With the explosion people adhering to a vegan diet, there are numerous ways to incorporate vegan gourmet desserts into that diet by making some simple ingredient substitutions. There are many vegan-friendly things that can be substituted for basic baking ingredients such as:
Use 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds, 1 tablespoon cornstarch or 1 tablespoon oil, plus 2 tablespoons water or soymilk. Additionally, there are many starch-based egg replaces such as gluten-free potato and tapioca powder on the market that are made to leaven and bind just like eggs. Other people use bananas, silken tofu, and applesauce in place of eggs.
Substitute soy milk, rice milk, or almond milk.
Use a vegan butter substitute such as Earth Balance buttery spread. Many of these substitutes are less solid than dairy butter, so be sure to freeze it before using it in a recipe that requires solid butter (such as pie crust). Vegetable oil can also replace butter in most recipes, but use about 25% less oil than a recipes calls for butter.
Use a non-dairy whipping cream; look at your local health, Kosher, or specialty baking store.
Combine 1 cup of soy milk with 1 tablespoon of vinegar.
Use agar agar, a vegetable gelatin derived from seaweeds and sea vegetables.
Substitute evaporated can juice crystals or unfiltered sugar to avoid eating cane sugar that is filtered through charcoal (often derived from animal bone). Also try Stevia, agave nectar and brown rice syrup as alternative sweeteners.
There are several vegan sour cream substitutes available. Also, soy yogurt can be used in place of sour cream in many recipes.
Coconut cream and tofu are two alternatives that work well.
Use these substitutes to create some delicious gourmet vegan desserts (that do not lack in texture or quality), and enjoy!