Because the Mid-Autumn Pageant 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 annually.
However with the rising variety of vegans in the US, the seek for a plant-based mooncake possibility may be difficult. Conventional mooncake flavors usually include substances like lard or hen egg yolk, making them off-limits to those that embrace a plant-based way of life.
Oakland, CA-based baker Annie Wang is now filling the hole, pushed by her private quest for vegan diversifications 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 a good time 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 recollections 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 turned vegan, I may now not share that custom with my family members.”
In 2021 she based vegan bakery Annie’s T Truffles. One in all her first successes was the creation of vegan Taiwanese pineapple truffles, which shortly received 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 Every little thing all over the place without delayin addition to the standard tangyuan, glutinous rice balls served in flavorful broth.
Making vegan mooncakes
Nonetheless, when Wang was approached to make vegan mooncakes throughout her first yr 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 identical time, prospects craved acquainted, typical flavors corresponding to lotus paste and crimson bean mooncakes with salted egg yolk.
Annie T’s Pies
Wang, hesitant as a result of complexity and buyer expectations, realized that veganizing the crimson lotus mooncake with salted egg yolk can be her most demanding achievement to this point.
Initially, Wang researched numerous recipes and options to imitate the wealthy texture of conventional mooncakes. She ultimately developed a vegan salted egg yolk recipe, selecting a novel ingredient for the vegan egg: potatoes.
“My objective was to make it as allergen-friendly as attainable,” says Wang. “As a substitute of utilizing cashew nuts as a base, I opted for potatoes.”
Presently, Annie’s T Truffles is launching an assortment of specialty mooncakes as a part of an unique Mid-Autumn Pageant present pack. The choice consists of two variations of salted egg yolk mooncakes, complemented by lotus paste and crimson bean counterparts. Jasmine tea with candied lemon mooncake and a black sesame mooncake embellished with white chocolate chips are additionally a part of the gathering.
Prospects have a selection of a four-piece or six-piece present field, which may be shipped all through California or simply picked up domestically 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 expertise, her vegan bakery aligns along with her mission to positively influence local weather change by means of meals selections. The bakery’s dedication extends past the recipes and consists of eco-friendly packaging that’s compostable after eradicating the label.
Wang’s earlier involvement with the Pure Sources Protection Council in Beijing and subsequent involvement within the meals expertise sector laid the muse for her sustainable and inclusive enterprise.
Annie T’s Pies
“There are lots of alternatives to positively change the local weather by means of the meals house,” says Wang. “I hope to have the ability to have a constructive influence on the local weather whereas additionally creating extra range 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 Truffles 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 Truffles challenges the preconceived notions that following a specific food regimen entails compromise of style or traditions. Wang’s driving drive is to encourage people to discover different 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 folks 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 recollections like they used to,” says Wang.