk, making them off-limits to those that embrace a plant-based life-style.
Oakland, CA-based baker Annie Wang is now filling the hole, pushed by her private quest for vegan variations of the Asian treats she cherished rising up. “Mooncakes had been one of many meals I ate with my household rising as much as have fun particular events,” Wang tells VegNews. “There are such a lot of completely different kinds and tastes and it is one thing I grew up with very fond reminiscences of.”
Annie T’s Pies
“The salted egg yolk and lotus paste vegan taste was one I beloved and drank yearly,” says Wang. “However as soon as I grew to become vegan, I may not share that custom with my family members.”
In 2021 she based vegan bakery Annie’s T Muffins. One in all her first successes was the creation of vegan Taiwanese pineapple desserts, which rapidly gained the hearts of shoppers.
Constructing on this success, Wang expanded her menu to incorporate all kinds of choices, together with almond cookies showcased at a San Francisco premiere of Academy Award-winning All the pieces in all places without delayin addition to the standard tangyuan, glutinous rice balls served in flavorful broth.
Making vegan mooncakes
Nevertheless, when Wang was approached to make vegan mooncakes throughout her first 12 months in enterprise, she skilled a steep studying curve. The duty of creating mooncakes, not to mention formulating a vegan one, posed fairly a problem.
After diligent experimentation, Wang formulated her personal recipe and delved into making modern fillings.
Lavender lotus paste and white chocolate ganache with black sesame emerged as distinctive flavours. On the similar time, clients craved acquainted, typical flavors equivalent to lotus paste and pink bean mooncakes with salted egg yolk.
Annie T’s Pies
Wang, hesitant because of the complexity and buyer expectations, realized that veganizing the pink lotus mooncake with salted egg yolk can be her most demanding achievement so far.
Initially, Wang researched numerous recipes and alternate options to imitate the wealthy texture of conventional mooncakes. She finally developed a vegan salted egg yolk recipe, selecting a novel ingredient for the vegan egg: potatoes.
“My aim was to make it as allergen-friendly as potential,” says Wang. “As a substitute of utilizing cashew nuts as a base, I opted for potatoes.”
At the moment, Annie’s T Muffins is launching an assortment of specialty mooncakes as a part of an unique Mid-Autumn Competition reward pack. The choice contains two variations of salted egg yolk mooncakes, complemented by lotus paste and pink bean counterparts. Jasmine tea with candied lemon mooncake and a black sesame mooncake adorned with white chocolate chips are additionally a part of the gathering.
Prospects have a alternative of a four-piece or six-piece reward field, which might be shipped all through California or simply picked up regionally within the Bay Space.
Vegan baking for the planet
Wang’s culinary enterprise encompasses extra than simply recreating beloved childhood sweets in vegan kind. With a background in environmental advocacy and meals know-how, her vegan bakery aligns together with her mission to positively influence local weather change by meals selections. The bakery’s dedication extends past the recipes and contains eco-friendly packaging that’s compostable after eradicating the label.
Wang’s earlier involvement with the Pure Assets Protection Council in Beijing and subsequent involvement within the meals know-how sector laid the muse for her sustainable and inclusive enterprise.
Annie T’s Pies
“There are a lot of alternatives to positively change the local weather by the meals house,” says Wang. “I hope to have the ability to have a constructive influence on the local weather whereas additionally creating extra variety of flavors and management in meals.”
Wang says she additionally strives to diversify the plant-based culinary scene. A core motivation behind Annie’s T Muffins is to introduce a wider vary of flavors to the vegan meals panorama, permitting Asian-American delicacies to shine within the plant-based meals house.
Annie’s T Muffins challenges the preconceived notions that following a selected food plan entails compromise of style or traditions. Wang’s driving pressure is to encourage people to discover various diets, recognizing the influence of their selections whereas having fun with delectable creations like her salted egg yolk vegan mooncakes.
“I made this and different mooncakes so that individuals like me, [who] have grown up sharing these conventional desserts with family members on particular events can as soon as once more take part in making fond meals reminiscences like they used to,” says Wang.