Sunday, April 12, 2009

Vegan Flan

I've been on a quest for the perfect vegan flan lately, and decided to take a shot at creating it myself this weekend. A few years ago, I created a Mango Tango Flan which was more like a loose cheesecake with a nut crust than a custardy flan with caramel top, though nonetheless delicious. I was striving for authentic this time (albeit without all the eggs and condensed milk). I think I came pretty close, and I now have an idea how to perfect it on the second try. The key: cook that caramel syrup almost to the point where you think you've gone too far (I stopped a little too soon and ended up with a soupy syrup in the end). I made the flan with soy milk, but I think next time I try it I'm going for the extra rich Silk creamer and some Tofutti cream cheese for extra creaminess (modified recipe below).

For the Caramel:
1/2 cup Sucanat
1/4 cup water

Place the sugar and water in a small pot over medium heat. Stir until sugar is dissolved and bring to a rapid boil. Lower heat, simmer and cook until sauce becomes thick and coats back of spoon. Pour into the bottom of 8" cake pan.

For the Custard:
2 cups Silk soy creamer
2 tsp agar-agar powder
1/2 cup firm Mori Nu silken tofu
4 oz. Tofutti cream cheese
1/4 cup organic sugar
1 Tbl vanilla extract
Pinch of sea salt

While caramel is cooking, place the Silk creamer in a medium pot and stir in the agar agar. 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, cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, salt, and soy creamer mixture in a blender and blend until very smooth. Pour into cake pan over the syrup, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 1/2 hours. To remove, slide a knife around the perimeter of the cake pan and lightly shake side to side. If the flan doesn't loosen, dip the bottom of the cake pan in hot water for about 15 seconds, then turn over onto a plate. Garnish with fresh berries.


Andres "Stay Vegan" Sandoval said...

I just put the flan in the fridge, and I'm so excited. As a young boy growing up flan was my favorite dessert, but since I've been vegan I have not been able to find a good vegan flan recipe nor vegan flan. I'm so excited for this recipe you wouldn't believe it. I just ate the left overs in my food processor and let me tell you,"it brings back memories!".

Mary Lawrence said...

OOO that's so exciting! I'm glad to hear you have an authentic flan memory to compare the vegan version to. I hope it comes out divine!

MABEL said...

is that picture the real vegan flan? i just made it. but i didnt make the caramel. question, i grinded the agar-agar stick and made it into powder, will it still work?( me about to find out), thanks for sharing the recipe! :)

MABEL said...

would agar-agar flakes work the same as powder?

Mary Lawrence said...

Mabel, the photo is of the flan that I made. It held together well when I unmolded it, but I have to say it was a little bit rubbery in texture, rather than the desired smooth and silky. You can give it a try with the agar agar flakes, but you may need go use more since the powder is more concentrated. How did the ground agar stick come out?