Dairy-Free Creme Brûlée (Vegan Friendly) Recipe

This recipe is a game changer. Ever since I stopped eating dairy a few years ago, I've missed rich, creamy dishes and desserts. Since I've finally perfected no-milk Mac & Cheese, banana ice cream, and the like, I figured it was time to branch out into new territory. I'd never made Creme Brûlée before, so why not start anew - sans lactose? In my personal experience making this dessert I used eggs, but that can easily be adapted with egg substitute for the vegans out there. I'm not too knowlegable when it comes to replacing eggs in cooking, but I assume with a little research you'll have something just as delicious without the use of any animal products.
For a little history, Creme Brûlée is traditionally a custard style dessert with a burnt sugar topping. This provides for rich flavor and satisfying crack when you tap the top with a spoon for each bite. Overall, this is a really simple dessert, but the use of a torch (or broiler) to harden the sugar makes it that much more fancy and impressive (or extra, whichever verbiage you choose to use.) I thought creme brûlée was really fun to make, and I may just need to invest in some new pretty ramekins and a baking torch so I can brûlée on demand. Talk about #dessertgoals.
For this recipe you will need:
  • 1/2 can coconut cream, drained (usually found in the baking aisle - note - not coconut milk)
  • 3 egg yolks (or egg substitute, resource: here)
  • 3/4 cup of sugar, and a bit extra for sprinkling on top
  • 2tsp vanilla extract
  • ceramic ramekins (2 medium or 4 small)
  • a glass baking dish (that can hold all your ramekins)
  • a torch or broiler
Instructions:
  1. Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. In a saucepan, heat the coconut cream and vanilla extract on medium until it simmers. Do not boil. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  3. In the meantime, mix egg yolks and sugar until the mixture begins to lighten. Slowly mix into the cream mixture, keeping an eye on the temperature as to not cook the eggs. Return the pan to heat and mix thouroughly until it simmers.
  4. Pour the cream mixture into your ramekins until they are about 3/4 full. Set each one into the baking pan. Pour hot water to fill the bottom of the baking pan and place in the oven. This creates a water bath for and allows the dessert to cook more evenly.
  5. Bake for about 35-40 minutes. You'll know they're done when they seem solid across the top but still have a bit of wiggle to them. Think flan or thick pudding.
  6. Once baked and cooled, chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
  7. When ready to serve, pour about 1 tablespoon of sugar across the top of each ramekin.
  8. If using a torch - slowly pass the flame over the sugar topping until it starts to bubble and crystalize. Add more sugar if necessary.
  9. If using a broiler - turn the setting to low and keep close watch on your brulee as they broil. This may not yield as even as a result as the torch as you have less control of the heat. Air on the side of caution and I'm sure they will turn out beautifully.
  10. Crack and enjoy!

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