A crème brûlée has a custardy, creamy base and a layer of crunchy, caramelized sugar on top. The name literally translates to "burnt cream", which is an exquisite textural and flavor combination. Traditional crème brûlée involves sugar, dairy-based cream, and egg yolks. The crunchy topping can be cracked with a spoon and ate like candy.
However, we don't have to use animal products to achieve the same results and this recipe proves that!
Working in the restaurant we made a ton of these every week to serve. I didn't usually mess them up but when I did mess one up it was great because then I got to eat it! I miss being able to eat creme brulee! So I made one I could have.
Full fat coconut milk - I believe a thicker, creamier liquid is best for this brulee, however, any other plant milks should work. While I have not tested, let me know if you do!
Maple syrup- This will serve as the sweetener. I really like the hint of maple flavor with matcha.
Matcha powder- This, of course, is what will give your crème brûlée the matcha tea flavor. However, you can flavor your brûlée with fruits, teas, or other fun ingredients. Play around!
Agar Agar Powder- This is going to thicken the sauce and make it custard-like.
Vanilla extract- You can't have a crème brûlée without vanilla. While I highly recommend using actual vanilla beans, I know how expensive they can be and opted to use extract.
Granulated sugar- I recommend regular, granulated sugar for the topping as it burns better and easier. I tried this with cane sugar and it just didn't want to set up as well.
🔪How to prepare
Step 1: In a small sauce pot, add the coconut milk and allow it to get hot (not boiling), then add in your matcha.
Step 2: Whisk until everything is dissolved. Then, add in the vanilla, maple syrup and finally agar powder and whisk well. The mixture should thicken but not too much.
Step (not pictured for some reason, what was I thinking?): Somehow I decided not to take pictures after I whisked the matcha in! So you're going to pour your hot liquid into ramekins and place into the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour to allow it to set.
Step 3 (look at me picking up my camera again!): Once it has set, bring it out and sprinkle regular sugar on top, evenly. I personally like to make sure there's a nice thin coat of sugar over the whole thing.
Step 4: Torch that sugar! If you do not have experience with a culinary torch, please make sure you learn how to use one first or get someone who does.
- Consume this immediately or if you must up to 3 days. Though it's super good so I don't see how you could just leave it sitting like that, you monster! I'm sorry you're not a monster.
- Make sure you use granulated sugar. Other sugars did not work well for me. If you're concerned about bone char, I believe the Diamond brand is free of that.
❓Frequently Asked Questions
Yes and no. I'd say traditional crème brûlée is a bit more unhealthy from the ingredients it uses where this recipe uses a bit less sugar than traditional. But of course, most anything sweet is inherently unhealthy for you. I am not a health professional and you should always check with your doctor/HP.
Not really. You could try broiling it in your oven, however, that will take away from the whole aspect of a crème brûlée where it should be cool/cold in the middle and hot on top. I highly recommend investing in a kitchen torch. They're relatively inexpensive!
Traditional crème brûlée takes around 2 hours to make entirely with the tempering and baking. But this vegan crème brûlée uses a one-pot, pour, and refrigerate method that takes less than an hour!
Vegan Matcha Crème Brûlée
- In a small sauce pot, add in the coconut milk and allow to heat up on medium-low heat. You do not want this to boil.300 mililiters coconut milk from can
- When the coconut milk is heated, add the match and whisk until it is fully dissolved and no lumps remain.1 teaspoon matcha powder
- Then, add vanilla and maple syrup and mix again.½ teaspoon vanilla extract, ¼ cup maple syrup
- Next, add in the agar agar. You will want to stir the entire time and whisk until all is dissolved well. You may notice some thickening start to happen.1 teaspoon agar agar powder
- Once it is dissolved and well mixed, immedately pour the liquid into the ramekins.
- Place into refrigerator for 30 minutes to an hour to allow it to set.
- Once set, sprinkle a tablespoon of sugar on top evenly around, and take the torch to burn the sugar. Be careful with this as it will burn easily. You only want it to brown.1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
- You really should invest in a culinary torch. Without it, you could try broiling it in your oven, however, it really won't be the same.
- Add more maple syrup if you think it's not sweet enough
- Be sure to use short/wide ramekins for faster cooling.
- I recommend regular, granulated sugar for the topping as it burns better and easier. I tried this with cane sugar and it just didn't want to set up as well. Try Diamond brand if you're iffy about bone char.
- No coconut milk? No problem! You can use any plant-based milk for this recipe. I have not tried it, but if you do, let me know!
- If you do use another plant-based milk, you may need to add a little more agar agar powder.