Crema Catalana, a custard dessert from Spain, is sometimes called the cousin of crème brûlée. Typically crema Catalana is made with whole milk and cornstarch and it is always flavored with orange zest, cinnamon, lemon, and sometimes anise. Unlike crème brûlée, crema Catalana is not baked in the oven but allowed to set. In this dairy-free version, cream is replaced with silken tofu, but it has the same sweet, decadent flavor that is just as good as the original.
Crema Catalana [Vegan, Gluten-Free]
- 1 12-ounce block extra firm silken tofu
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup soy milk
- 1/4 cup muscovado sugar
- 2 teaspoons stevia
- Zest of 1/4 an orange
- Zest of 1/2 a lime
- 1/8 teaspoon ground anise
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 1/2 tablespoons water
- 4 teaspoons sugar, for browning (1 teaspoon for each ramekin)
- In a food processor, pulse tofu with vanilla extract until it has a smooth texture. Reserve.
- Put the soy milk, sugars, orange and lime zest, anise, and cinnamon in a saucepan and gently bring to a boil. Remove from heat and allow to infuse for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl whisk the cornstarch with the water.
- Reheat the milk mixture and just before it reaches boiling point, add the cornstarch. Whisk continuously until it begins to thicken, around 5 minutes. When the mixture coats the back of a wooden spoon, add it to the tofu blend. Pulse for a few seconds just to integrate. Pour into ramekins and let cool.
- Cover each ramekin with plastic wrap and place the ramekins in the fridge. Let them refrigerate for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Before serving, sprinkle 1 teaspoon sugar over the top of each ramekin, place the ramekins on a tray and allow the sugar to caramelize a little bit, around 10 minutes. If you have a blowtorch, use this instead.
- Serve hot or cold.