Looking to offer your customers indulgent sweet treats in a more natural way, without compromising on flavour?
David Colcombe, Chef Ambassador for Maple from Canada UK explains why maple syrup is the perfect source of natural sweetness for bakers to use in a range of vegan products.
"Vegan eating and plant-based foods are growing in popularity, a trend which likely won’t be changing anytime soon. More of us are choosing plant-based foods and making conscious decisions around what we eat, whether it’s for our health, to take care of the planet or to support the welfare of animals and food producers. Many reasons are driving the growth of natural, plant-based alternatives in all food categories, including bakery.
The growing importance of provenance and healthy eating has given rise to more people seeking natural sugars for their sweet treats and for many the sweetener needs to be vegan-suitable too. Pure Canadian maple syrup is 100% natural, and naturally vegan too, with nothing added or removed, and provides a wonderful rich flavour to elevate any recipe whether it’s sweet or savoury.
Expand your offering with flavourful vegan bakes such as a maple steamed pudding with a maple custard, or a rich chocolate, avocado and maple tart, from Maple from Canada UK or Dawn Foods’ Vegan Banana and Maple Syrup Cupcakes?
The journey of pure Canadian maple syrup begins deep in the forests of Canada, in early spring when the cold winter is beginning to thaw. The frozen nights and warmer days encourage the flow of the sap within the maple tree trunks, making it possible to tap. Thousands of producers from across Quebec, which produces 90% of Canadian maple syrup, collect maple sap from the trees, before it is boiled to become pure maple syrup. The process is as natural as it always has been with no artificial additives or processes.
The characteristics of the maple sap changes during the tapping season, giving the syrup slightly different colour and flavour profiles dependent on when it was harvested. This natural phenomenon gives us four different grades of maple syrup to enjoy. The first syrup of the season is light and golden with a delicate taste and the last is very dark with a much stronger taste.
For instance, golden maple syrup makes for a delicious drizzle to decorate meringues or flavour creams and icings, whereas amber grade syrup works well as a sugar substitute providing both flavour and sweetness. Amber grade syrup also makes great toffee and caramel. Meanwhile the robust-tasting dark syrup is well-suited for use in bakes to add richness or to enhance fruity flavours. Very dark syrup, with its strong taste, will add depth to the colour and aroma of breads and cakes and as a flavour enhancer in chocolate or glazes.
Amber maple syrup is the grade most people know and love, but golden, dark and very dark syrups with their unique flavour profiles provides great variety and versatility.
This creates wonderful opportunities to experiment with flavour and intensity for bakers and home cooks alike, while adding sweetness to a recipe. As people are seeking natural sugar alternatives to processed white sugar, pure Canadian maple syrup’s grades and a range of other maple products such as sugar, spread or even vinegar opens new possibilities for baking and cooking. Quebec is the only region that has a rigorous checking procedure where an independent third-party organisation ensures that the pure maple syrup leaving Canada is of the highest possible quality.
There’s no wonder that now more than ever, people are discovering the magic of maple syrup.