Knowledge Base > Fran Costigan - Bite-Sized Desserts with Big Appeal

Bite-Sized Desserts with Big Appeal

Fran Costigan - Bite-Sized Desserts with Big Appeal

This event was on Tuesday, February 13, 2024 at 1:00 pm Pacific, 4:00 pm Eastern

Indulge your senses in a delightful experience as the renowned pastry chef Fran Costigan takes center stage at her 8th Annual Essential Vegan Desserts Valentine’s Day Live Event.

Read More.



What is the best plant based fat, used in baking to achieve fluffy pastry?

— Doug McKeown


So that's a good question, Doug, because there are a couple of different fats available to vegan to plant-based bakers. They are liquid fats and those are oils. The oils that I use are extra virgin olive oil, unless I want the flavor for an olive oil cake, for example. Um, I use a neutral flavored one. The other oils that I use are sunflower, which to me almost tastes buttery and grape seed. When you are looking at a recipe and converting it from a solid fat like butter to a liquid fat, you only use seven eighths of the amount because the liquid fat is 100% fat. And I'm using the word fat because it's fat without the, um, milk salads in butter. Now that liquid fats were the only thing that were available to me 30 years ago when I was working as a pastry chef. And you know, I had trained traditionally and then was hired to work in a vegan pastry kitchen. The, they did have a salad fat, but it was hydrogenated margarine and it, we know today that's very unhealthful but also smelled and tasted awful. So I developed my recipes using oil. Depends what you're going, you know, the answer de is dependent on what it is you're going to be making, Doug. So if you're using making a buttercream for example, or a laminated dough, you're going to use stick vegan butter. And they are, they're different one from the other. You don't wanna use the spreads. There's too much liquid. I will say that there was a live event I did going back some time and you know, you can, you can all go into the live event library and find lots of information. But I lined up different plant butters. I had earth balance, I had kos, I probably had biolife or flora at the time and just watched them at room temperature and some of them melted into a puddle and others held. So if you're going to be doing laminated dough, you want a strong vegan butter. Like via life is one that I use a lot. I find KO's very melty.
Fran Costigan

Fran Costigan

Director of Vegan Pastry