A quick request: Saveur has opened up their 2015 Blog Awards and I’d really appreciate your nomination of An Unrefined Vegan! You can enter your nomination(s) here. Thank you!
Creme brûlée. One of my favorite pre-gan desserts. Rich and creamy but with a sweet layer of crunch. Breaking through that crisp sugary crust…Heaven. Here I take those qualities and add a plant-based twist. The cream and eggs are replaced by tofu and blood orange juice joins vanilla to create a lightly-sweet dessert.
You gotta love a fancy-looking dessert that’s fast and easy to put together. And involves an open flame.
Despite the fact that this is a dessert, it does have beneficial qualities:
- Vitamin C, of course! This antioxidant battles cell-damaging free radicals.
- It’s fat-free and sodium-free – and since it’s animal-free, it’s also cholesterol free!
- Get a dose of folic acid which is necessary for cell health.
- You don’t need fish to get your omega-3s. These fatty acids are beneficial for joint health, curbing depression, and may protect against memory loss and dementia.
- Instead of Got Milk? It should be Got Tofu? Tofu gives your body the calcium that dairy milk doesn’t!
- It’s high in protein, low in fat.
Vegan Blood Orange Creme Brûlée
- Prep Time: 15
- Cook Time: 60
- Total Time: 75
- Yield: 4 1x
Lightly sweet and citrusy, this tofu-based vegan creme brûlée is easy to make but is elegant enough for a dinner party. Grab your kitchen torch!
- 1 1/4 cups fresh blood orange juice
- 12-ounces firm or extra firm tofu (not silken)
- 1 Tbsp. + 1/4 tsp. tapioca flour/starch
- 2 Tbsp. granulated Natvia or 3/4 tsp. liquid stevia (or your favorite sweetener, to taste)
- 1/8 tsp. orange oil (go easy here; this stuff is powerful) and/or zest from one small blood orange
- pinch sea salt
- 2 Tbsp. pure maple sugar (or your favorite granulated sugar)
- Preheat the oven the 325-degrees. Place four 1/2-cup ramekins in a deep, oven-safe baking pan. Place the baking pan on a baking sheet – this just makes it easier to move the baking pan in and out of the oven. If you have a tea kettle, fill it and get it going; you’re going to need hot water for the water bath. Otherwise, boil 3-4 cups water in a saucepan while you prepare the brûlée.
- Put the blood orange juice, tofu, tapioca starch, stevia, and orange oil in a high-speed or regular blender. Process until very smooth, scraping down the sides of the blender if necessary. Taste and adjust for sweetness.
- Add the orange zest and pulse a few times to incorporate. Divide the mixture between the ramekins. Now, carefully pour that hot, hot water into the baking pan so that it reaches about halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Gently lift the baking sheet and put it into the oven, trying not to spill water on yourself or into the brûlée.
- Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the brûlée start browning a bit at the edges and the center is soft but firm. Let the ramekins rest in the water bath for a few minutes, then carefully transfer them to a wire cooling rack. When they’ve cooled down to room temperature, cover them with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator overnight. This rest makes for a nicer texture.
- When ready to serve, divide the maple sugar between the four ramekins, making sure to sprinkle some evenly all over the tops. You can either set the ramekins under a broiler until the maple sugar bubbles, browns, and forms a lovely crust – or you can get all fancy and use a kitchen torch. Either way, don’t get distracted and let the sugar burn! Once brûléed, your dessert is ready to serve!
- Each time I’ve made this, the color has been different. Some blood oranges are a dark red, and some – not so much.
- You can use navel or Cara Cara oranges here, just make sure to taste and adjust for sweetness prior to baking.
- Make it sugar free by skipping the brûlée!
- Serving Size: 4
- Calories: 151
- Sugar: 14
- Sodium: 47
- Fat: 5
- Saturated Fat: 0
- Unsaturated Fat: 4
- Trans Fat: 0
- Carbohydrates: 20
- Protein: 9
- Cholesterol: 0
This looks delicious Annie!!! Yum! And I’m obsessed with blood and cara cara oranges right now! BTW, what recipe plug in and pin it button (the kind on your images) did you go with? Still trying to decide!
So many decisions, right?! I used the jQuery Pin It Button and Recipe Card (yumprint). Having so many great choices is…great, but makes it difficult, too! And thank you! Yes, we are eating all of the blood oranges, caras and clementines that we can right now.
I seem to have lost the address for your restaurant/cafe… 😉
I’m dying to try this – looks delicious!
Haha! Yes, it’s a VERY exclusive little cafe :-). Thanks, Steve!
LOVE! I’ve been dreaming of a vegan, Creme Brûlée, so you are a dream come true… erm… and this recipe. ;0)
Thank you! ❤
Yay! Glad to be of assistance ;-)! And thanks for sharing!
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This looks amazing! Just submitted my nomination for you- best of luck!
Beaming with happiness :-)! Thank you!!
I cannot wait to make this recipe! Your redesign is great and I just nominated your blog on Saveur! Good luck!
Oh, you sweetheart! Thank you so much!!
This recipe looks amazing! I’ll have to try making these this weekend 🙂 I haven’t caught up on my vegan blog reading in a long while…congratulations on the upcoming book!
I just submitted your nomination for you Annie 🙂 Best of luck.
Miammm !!!! Your creme brulee looks amazing !!!
This looks amazing! Is it possible to use corn starch instead of tapioca? Thanks for sharing this!
Yep – I’m sure that would work as well – just something to help the tofu from separating when it bakes.
Your new site looks stunning my friend 😀 As does this exotic creme brûlée 🙂
Choc Chip Uru
Just voted for you my gorgeous friend!! Also, this dessert is amazing and dreamy. I have never actually had creme brûlée I don’t think, but you had me at “a sweet layer of crunch”….oh my!! The orange is a beautiful addition!
Aww, thank you! I voted for you, too, girl!! I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see you as one of the winners!
I just voted for your blog & wrote this: Anne, the author eats, lives & breathes vegan. She makes non-processed healthy vegan foods. I also love her writing & cool photos. All of the recipes, I have tested, never failed me & were amazing! She rocks! 🙂
This special dessert looks amazing & even fantastic, dear Anne! I hope you will win! xxxx
Wowee, Sophie!! I’m really touched. Thank you so much, my friend. xoxo
Hugs & kisses right back at you! 😉 xxxx
Just voted for you! Wasn’t sure which category, thought. I hope I entered the correct one. Very lovely dish, wonderfully presented, as always!
Yay – oh thank you! I appreciate you voting for me! The categories are a little funky, aren’t they?
Wow the new look is gorgeous! As is that pic! Loving it 🙂
Beautiful presentation as always, Annie! Which method of brulee-ing did you use for these photos – oven-broiling or torching?
I used my little torch :-).
omg! what a cool way to use blood oranges. Im a bit obsessed with citrus right now. This is a fun and pretty way to serve them up. Thanks!
Hey Chrysta! Thanks for commenting and I hope you enjoy the recipe!
Wow! What an amazing, inspiring recipe! It looks so beautiful! I will definitely have to try making it 🙂
Hey Harriet – thanks so much for stopping by :-)!
This dish is stunning!! I also cannot get over your new blog, I know I commented on it before, but it’s just GORGEOUS!
It doesn’t feel like mine, Brittany! I’m so happy with the results.
I love tofu desserts 🙂
I’m glad to hear someone say that! I do, too!
I’ve never used tofu in a dessert but this looks fantastic. I would never have thought of using a broiler in place of a kitchen torch for something like creme brulee either, thanks for the tip.
The new look and the recipe! Love it!
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how very delish. I adore blood oranges: both the taste and colour are astounding.
They’re special, aren’t they? Thanks for stopping by!
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Hi there Annie! I am a vegetarian of 10 years transitioning to becoming vegan, and the hardest part is giving up cheese, and, my very favourite, creme brûlée. But looking at this recipe, I believe I will enjoy it a lot more than ordinary creme brûlée (apart from it being cruelty free)! I can’t wait to make it.
I would be so grateful if you would please let me know:
1. Why do you need to use a water bath?
2. Instead of making the creme brulee in ramekins, can I make a larger quantity in a large but shallow baking dish? In that case, would I need to still use a water bath?
3. Why firm rather than silken tofu? (I am guessing because the silken tofu would be too runny)?
4. If I didn’t want to have an orange taste but just a plain vanilla brûlée, can I just leave out the orange juice or do I need to substitute it with something to keep the consistency smooth and “melt in your mouth”?
It’s so good to come across a vegan dessert recipe that doesn’t involve coconut cream. This looks positively healthy! I’m a big fan of Natvia too. 🙂
Hi Simcha – Sorry for the delay in responding to your questions, but I’ve been traveling and away from my computer/blog. So, I use a water bath because it helps maintain a smooth, creamy consistency. You don’t want the custards to become hard during baking. You can try using a larger container, but if it’s too big, it may result in edges that are overcooked and a center that isn’t firm enough. I would go w/ a shallow, smaller baking dish if you have one. Yes, I use the firm tofu for consistency. When you blend the tofu it is just as creamy as the silken variety, but has more body. Finally, yes, I’m sure you could use another liquid instead of the orange juice, but since I haven’t tried that myself, I cannot guarantee the results. You definitely need another liquid since I call for a 1 1/4 cups – so try using a non-dairy milk (but I’d avoid rice or hemp milk). A vanilla-flavored non-dairy milk would be good, and then add vanilla extract. Good luck!
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