La Crème Brûlée sans la Dairy pour le Vegan
Is there anything more gentle than crème brûlée? Silky and understated, the elegance lays in its simple layering of flavors of a few ingredients.
Yes, the original custard depends on cream for the richness and egg yolks baked au bain-marie for the consistency, the vegan version must depend also on a less than more ingredients to achieve the desired result.
Most recipes out there call for silken tofu for the creaminess. I was determined to find a version that was soy free. The problem? Non-dairy milks vary greatly in their flavor and consistency from brand to brand, especially in almond milk.
I was pleasantly surprised in the richness of Silk’s new Pure Almond Milk which feels more like a heavy cream than a whole milk. Cooking it down would give me the desired richness. The thickening agent would also have to be non-invasive. Agar powder, which is more powerful than the flakes was the rich choice to help it set, while a little arrowroot to thicken it.
The rest? A little maple syrup, a hint of cashew butter for richness, and a splash of vanilla for exotic je ne sais quoi and a bit of sugar.
To make six sexy adorable servings you will need:
- 3 cups Silk Pure Almond Milk Original
- 1/3 cup cashew butter
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon arrowroot powder
- 3/4 teaspoon agar powder (not flakes)
Place all the ingredients in a blender and go to town until smooth.
Strain through a sieve or chinois. You’ll remove some of the impurities of the cashew butter.
Let sit for 10 minutes, enough for the agar to soak up. Bring to a boil slowly, stirring frequently. Once it boils, reduce the heat and stir constantly for five minutes. Do not walk away as it only takes a few seconds for the mixture to over boil and overflow.
Distribute between six ramekins and allow to set for 30-45 minutes at room temperature.
I prefer crème brûlée at room temperature and not cold. In the U.S., we are used to this cold, although slightly warm is awesome. Agar actually does not need refrigeration to set, so it is perfect here.
Sprinkle a think layer of sugar on top and using a torch, brûlée the crème. Although you can also use the broiler for this, make sure the oven door is open while you do to avoid recooking the custard. It’s a little trickier.
Perfect silky texture.