Easy & Quick Vegan Crème Brûlée

Crème Brûlée
YOU. GUYS. I AM SO STOKED ABOUT THIS ONE.

Those of you who follow me on Twitter know that I have been struggling to recreate the original crème brûlée without any animal byproducts. The first attempts took place last summer, when I was convinced tofu was the answer to replicate that creamy, jiggling texture, as well as sort of ‘healthify’ (yuck) the recipe. Fail, fail, fail.

Then I tried it again last week, thinking this time for sure I had the answer. Cashews! If I just made a cashew cream, the texture would be bang on. Nah-uh. It was thick and creamy, sure, but where was that yummy jiggling? The pudding was solid and thick as muck. Back to square one.
Crème Brûlée 2 #glutenfree #easy #vegan Crème Brûlée
Someone on Twitter then mentioned agar agar flakes. I had thought about it before but as you know I always try to keep things simple on this blog; that means avoiding rare and/or expensive ingredients if I can help it. Well I guess this time I couldn’t, so I gave that old transparent seaweed flakes a go.

AND LO AND BEHOLD – PERFECT CRÈME BRÛLÉE!

I am so ecstatic that all caps are required to express my joy. I DID! It jiggles! It’s yellow! It’s creamy! It’s SO EFFING YUMMY!
Crème Brûlée 3 #glutenfree #easy #vegan Crème Brûlée 2 #glutenfree #easy #vegan
Sometimes there is a place and time for simplicity — and sometimes you have to crack a recipe using seaweed and a blowtorch. (I admit I felt super badass using the kitchen blowtorch. So badass.)

P.S.: Do read the notes on the recipe carefully. If you’ve never used agar or coconut milk in cooking before, READ THE NOTES.

P.P.S.: Cute cat photo at the bottom of this post, because I know you guys are besotted with Mali.

Quick & Easy Vegan Crème Brûlée

Ingredients

For the cream

800ml (3.25 cups) full-fat coconut milk
2 tbsp brown or white sugar
1.5 tsp vanilla extract
1 heaping tbsp agar agar flakes
a dash of turmeric for colour

For the topping

6 heaping tsp white sugar

Instructions
  1. Add all of the ingredients for the cream to a saucepan over high heat. You want to bring the coconut milk almost to the boil, stirring continuously as you do so to prevent burning and to mix all the ingredients evenly. The agar agar flakes should soon start to dissolve.
  2. When the milk looks like it’s about to boil, remove the saucepan from the heat. Stir a few more times to ensure all the ingredients are evenly blended, then set aside to cool.
  3. Pour the cream into 6 individual ramekins and place in the fridge to set for about 3 hours. If you wish to leave the puddings in the fridge for longer, please see the notes below.
  4. Scatter a heaping teaspoon of white sugar evenly over each pudding, then caramelise using a kitchen blowtorch. Leave to cool for a minute, after which the caramel topping will be hard. Serve immediately, with a side of vanilla ice cream if desired.

Notes

Coconut milk always separates in the fridge. Although the agar agar flakes will hold together all of the ingredients, much like a panna cotta, a small bit of separation will occur if the ramekins are allowed to stay in the fridge for any longer than 5-6 hours; this will take form in some excess water around the puddings. Luckily these puddings are ready to serve after just 3 hours but if you needed to prepare the crèmes brûlées in advance, you would simply have to drain the excess liquid from the ramekins over a sink, holding your outstretched fingers close over the pudding to prevent it falling out altogether, then proceed with the topping as per the instructions. The puddings will otherwise remain intact and their flavour won’t be affected.

I hope you make these for some seriously epic dinner parties. That feeling when you swoop into the room bearing a tray of puddings that people think you slaved hours over but in fact is super duper simple. Or just eat it all yourself. Like I did. Because what good is life without crème brûlée.

Mali going cray cray on the chair copy
Caught in a moment of madness. Oh how I love this crazy fur ball.

