Has anyone baked with production Soylent yet?


#1

As mentioned in another thread, my birthday is in a few days and I’ve been pondering making a Soylent cake. I’m just not really sure how to go about it… should I literally just do what the directions on a box of cake mix would normally state? Substitute Soylent powder for the cake mix, toss in a couple eggs, maybe a little extra oil, and voila? Will it rise properly? Can it be that easy?

Anyone try it with actual production Soylent yet? I’m not sure how comparable experiences with DIY will be since the ingredient makeups can be so varied, texture & consistency can obviously be quite different, etc.


Ratio of Soylent to water: conflicting instructions
#2

@isaackotlicky has some general recipe ideas under the “notes” section of this DIY page - perhaps he could chip in on a full-out cake concept? It’s DIY, but it should be at least a little similar.


#3

Normal cake mix has leavening in it (baking powder, baking soda, or a combination of the two). You’ll need to add leavening if you want it to rise, and I imagine it’ll take some experimenting to find the right amount of leavening (and the leavening must be in the right ratio with the salt already in the Soylent for the reaction to proceed correctly).

The other problem you’ll face is that Soylent is (essentially) gluten free. Gluten is long chain molecules. They get “tangled” up with one another and that’s part of what helps baked goods stick together (eggs also help). That’s also why you knead bread… that tangles up the molecules even more and makes the bread toughen up. That’s also why recipes for more delicate pastries like pancakes, cakes and cookies often say not to “overmix”… you risk “over developing” (i.e. over-tangling) the gluten and making them tough and “bread-y”. One of the hardest parts of gluten free baking is finding ways to get things to stick together. You may find you need to play around with the egg and oil ratios, or even add something “sticky” like wheat flour (if you’re ok with adding gluten) or tapioca flour to get it to work.

In other words, while I think Soylent cake would be really neat and I don’t mean to discourage you from experimenting with it, I don’t think it’s going to be a works-on-the-first-try kind of thing. I look forward to experimenting with that sort of thing too when I get my Soylent!

(edit: you could use the leavening/salt/flour ratio in this recipe for homemade cake mix as a guideline for your leavening/salt/soylent ratio, taking into account the salt already in Soylent… http://iambaker.net/homemade-cake-mix/ I haven’t actually used this particular recipe before, but the ratios look reasonable)


#4

@quark314 is right about the leavening and gluten.

The other factor that you should consider is the role of the eggs, butter, and sugar. Generally speaking (and informed by my own attempts at baking DIY soylent) the protein powder in the Soylent plays the same role as the protein in the eggs (as a binding agent and such) so there’s no need to add eggs. Or at the least, you should adjust the amount of eggs and oil, to account for the protein and oil already included. I don’t know if the maltodextrin in Soylent acts like sugar or not, but that’s another thing you should think about.

Let us know how it goes! :slight_smile:


#5

From a nutrition perspective, I’d also possibly worry about the heat stability of the nutrients in Soylent. Though that’s probably not such a big deal since it’s a special occasion thing, not something you’re doing to your Soylent every single day.


#6

You could consider an angel food cake and sub the Soylent powder for flour and sugar. That way the egg whites are giving the lift instead of needing the leavening, and not having gluten probably wouldn’t matter much. You’d definitely be throwing off your macro balance way into the high protein category, and there’d be no oil, but it would hypothetically work as far as I can tell.


#7

Hmmm… this is sounding a tad complicated for me! =)

Yeah nutrition isn’t a big concern since this is indeed just a special occasion kinda thing. More of a novelty/curiosity than anything. I’m not terribly experimentative (is that a word??) when it comes to cooking and since my supply of Soylent is kinda dwindling at the moment, I’m not sure I’m prepared to risk a bunch of it on such endeavors. I’ll definitely keep my eyes open however for a thread from whoever becomes the first to bake with production Soylent. Thanks for the tips everyone!


#8

Okay, enjoy your “conventional food” cake, and I’m sure we’ll all be curious to hear from the first person who successfully bakes an official Soylent-based cake! :slight_smile:


#9

I’m actually wondering how I’ll even like a standard commercial cake at this point! My taste for sweets has changed so radically, and just a very tiny amount is now way more than enough for me. This will be an interesting month of sweet experimenting for sure since I have so many birthday freebies coming! =) Ahh the things we put ourselves through for science!


#10

Yeah, the same thing happened to me when I switched to a Paleo-ish diet a couple years ago. Berries with plain yogurt (and maybe some honey, if I’m feeling decadent) becomes much more palatable than the equivalent amount of actual ice cream…

Don’t I know it! (ie, this) Man… :stuck_out_tongue:


#11

You’ve got me thinking though.

In my DIY blend I use oat flour and whey protein. The only difference between rolled oats and oat flour is a serviceable blender.

So if I made my mix but left out the oats completely, then mixed it with rolled oats and baked it … I’m wondering if I would end up with something more or less like Amish baked oatmeal, which I’ve found can be a pretty good cake substitute with the right additions.

This might be worth playing around with before my shipment shows up.


#12

Yeah, try it! That sounds good to me. :slight_smile:

I’ve definitely enjoyed baking (and eating!) my own DIY soylent. I just stopped after the initial excitement wore off because it takes so darn long compared to mixing it with water and knocking it back… :stuck_out_tongue:


#13

@vanclute I’ve actually got a vanilla cinnamon cake variant of my soylent in the oven right now. If it comes out alright, I’ll post the recipe here. It shouldn’t require too much modification to adapt to the official soylent, though my mix is significantly higher in proteins and lower in carbs than the official Soylent.

