Its Wednesday and another amazing food blogger is here today sharing one of my favorite desserts from long long ago. And who better to bring a perfect Brûlée to us than Sarah who is trained in French Patisserie. Look at the pictures! Sarah at The Sweet Life has you covered with a wonderful collection of everyday recipes, desserts and Raw goodies.
If you havent been to The Sweet Life, start with this gorgeous Raw Chocolate Almond Marble Fudge, and these pretty Raw Mint Oreos(pictured below) and also gems like this Palak Paneer (tofu) Pita Pizza! I also love her detailed posts through her vegan pregnancy and bringing up a Vegan baby and toddler. How adorable is Eden
You can find her on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest.
Thank you for the guest post Sarah. The Creme Brûlée looks awesome!
Now the post.
Hello friends! I am honored to be hosted by Vegan Richa today. Richa was one of the first people who reached out to me when I first started blogging. Very new to the whole concept (of the internet), I was a bit lost in the woods. Before I started blogging I didn’t know how to upload a picture from my camera onto the computer, I didn’t really know how to use Google, and I was still trying to figure out what “blogging” meant. When Richa reached out to me, I was so grateful for that nudge in the right direction and very quickly I learned that blogging wasn’t just about creative recipes, artistic pictures, and funny stories. It was, and this is the best part, a beautifully intertwined community. Thank you Richa for welcoming me into that community.
For this special post, I made something that I have been dreaming up for some time. In 2009 I attended a baking and patisserie culinary school. As a vegan this was an unexpected choice, but I was new to Portland, unemployable, and in serious need of a job. If I would ever use my culinary school to move vegan cuisine forward, I did not know.
I remember making creme brûlée in class. I learned how to get the perfect consistency and texture, and to burn a beautiful top. I remember tasting it. On the tip of my tongue I placed a small amount of custard. Oh the wave of nausea that followed as I thought about what I had just put in my mouth. At that moment I distinctly remember questioning myself. What am I, a vegan, doing here?
Now, four years and a weekend of trial and error later, I recreated that creme brûlée that made me shudder and question my choices. This time, I ate the whole thing with only chills of delight.
In the end I do believe that with my culinary education I can and will continue to push the limits of vegan cuisine so that the mainstream does not see my work as vegan desserts but simply desserts.
Classic French Creme Brûlée
gluten, dairy, egg, and soy free
1 cup cashews, soaked 6-8 hours
1/2 cup water
2 cups almond milk
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp chickpea flour
1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
1/8 tsp of salt
2 vanilla beans, split and scraped
2-3 tbsp granulated sugar
Drain and rinse cashews and place in a food processor or high-powered blender. Add water and and puree until completely smooth, scraping the sides as needed. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan stir together almond milk, 1/2 cup of sugar, chickpea flour, cornstarch, salt, and vanilla beans with it’s pulp. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly. Bring to a low boil. At this point the milk mixture will start to become thick. Continue stirring, scraping the sides of the pot, allowing milk to boil for two minutes. This ensures that the cornstarch and chickpea flour are cooked. Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes.
Place four ramekins or custard cups onto a sheet tray over a flat surface.
Once mixture has cooled slightly, remove vanilla beans and set aside. Add the thick milk mixture to the pureed cashews in the food processor. Blend until completely smooth. Pour evenly into ramekins. Cover with tin foil and refrigerate until chilled all the way through, at least 3 hours. At this point they could also remain in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
Now to the fun part!
Just before serving, add about 1/2 tbsp of sugar on top of each custard. Spread evenly a thin layer on top by rotating the custard dish in a circular motion. Tap off any excess sugar. Using a torch, melt the sugar so that it begins to bubble and turn golden.
Here is a good video demonstration on finishing creme brulee, both with a torch or in the oven.
Once the top is burnt, you’ll want to eat within an hour. Do not place back in the refrigerator as it will melt the burnt top.
I’m not one to keep it simple, so while I was whipping these up in my kitchen I tried a few different variations.
Cafe au Lait: substitute 1/2 cup strongly brewed coffee or espresso for the water. Blend with cashews just as in the recipe above.
Salted Caramel: Add 1/4 cup vegan caramel sauce to the cashews when adding milk mixture. Increase salt to 1/4 teaspoon. Once burnt, top with a small pinch of good sea salt.
Thank you Richa for letting me stop by, it’s been an honor!