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Love and cookies,

thevegancookiefairysignature-2

4-Ingredient Vegan Chocolate Almond Butter Fudge

4 ingredient chocolate almond butter fudge TITLE
Guys, I have recreated the definition of vegan food porn.

As I type this, there is a snow storm blowing outside my window. But, luckily for me, I am tucked up with Mr Cookie Monster on our second-hand sofa, the fire is roaring merrily away in the hearth, and I’ve got a cup of hot chai by my side. This much I can say: I could not be happier right now.

If you follow me on Instagram, you will no doubt be sick of my odes to Edinburgh by now, but I beg you to indulge me a wee while longer. I just can’t get enough of this city! And this coming from a country girl who hated all three years she spent in the UK’s capital city. But Edinburgh is everything London is not: charming, classical, quaint, local. Just in case it wasn’t clear enough: I LOVE IT HERE AND I NEVER WANT TO LEAVE.
4 ingredient chocolate almond butter fudge 3.1
So that’s another item ticked off the bucket list. How are you doing on your New Year’s Resolutions? Do you love them or are you sick of other people vowing to lose 50 gazillion pounds in two days, becoming an overnight superstar, or becoming the best daughter/wife/son/father/what have you? I’m in the second category.

That’s why I made zero resolutions related to food, weight, pleasing others, or swearing. (Last year I resolved to swear les… I only started swearing more.) Instead, I resolve to:

  • Learn to speak German at an intermediate level (languages was my favourite subject in high school)
  • Go on holiday to Vienna
  • Translate my ebook The Vegan Cookie Fairy’s Little Book of Chocolate to French

See the pattern here? These are only things that I truly want to do. Oh, and the last one… get really serious about this blog.

Now that I’m no longer in full-time education, though I am in full-time employment, I feel like I can finally dedicate myself to this blog. I’ve been wanting to do it for years, and it’s finally happening! So expect a lot more fantastic content to appear on here: more recipes, more tips and tutorials, reviews of vegan dining in Scotland, giveaways and competitions. And if there is something – anything – you particularly want to see on thevegancookiefairy.com, give me a shout! You can get in touch via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, email and of course in the comments here.

Anyway, back to the food. Because I’m not embarking on some mad diet (and I fervently hope you aren’t, either – just eat healthy and stop when you’re full!) I am sharing this super duper simple rcipe for vegan chocolate almond butter fudge with you today. It’s made according to my favourite formula: easy + quick + yummy = food porn. Works every time.

Here’s to a brilliant 2015, guys. May it be filled with love, happy memories, true friends and random moments of pure genius. And lots and lots of fudge.
4 ingredient chocolate almond butter fudge

4-Ingredient Chocolate Almond Butter Fudge

  • Servings: makes 24 small pieces
  • Print

250g (8.8 oz) 85% cooking chocolate
1 tbsp coconut oil
170g (6 oz, or a scant 3/4 cup) runny almond butter (I like Meridian Foods)
1-2 tsps maple syrup
Nuts of your choice, roughly chopped (optional)

Place a small saucepan over moderate heat on the stove. Break the chocolate into small pieces and add it, along with all the other ingredients (minus the nuts) into the pan. Stir with a wooden spoon until evenly melted, or about 5 minutes. Fold in the chopped nuts, if desired.

Pour the melted chocolate mixture into a small, lined tin or oven dish (mine is 8cm x 14 cm/3inches x 5.5. inches) and set aside to cool. Then place in the fridge for 2 hours, after which the fudge should be completely set. Slice into 24 pieces, or as many as you like, big or small. Enjoy!

Keeps in the fridge for up to 3 days if you can resist that long.

On a less positive note: my new flat comes with a gas oven. Insert GASP and HORROR-STRICKEN FACE. Any tips for cooking with gas ovens? I feel like the heat doesn’t distribute well, even when I leave it to pre-heat for a while.

Love and cookies,

thevegancookiefairysignature-2