I think 2 years is long enough to wait for another iteration of my awesome vegan Vanilla Crème Brûlée, don’t you? If you haven’t seen that post or read the story behind the recipe, I highly recommend it. It’s filled with stress, tight deadlines, high expectations and success! This was mostly due to my friend, Chef Olivia Hernandez, who at the time was the head chef at El Cid in Silverlake, CA.
Now, I’ve finally made a different flavor of this tasty dessert, and yet again it’s Olivia’s fault. We had been talking about this recipe a couple of weeks ago and she had been raving about it to some vegan friends of hers in Austin, TX. (where she’s located now). Then she challenged me to do a cardamom-flavored vegan Crème Brûlée, and of course I said, Yes!
But, I couldn’t just add some cardamom and call it a day; that wouldn’t be right. I changed up the ingredients a bit, tested out a new starch, added some other flavors and decided a complimentary garnish was in order. It’s citrus season, and coming up on Valentine’s Day, so blood oranges seemed like the perfect companion to this dessert. Not only did I candy them, turning them into sticky, delectable, orange gummies; I also used their zest in the Crème for a subtle citrus undertone.
So, you have a couple of textures within this treat: smooth and thick custard-y Crème, the quintessential crunchy sugar brûlée, and the soft but chewy candied blood orange slice. If that doesn’t get you drooling, you may need to get your pulse checked, or go look at some chocolate desserts.
You’re probably thinking, “I don’t have the time to put in the effort for this dessert”. You couldn’t be more wrong. Aside from the setting time, you spend 5 minutes prepping and 25 minutes cooking, most of that being pretty idle. Many people have had success with the first recipe that I created, and this one is just as easy.
One thing that I really tried to showcase with the step-by-step photos that tripped a couple of people up last time, was how thick you need the crème to be when it is heated in the pan. You want it to be gravy-like, but very smooth; dip a spoon into it and it should coat it with a thick layer then slowly drip off. Hopefully that helps!
This dessert is great for Valentine’s day, because you can make it the night before and have it in the refrigerator overnight, then take the Crème Brûlées out when you’re ready to serve them. Sprinkle fine sugar over the top and get to torchin’ with your loved one, friend or yo’ fine self.