What Inspired You to Eliminate Animal-Based Ingredients from Your Pastry Recipes?

As a partly French-trained pastry chef, where pastry is traditionally high in animal products such as eggs, cream, and butter, I faced a challenge due to my lactose intolerance. Initially, I started to reduce the dairy products in my recipes, and I discovered that the flavours of fruit, chocolate, and nuts became more pronounced.

This became the only way forward for me. After being challenged by my current business partner at Be Better My Friend, I took it one step further and eliminated all animal-based products from my recipes.

Quality, flavour, and texture have always been my driving factors in creating amazing pastry, and that remains true even with plant-based pastry. The choice of ingredients is the key factor in producing plant-based pastry that is as tasty, if not tastier, than traditional pastry. Dissatisfied with the butter alternatives in the market, we created our own, which is now widely available to help chefs create their own delicious plant-based pastry.

There is one sentence that I truly dislike: “It’s good for a vegan cake.”

Plant-based pastry is as good as, if not better than, traditional pastry. It boasts great taste, workability, and no animal harm, as well as a lesser impact on the planet’s resources and fewer carbon emissions. This is the future we should all strive for, and pastry chefs can play a leading role.

Marike van Beurden creates sweet experiences inspired by her travels, art and design, and her outdoor pursuits. She is known for reinventing experiences, by using classic flavours to evoke memories. As a highly decorated pastry chef, Marike has won numerous awards including Tat1er Best Hong Kong Pastry Chef and the Dutch Chocolate Masters. She is currently busy launching a new range of plant-based pastry ingredients that aim to decrease the carbon footprint of the industry while still maintaining great taste.