Vegan Caramel Flan
Another recipe that several of you requested from my “You Write the Menu” post was flan. Maybe you were looking for a challenging recipe to throw at me, but this one was surprisingly easy.
I decided to go for a dessert version of the custard dish that focuses on the flavors of vanilla and caramel. I tested several variations of the recipe below and found that this one gave the best results for the caramel and the custard. Others had a caramel that was too syrupy or the custard was way too dense.
Try to look at this recipe as a solid foundation that you can then tweak. Go ahead—substitute the vanilla extract for almond or lemon. Replace the soy milk with coconut milk or maybe even a little coffee. And please let me know if you create any great variations!
For the Caramel:
1/2 cup sugar
•Place the sugar in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir and melt until golden. Pour into the bottom of ramekins.
For the Custard:
2 cups plain soy milk
1 Tbsp. agar-agar flakes
1/2 cup extra-firm silken tofu
1 1/2 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
•Place the soy milk in a medium saucepan and sprinkle with the agar flakes. Let sit for 10 minutes. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes, or until the agar has dissolved.
•Put the tofu, sugar, vanilla, salt, and soy milk mixture in a blender and blend until very smooth.
•Pour into the ramekins over the syrup, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 1/2 hours.
•To remove from the ramekins, dip the bottom in hot water for about 15 seconds, then turn over onto a plate.
Makes 3 large or 6 small flan