Lecithin

Lecithin is a wonderful emulsifier, as those of you who work with egg yolks know. Lecithin occurs naturally in eggs, particularly yolks, but most commercial lecithin, such as this one, is extracted from soybeans. We are all familiar with the concept that "oil and water don't mix", and this is certainly true, until you add lecithin! This keeps many a mixture together that would normally separate and is useful in vinaigrettes and salad dressings, cocoa and cocoa butter, creams, puddings, etc. As with agar, lecithin is an ideal ingredient to replace eggs or egg whites in vegan baked goods. Just remember, it is not the egg flavor you are replacing, it is the binding ability, so flavor will not be quite the same. Lecithin is crucial to stabilizing foams or froths. A very small amount, 0.6 percent by weight ratio, is added to liquid, then beaten or sprayed under pressure, in a whipped cream canister, for example, to create anything from a loose set of bubbles to a froth to a firmer foam. Often an immersion blender expedites this process. Lots of fun to be had here, but be careful not to take it too far. Our staff all laughed pretty hard when we read the Chicago Tribune review of the hot new restaurant that had just opened down the street from us in Old Town. The first lines read "This is less of a review than it is an intervention: Dudley Nieto, step away from the foam machine."!!

In a glass jar
  • In a 1/4 cup glass jar
  • $2.49
  • In a 1/2 cup shaker jar
  • $4.49