Over the years I've tried a lot of recipes for vegan French toast, all with varying degrees of success. It's hard to duplicate that thick texture that comes from a chicken egg and milk whipped together.
I've tried versions with tofu or mashed banana in place of the egg, some without any replacement at all, and then finally, with the Vegg vegan egg replacement. The mashed banana versions always stuck to the pan and caused a lot of curse words to be spewed before 10am on Sunday morning. The just-milk versions didn't have the right texture, and the Vegg was pretty spot on.
One of the keys to the perfect vegan French toast is the bread; you need something thick and crusty and even slightly stale. I've seen chefs make French toast with a thick slab of brioche, sourdough, banana bread, Irish soda bread, but the traditional is a slice of French baguette. You can, of course, use any kind of bread you have on hand, but it will truly come out better if your bread is thicker and staler than what you pull out of a bag in the fridge.
This was my first experience with Vegg, and I have to say, my first whiff of the contents in the bag was shocking. It really smells like eggs. Of course, it's a powder, so it's a dried up space age reminder of eggs, but eggs nonetheless.
Vegans have had egg substitutes for years, but Vegg is the first vegan egg yolk substitute, which opens up a whole new world of recipes to us that were harder to make. Think quiche, custard, Hollandaise sauce, frittata, egg noodles, eggnog, and traditional custardy ice cream.
You can find the new vegan egg yolk Vegg online at places like Vegan Essentials or on Amazon, and it will be more widely available in stores soon. Also, through 2014, 10% of their sales go to help Compassion Over Killing, an awesome vegan non-profit organization.
The ingredients are nutritional yeast, sodium alginate, black salt, and beta carotene, so let's break down those ingredients...
Most vegans are pretty comfortable with nutritional yeast, yes? Sodium alginate is a seaweed extract that helps to thicken foods, which is where the Vegg magic comes from. I first learned about black salt from Isa Chandra Moskowitz in Vegan Brunch. It's derived from lava and is actually pink colored and blessed with a strong sulfur smell. I've been adding it to tofu scrambles for years, and it definitely gives your food the flavor of eggs. Beta carotene gives the Vegg the distinctive yellow color. Pretty straightforward ingredients, but as with all added sodium, you have to be careful about adding too much sodium alginate into your diet.
One of the crucial directions on the Vegg packet is that you cannot blend the mixture by hand. This must have to do with the sodium alginate-- it needs to be blended with liquid to get all those little particles completely mixed into every liquid particle so it can fully take on the flavor and texture of egg yolks.
Books with great vegan French toast recipes: