You'd think it would be impossible to recreate a dessert that is essentially based in milk and eggs as vegan. Alas, the impossible is not so far-fetched. This vegan flan recipe is an animal-friendly version of the Mexican dessert mainstay--yes, without the eggs or dairy. Actually, I find the vegan version far more fail-proof than the traditional one, and it has the same creamy texture and mellow sweet taste. Enjoy!
The key to getting this recipe to work is finding the right ingredient to replace eggs, which offer flan its iconic thick and jelly-like consistency. For this, agar-agar is the perfect replacement. Agar-agar is a jelly-like substance derived from algae.
Vegan Flan Recipe
For the caramel:
- 1/2 cup sugar
For the flan custard:
- 2 cups plain coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon agar-agar flakes
- 1/2 cup extra-firm silken tofu
- 1.5 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
For the caramel, place the sugar in a saucepan over medium heat and melt until golden brown, stirring constantly. Carefully pour the caramel into the bottom of glass ramekins, turn the ramekins so that the caramel reaches evenly up the sides.
In a medium saucepan, add the coconut milk. Sprinkle it with agar flakes and let sit for about 10 minutes. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer, constantly stirring until the agar-agar has dissolved. In a blender, add the silken tofu, sugar, vanilla, salt and soy/agar-agar mixture. Blend until smooth. Pour the mixture evenly into the prepared ramekins and cover with plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving. To remove the flan from the ramekins, set them in a shallow hot water bath to loosen the caramel from the glass. Flip onto a plate and serve!
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Photo Credit: Erik Campo