Butter is a common ingredient when it comes to baking, which is fine and dandy if you’re a fan of the dairy product. But for those avoiding butter for one of myriad reasons – a vegan diet or high price tag come to mind – fret not: It can easily be substituted.
According to top chef Sascha Stemberg, butter can almost always be replaced with margarine when baking, using exactly the same amount.
However, he believes there is one exception: biscuits. The texture and taste results achieved by butter are quite hard to replicate.
“It really does make a big difference to the flavour,” he claims.
But if you’re looking to reduce your fat intake, you can actually refrain from using butter or margarine in batter mixes altogether.
One method is to use applesauce or mashed banana, although this will affect the taste. A little neutral plant oil can help give cake its trademark consistency.
Stemberg, a member of the Jeunes Restaurateurs association of young top chefs, suggests using oil when browning fish, seafood and meat.
For meat, he makes use of a flavour-neutral oil such as those made from rapeseed or sunflower. The same goes for vegetables. He says he would just use a touch of butter at the end to lift the flavour.
Another problem case is sauces, where many recipes call for butter. The fat ensures that the components bind together and have a nice consistency. Luckily, Stemberg has another tip in this case:
“I also get wonderful results with an immersion blender and a touch of walnut or hazelnut oil. It adds an interesting flavour note too.”
One exception where you can’t substitute is the French sauce beurre blanc. Here, the clue is in the name: It translates as white butter. – dpa
- mashed banana
- flavour-neutral oil