School’s out, and I’m celebrating with pudding.
Or rather, fancy pudding. Creme brulee, to be precise.
I may have left behind both my life as a student and as a professor, but after spending close to two decades of my adult life in the academy, my inner-clock is forever set to the semester system. But my English professor-husband is still fully synchronized to the semester system, so I can live vicariously through him and his completion of another round of classes.
Hence, a celebratory dessert!
Vegan Creme Brulee, Made with Cashews
But my crème brulee has a healthy twist. You would never guess from the luscious taste and texture (I am not sure I’ll mention it to my husband; is that wrong?).
My crème brulee is made without eggs and without dairy. Really and truly.
It is my Cashew Creme Brulee and it is amazing.
How to Make Cashew Creme Brulee
This is a very simple dessert to prepare; you only need about 10 minutes of active time.
However, there is considerable hands-off time (baking and chilling). So long as you plan ahead, this dessert is a breeze.
Begin by soaking 3/4 cup of raw cashews in boiling water. This is my fast method for plumping them (a cold soak takes several hours). Drain the cashews and place in a blender along with a can of coconut milk, sugar, vanilla, tapioca starch, and salt. Blend until completely smooth.
The natural color of the crème is off-white. To give it a sunny hue, I like to add a large pinch of turmeric, too; it is completely optional.
Cook and stir the mixture in a saucepan over medium heat until small bubbles forma dn the creme thickens (thanks to the tapioca starch). Pour the mix into four 6-ounce ramekins or creme brulee dishes that have been lightly oiled or sprayed.
Place the ramekins in a shallow baking dish and fill halfway up with hot water. Bake in a preheated 300F oven for 33to 28 minutes until just set (the crème brulee should jiggle slightly when shaken).
Remove the dishes from the water batch and cool completely. Once cooled, refrigerate until completely cold (at least 4 hours or up to overnight).
How to Caramelize the Sugar on Creme Brulee
The last step of the dessert is creating the brulee, the caramelized sugar topping.
When ready to be served, sprinkle each crème brulee with a layer of sugar about 1/8 inch thick. Use a kitchen torch to brown and melt (caramelize) the sugar by moving it back and forth (quickly).
No torch? No problem. You can also caramelize the sugar using the broiler function of your oven.
Position a rack to the highest place in the oven (4 to 6 inches from heat source) and preheat broiler to HIGH. Place the chilled crème brulees on a baking sheet and top with sugar, as directed. Broil, watching closely, for 30 to 90 seconds until the sugar is caramelized.
More Delicious Cashew Recipes: