This famous French dessert consists of a vanilla custard with a texture similar to flan, and a delicious caramel on top. It’s super smooth, perfectly sweet, and so light!
And to take this crème caramel to the next level, I included a crunchy salted coconut topping! SO GOOD!
WHAT IS CREME CARAMEL
Creme caramel, also called Flan, is a dessert that first appeared in France during the middle-ages, around 1400. It consists of a custard creme that is infused with vanilla and topped with a layer of caramel.
It is now popular all around the world, from Latin America (Milk Flan) to the Philippines (Leche Flan), and Viet Nam (Bánh Flan). Each version has slightly different ingredients and processes.
Most recipes usually call for eggs to firm up the creme, but here we are going with a combination of coconut milk and agar to get a rich and creamy consistency with a firm texture.
HOW TO MAKE CREME CARAMEL
We start by preparing the caramel. To keep it refined-sugar free, I went with a combination of maple syrup and coconut sugar. You combine them in a small saucepan and bring to a boil to dissolve the sugar and let it caramelize a bit.
I’m also sharing another way to make a more traditional caramel in the recipe notes if you don’t want to use maple syrup and coconut sugar.
Next, divide the caramel into 4 small ramequins and let it harden at room temperature.
In the meantime, you prepare the creme. Almond milk is combined with coconut milk for richness, maple syrup for a delicate sweetness, and vanilla for flavor. Then we have cornstarch and agar that will make the creme firm up once cooled.
Here is a quick tip if you want your creme caramel to look good: let the vanilla creme cool down a bit before pouring into the ramequins. I found out that if you pour it while still hot, the creme tends to separate a bit on top.
Finally, refrigerate for at least 8 hours before flipping over a plate. The caramel will “melt” over the creme caramel!
If you want to make these cremes caramel fancier, I highly recommend making the salted coconut topping! It consists of shredded coconut and coconut flakes combined with maple syrup and salt that are toasted until golden brown and crunchy.
I hope you will all love these cremes caramel! They are full of vanilla flavor, rich, and melt in your mouth! The caramel on top goes perfectly with the coconutty creme.
Let me know in the comments if you try this recipe!
Vegan Creme Caramel
Salted Coconut Crumble (optional)
- 2 tbsp shredded coconut
- 2 tbsp large coconut flakes
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- 1/8 tsp salt
- Start by preparing the caramel. Add the maple syrup, coconut sugar, and white vinegar to a small saucepan. Heat over medium heat, stirring regularly until it starts to boil. Once boiling, let it boil for about 30 seconds, keeping an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t burn.
- Immediately remove from heat and divide the caramel into 4 small ramequins. Tilt each ramequin to spread the caramel in the bottom. Set aside and let it cool for at least 20 minutes.
- In a medium-size saucepan, combine the almond milk, coconut milk, and maple syrup. Add the cornstarch and agar and whisk to dissolve.
- Heat over medium heat, whisking constantly until it thickens (usually just before boiling). Once it has thickened, remove from heat, stir in the vanilla extract, and whisk again.
- Cover the saucepan with a lid and let it cool about 15 minutes before pouring into the ramequins over the caramel. I recommend letting it cool a bit because if you pour it immediately over the caramel it will make it melt and it won’t result in good looking cremes caramel.
- Let the creme caramel cool a bit at room temperature before transferring to the refrigerator. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours, the creme caramel will thicken and slightly harden.
- To serve, run a knife along the edges of each ramequin, cover with a plate and flip it. The caramel will be on top and cover the creme. Serve fresh, topped with the salted coconut crumble!
Salted Coconut Crumble (optional)
- Preheat oven to 300°F (150°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a small bowl, mix the shredded coconut, coconut flakes, maple syrup, and salt.
- Spread the coconut on the prepared baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Let it cool completely before using.