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.

Blending all the ingredients very well in the Vitamix

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.

Straining the custard through a sieve, chinois, or cheese cloth to remove impurities

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.

Cooking la crème after soaking the agar for 10 minutes

Distribute between six ramekins and allow to set for 30-45 minutes at room temperature.

Filled ramekins with delicious golden custard

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.

Torching the la crème brûlée

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.

A thin layer is perfect. Too much sugar and the layer won’t break easily and add too much texture

Perfect silky texture.

Perfect silky texture inside and warm crunch of the brûlée sugar

Related posts:

Vegan Banh Xeo: Traditional Vietnamese Crepe
Chinese Mushroom Steamed Buns a la Dim Sum
Vegan Tempeh Lettuce Wraps
Not for the Wimp Bad Ass Pad Thai: Veganizing Le Fish Sauce
  • Noelle @Opera Singer in the Kitchen

    This sounds great! Congrats!

  • Joel Luks

    Thanks so much @singerinkitchen :)  It certainly was a lot of trial and errors, but finally did it, sans tofu, and little ingredients keeping the integrity of its magical simplicity.

  • brian @ howtobaker

    Fascinating. I love creme brulee but never thought it could be made vegan-style. Thanks for the awesome looking dish!

  • http://twitter.com/joel_luks/status/17488601132 Joel Luks

    @Kara_Elle I remembered you wanted this: http://ow.ly/25HF3

  • http://twitter.com/joel_luks/status/17499447009 Joel Luks

    * "Thanks so much @singerinkitchen :)  It certainly was a lot of trial and errors, but finally did it, san…" http://bit.ly/b4fESq

  • http://twitter.com/kara_elle/status/17500084005 Kara Kehoe

    Could it be?! #vegan creme brulee?!?? Yes!! Courtesy of @Joel_Luks http://ow.ly/25HF3. Can't believe it!!

  • http://twitter.com/xacrox/status/17505087236 Jordan Cade Halliday

    RT @Kara_Elle: Could it be?! #vegan creme brulee?!?? Yes!! Courtesy of @Joel_Luks http://ow.ly/25HF3. Can't believe it!!

  • Vegan Soiree

    Amazing!  A dream come true for me.

  • http://twitter.com/godsdreamsforme/status/20925221742 Jeri Taira Ⓥ

    @Joel_Luks decided on the mu shu http://ow.ly/2onTZ. Adding Crème Brûlée 4 2nite http://ow.ly/2onUK #vegan #recipes

  • Jeri @godsdreamsforme

    It was delicious. So delicious. Couldn’t believe the flavor. Mm Mm Mm.

  • http://twitter.com/actionparker/status/27067589306 Paula Parker

    RT @joel_luks: La Crème Brûlée sans la Dairy pour le Vegan #vegangoodeats #vegan http://bit.ly/cSBNBp

  • Maija Haavisto

    I’ve seen many different vegan creme brulee recipes, both tofu-based, cashew-based and combinations and have thought about concocting my own, but it never occurred to me that you wouldn’t need to bake the vegan version. Heh. Sounds wonderful!

    Regards,
    Maija Haavisto of Vegventures

  • http://twitter.com/cadill/status/57989196777926656 Cadill

    Wow there is such a thing as VEGAN CREME BRULEE! I was about to give my
    kingdom for that invention.
    http://ping.fm/2kZOR

  • daisy

    A really cool recipe, i must get a torch to do this !

  • http://twitter.com/vegandivine/status/90613992015409152 Vegan Divine

    This looks amazing…La Crème Brûlée sans la Dairy pour le Vegan – http://bit.ly/qGC7yy (via @joel_luks) #vegangoodeats #vegan

  • ida

    I’m hoping to make this tomorrow… is the cashew butter supposed to be raw?

  • Joel Luks

    It’s not a raw dessert. So use whatever you have on hand.

  • Lucy

    This was delicious! If you are looking for a vegan Creme Brulee recipe, this is IT. So creamy, delicious and not nutty tasting, despite the cashew butter and almond milk base. I didn’t bother with the caramel because I was too eager to eat it up. And that I did. Thanks, Joel!

  • http://twitter.com/jenk3/status/117469114531983360 Jen K
  • http://twitter.com/veganmum/status/134786320521371648 Krista

    Never felt a need for a butane torch, until I came across this recipe for #vegan crème brûlée(!): http://t.co/GjPqK383 Maple! Cashew! Yum.

  • http://twitter.com/zebrafinch/status/134794424965283840 Zebrafinch

    Never felt a need for a butane torch, until I came across this recipe for #vegan crème brûlée(!): http://t.co/GjPqK383 Maple! Cashew! Yum.

  • http://twitter.com/keeprecipes/status/134839430505709568 KeepRecipes Team

    wow! RT @veganmum: Never felt a need for a butane torch, until I came across this recipe for #vegan crème brûlée(!): http://t.co/us3F47Hw

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  • James Bridges

    Just made this for dessert, and couldn’t be happier with the results. The texture and flavor were perfect! Thanks.

  • Pingback: Trial and error [this is gonna be fun] « Move. Eat. Breathe.

About this site

VeganGoodEats.com is a compilation of my favorite recipes and experiences. Erasing the stereotype that we eat rabbit food, I hope that the site inspires you to live a cruelty-free life. There is enough to live peacefully and indulgently.

About Joel Luks

Intellectually curious arts advocate. Design junkie & blogger. Creative nutty vegan chef loving all ethnic foods in a quest to ensure vegan food is seen as delicious, varied, and yes, sometimes, indulgent. Classical flutist & sucker for rhythmic music.

I work for CultureMap.com, a Houston-based lifestyle digital magazine, where I report on food, arts, society and city life, produce videos and curate an events guide.

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