Vegan Crème Brûlée for Two
I've been wanting to do a crème brûlée recipe for ages! It's just such a elegant dessert and tastes so delicious. If you order crème brûlée at a restaurant you become instantly 100x classier than if you ordered the good-old-faithful chocolate cake. And if you can bake a crème brûlée well oooh ho ho you are treading up the culinary stepladder to glory my friend. Now crème brûlée posed a bit of a challenge for me. I mean firstly I had zero experience making any kind of crème brûlée, vegan or otherwise. Secondly, I mean the dessert has cream in the name! How do you do crème brûlée sans crème? I mean crème brûlée without the crème is just brûlée and like burned as a stand alone adjective is anything but appetizing.
So I made my mental rounds through all of the vegan cream substitutes I could think of. Tofu seemed like the obvious choice, and while I love cooking with tofu using it in desserts can be a little hit or miss. I also considered using coconut milk, but my husband seriously loathes the taste of coconut so that was out. Then I got to thinking about the Vegan Baked Brie and Tiramisu Popsicles I had made a while back. Both recipes used cashew cream as a based and were very similar to the consistency I was after. I modified the ratio of the ingredients and ta-da! Success! The texture of the cream is perfect, and it's just sweet enough to satisfy your sweet tooth without being completely sinful. It's a wonderful treat to have after dinner or for Sunday brunch, because as you know, I'm obsessed with brunch.
Yields Two Crème Brûlées
1 cup cashews (softened by boiling for 15-20 minutes or by soaking in water for 4-8 hours)
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup vanilla coconut milk yogurt
1/4 cup agave
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp agar powder
3-4 tbsp sugar for caramelizing
1. In a high speed blender, combine softened cashews, water, yogurt, agave and vanilla extract and blend for 3-5 minutes or until creamy and smooth.
2. Transfer the cashew cream mixture to a medium sized pot and whisk in agar powder. Continue to stir the cream over medium heat until it starts to bubble and the cream begins pull away from the sides and bottom of the pan.
3. Pour the cream evenly into 2 ramekins then allow them to chill in the refrigerator for 2-4 hours.
4. Sprinkle some granulated sugar over the tops of both ramekins then caramelize the sugar with either a blow torch or by placing them on the top rack of your oven and broiling them for 2-4 minutes.
5. Allow the sugar to cool for 5 minutes or so then dig in!