Parsnip Parsimony- A vegan baking and science blog.

“You’re crazy, Susie!”

The deal with the egg replacer thing.

Posted by Susie on April 14, 2008

So I’ve been swinging a lot of hints and promises around for the past three weeks, and I figure that I should just tell everyone what the deal is.

At the beginning of spring break three weeks ago, I had come to the decision that I would put an end to making everyone wait and wait for the mystery egg replacer that I’ve been talking about forever and ever. I resolved to write up a summary of all the things I’ve tried, what my logic was for trying them, why the egg replacer is not perfect yet, and my thoughts on possible solutions to the persistent problems. I felt guilty for not being able to put as much time into the project as I would have liked while I was doing other things in school and everyone else was waiting on me, so I thought it would be best if I created a summary of the past five years of work on this egg replacer, so that anyone who was interested would be free to mess around with trying to solve the problems that I was too busy to solve.

So I put some time into figuring out the best format for presenting all the information I’ve accumulated, the things I’ve tried, and the thought process that led me to this current obsession. That took about a week, but I finally decided on a format I was satisfied with. Then I started to outline and to organize my information and to trace my process of developing this egg replacer over the past five years. I found all the really badly taken notes on “experiments” I conducted years ago when I had no concept of experimental design, “significant digits” or of good scientific note taking practices. The fact that I did these “experiments” anyway, and even took notes on them, was a bit nostalgia inducing.

Then (after three-ish years of making outlines intending to write something on this subject) I actually started writing!  However, by the time I started making sentences, the outline that I had made myself for this document had become much more than a “short summary”. I was not writing at the speed I had imagined I would write at, either. After writing/researching/thinking only of this document for about a week and a half straight, by the last Friday of spring break, I had to face the fact that I was not going to finish this “short summary” by the time spring break was over.

Spring quarter started a week ago today, and I have been working on this when I get the chance, but I still am not even halfway done with a rough draft. I don’t know when I might finish this project, as I’m taking 16 credits again and I feel like its only a matter of time before I have no free time left. Also, in addition to writing this summary of my past research, I’m also still testing and acquiring new ideas of how I might be able to make the necessary transition from “super promising egg replacer with a few kinks to work out” to “Hey! This stuff is easy to prepare non-industrially and it works just like egg in everything!”

So, please accept my apologies for underestimating the amount of time it would take to write a summary of my egg replacer project. I realized a while ago that there is no reason to be secretive about this anymore. The only thing in my way is the difficulty I’m having with distilling five years of experimentation, conclusions, and unanswered questions into an effective communication.  I mean- I could post a “recipe” that everyone would try only to be disappointed by a lengthy process that gives mediocre results, and that doesn’t say why, despite its imperfections, that it represents a whole lot of potential as an egg replacer if the imperfections can be overcome, and what those imperfections are, and what doesn’t work to solve the problems that persist, and what might work if only we had the time or resources…. That is why I’m taking so long typing this thing, and why I’ve not just “said”.

So, please, by all means, if anyone out there just read through this ramble and has any sort of opinion, I would love to hear what it is.

And I will keep you posted about the status of the document I am working on.  Rest assured that I AM hellbent on getting this project to you all, and that given enough time, I will!

-Susie

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14 Responses to “The deal with the egg replacer thing.”

  1. vegyogini said

    Take your time! I love the way you think scientifically about food and I’m intrigued by what you’ve discovered. However, I know I can certainly wait until you’re ready! School is important and you should focus on that (and on having some fun). :)

  2. Ali said

    I’m sure it will be worth the wait. Taking your time and doing things properly is undervalued in our instant gratification society! So relax and get through school and we will read all about it when you’re ready.

  3. winter said

    do you think when its done it could be used for French macarons? that would be incredible

  4. Susie said

    Winter-
    Yes. The goal from the beginning has been to create an egg replacer that acts like egg acts in any situation.

    The basis for all the work I’ve put into this so far was the assumption that if I could recreate the composition of egg white or egg yolk, then I would automatically recreate the functionality of egg white or egg yolk. After four years of learning and relearning about egg composition and function as my understanding of the science grew more complex, it now seems that although the initial assumption wasn’t ENTIRELY reliable, that I was still pretty close.

    Although the replacer isn’t perfect yet, I am convinced that all of the imperfections can be solved by modifying the method I use to prepare the egg replacer, and aren’t due to an error in the theory I am basing this replacer off of.

    Okay. I could go on, but I guess I will save it for when I actually have the rest of the information ready to go along with the disclaimers!

  5. Your not-so-little project is so interesting! Compiling the information sounds so tedious, it is no wonder that you need more time to do so! :)

  6. oh god if you do this every single vegan baker in the word will love you!!hands up who wants a vegan creme brulee?
    Keep up the good work!we need you!xxx

  7. karolina said

    i am loving you for the research and your thoroughness. you are great. if you want to go faster, i am positive that many people in the vegan society will be more then happy to help you. you could always ask for help. you doing it yourself may feel accomplishing to you but all peoples have different thoughts and someone may be able to add a different point you hadnt thought of. or even just help with the writing process. i appreciate you alot and im sure many people do. you could come to trust someone with your work and we will help.

  8. winter said

    hey just thought I’d check back and see how the egg replacer is going and also to ask if you’ve ever heard of versawhip? its an ingredient used in molecular gastronomy and it looks pretty promising (as an egg white not yolk replacer)…

  9. David said

    I have a great egg replacer. It acts to bind ingredients together like eggs do in any baking/cooking formulation (cakes, cookies, bread, etc). Plus it is non animal in origin. The product is pectin containing citrus fiber. It is made from citrus peel after the oil and suger has been removed. It looks like a golden flour. 2.2 grams of this wondorous material will replace one egg. 2.2gms cost 1.3 cents, compared to 8-10cents for an egg.

  10. wow, sounds like quite the project you got going there, but when you succeed (when, not if!) you’ll make lots of people very happy! Like me!
    I’ve just been ‘sent’ here by supercarrot over on LJvegancooking, because I want to make profiteroles/eclairs, and that recipe really seems to require eggs. Have you found anything I could use maybe? (if you want a recipe, it’s here)

    btw, i wish i had come up with this food science idea when i was in high school! that is such an interesting thing to study

  11. Purplefia said

    Ok, I realize I’m super late but I have been following your discovery and waiting on an update since the 2006 posts on theppk.com forums. I’m certain I must have missed it by now but have you published your recipe for vegan meringue yet and where can I find it if so. Faithfully waiting…PurpleFia

  12. barefoot said

    I simmer with excitement :)
    would it be possible to give a short status report?
    this would be so nice :)
    i do sneak in here from time to time to see how far your project has already come :)

  13. Candybear said

    Keep going! If you crack this sucker vegan baking truly will take over the world.

  14. Kat said

    I want to know what it is!!! Would it be an egg replacer that would replace egg whites as well? Perhaps able to be used for meringue? Scrabled eggs even….alright I’m talking crazy now haha!

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