If I’m right, you would just cut back on the water, add in a little baking powder (and any spices), and probably a single egg. Most cake mixes aren’t high in protein, so adding more than one may be entirely unnecessary. Added oil is probably unnecessary as well - I only added in my normal amount - about 1/4 cup of canola.

UPDATE: I just took my cake out of the oven. It’s certainly tasty and spongy, but it didn’t have quite teh amount of loft I was hoping for.

This may be due to two reasons:

  1. I didn’t add enough baking powder. This batch used one teaspoon.
  2. I used a square pan that was comparatively large. It would have worked better with a double batch. Normally I use a narrower loaf pan.

In either case, it’s still feels and tastes like cake, just a bit thin.


#14

That sounds great! Definitely do let us know how it goes! I will certainly risk some of our Soylent if I at least feel the odds of success are stacked in my favor! :wink:


#15

Interesting. I haven’t had any problems myself getting a bready or cakey soylent just by adding baking powder, a little lemon juice, and water. Baking soda reacts to acidity, not salt, and baking powder doesn’t even require that - it’s designed to carbonate when you add water.

My DIY soylent uses oat flour in a comparatively smaller ratio to the carbs in the official soylent (100g a day vs. 110g oat + 165g malto). The need for gluten is handled by the rice (for the official Soylent) or whey protein (in my DIY) in the mix.

What you mention isn’t a unique property of gluten; it’s protein chains in general, specifically ones in liquid suspension like eggs - that’s how you make meringues, after all.

I covered exactly this issue a couple days ago. Actual vitamin breakdown due to cooking is far slower than most people think it is, even for something such as vitamin C. Worst case, you’ll only be a little bit under.

This was EXACTLY what I did when I needed to make anew batch with no oat flour on hand. I bought a ninja blender and used the instant oats at home…

Update: I crunched the numbers on using rolled/instant oats instead of oat flour. Giant nearby sells 42 oz (2 lbs. 10 oz) of instant oatmeal for $3.39, which comes out to just over 8 cents an oz. 50 lbs. (bulk purchase) at this price equates to just under $65. Honeyville sells a 50 lb. bag of oat flour for $49.99 plus $4.99 shipping, a total cost of $54.98.

Not factoring costs for bulk storage (which is an upfront cost that would be amortized over the long run) or the utility value of convenience for the smaller , beating that price on a grocery purchase would require a price of $2.88 or less. If you shop around, you could probably find something close to this on sale (I’m thinking Price Rite), making this far and away the cheapest option.

For me, the convenience outweighs even the $10 difference in price.


#17

So it sounds like you’re doing more of a quick bread type recipe than a “standard bread” (with yeast) recipe.
I wonder how chocolate chip Soylent banana bread would taste…


#18

Answer: delicious!
I had some old-ish bananas last week that I decided to batter with soylent and bake. They were incredible. I’m really looking forward to making soylent banana bread now that you brought it up…


#19

Great! Please do post that recipe. :smile:


#20

I’d have to rebuild the recipe before I feel comfortable posting it.

For the vanilla cake, I just added:

  • a rounded teaspoon of baking powder (crushed in the bowl with the back of the spoon to remove lumps)
  • cinnamon (you can also add in cacao powder here and crush it with the back of the spoon for a chocolate cake…)
  • one days worth of soylent (1.5 cups of dry mix for me)
  • 3/4 cup splenda (possibly skip or reduce this if you’re using Official Soylent, mine has no sweeteners or added carbs)
    Mix the dry ingredients together, then add in:
  • one egg
  • a little bit of vanilla
  • a quarter cup of oil (or the oil blend)
  • and stir in water until you get the batter consistency you want.

Bake in a greased pyrex loaf pan at 350 F for about half an hour and let cool.

Since my mix contains roughly the same amount of oat flour (100 g) and overall protein (also about 100 g) as the OS, it shouldn’t be too far off the mark, unless adding in all that maltodextrin seriously changes the chemistry and baking behavior.

From a baking supply website:

From a food design website:

[quote]As DE increases, so do the following characteristics:

  • browning (due to the increased level of reducing sugars);
  • hygroscopicity/humectant properties;
  • plasticity;
  • sweetness;
  • solubility;
  • osmolality.
    As DE decreases, the following characteristics increase:
  • molecular weight;
  • viscosity;
  • cohesiveness;
  • film-forming properties;
  • prevention of large sugar-crystal formation.[/quote]
    So malto, like applesauce, will help your cake retain moisture while still allowing for surface browning. Huh.

I’ll stand by this recipe, then. At least until @vanclute tries it out and reports that something went horribly wrong, I guess.

PS: a third website:

This is good news overall for those diabetics who were concerned about carb consumption in Soylent.


#21

Sounds very promising! Couple questions…

  1. You say “a day’s worth of Soylent”, so would that be one pouch?
  2. I’m definitely thinking I could leave out the sweetener since Soylent is already nicely sweet to my taste buds. Do you think that 3/4 cup of substance will be an issue if it’s missing?

I’m seriously tempted… man I hope my reorder of Soylent arrives in the next 48 hours so I can feel comfortable in sacrificing one bag, you know, for science!