This post is sponsored by Grace Foods.
If you’ve been reading this blog for a while or if you follow me on social media, you’ll know I am writing my first cookbook. I’m currently in the (nearly) final stages of recipe testing and I can’t tell you how happy I will be to actually get to the writing part! I’ve spent the better part of my spare time over the past 3 months in the kitchen testing recipes and, since there are only two of us in the house, you might wonder where all that food goes?
Fortunately, I have lots of colleagues willing to take baked goods off my hands (homemade cookies and cakes go down a treat in a staffroom!) and for the rest, my neighbours are always happy to lend a hand. I’m often found outside on my porch or in my backyard photographing my dishes and my neighbours seem to have the knack of knowing just when to appear to snag a sample. Sadly, for a few of them with allergies/ intolerances, a lot of my dishes contain gluten and dairy (hello French food) so they can’t sample, they have to be content with eating only with their eyes.
As I’ve been developing and perfecting recipes, I’ve kept an ongoing list of dishes I’d like to go back and rework so they are gluten and/or dairy-free. This way my tasty treats can be accessible for more people and some of my close friends and neighbours are able to get a taste of my recipes too. I was excited to work with some Grace Foods products recently to develop a non-dairy, non refined-sugar version of my crème caramel for one of my very patient neighbours in particular. She’s had to endure a near-constant stream of dairy-laden goods entering her house to be enjoyed by her partner only and I always feel bad I don’t have anything to offer her!
A crème caramel is typically made with cream or full-fat milk and regular granulated sugar. I was interested to give this a whirl using Grace Organic Coconut Milk and Grace Organic Coconut Sugar and ever since I saw (and tasted!) them, I wanted to use Grace Coconut Chips for garnish to add some crunch to an otherwise silky smooth dessert In fact I didn’t have to tweak the recipe very much from its original at all making it a fabulous dessert to have up my sleeve when I’m entertaining guests who are lactose intolerant. The subtle coconut flavour (it’s not too sweet either) give it a bit of an exotic flair too – it is definitely reminiscent of the coconut custards I’ve eaten all over South East Asia.
Dairy-free crème caramel
An easy French classic, made dairy-free with coconut milk
For the caramel
- 75g (1/2 cup) Grace Organic Coconut Sugar
- 2 tablespoons water
For the custard
- 400mls (1 can) Grace Organic Coconut Milk
- 2 eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 50g (1/3 cup) Grace Organic Coconut Sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Grace Organic Coconut Chips
- Pre-heat the oven to 300˚F.
- Make the caramel:
- Place the sugar and water in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Do not stir.
- Once the sugar has melted and is beginning to bubble, cook a further 5 minutes, swirling the pan occasionally. The mixture will start to smell like a slightly burnt caramel - it will me more watery than traditional caramel, less syrupy. Don't worry!
- Divide the caramel evenly between six ramekins (83mls or ⅓ cup each). Swirl the caramel to completely coat the base of each ramekin.
- Set the ramekins in a high-sided baking dish and boil a kettle.
- Make the custard:
- In a heat-proof bowl, whisk the eggs, yolks and sugar until thick and slightly pale.
- Heat the coconut milk, whisking constantly, in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
- Once smooth (the coconut cream can be a little lumpy) and simmering (NOT boiling), drizzle the milk slowly into the eggs and sugar, whisking constantly until you've incorporated all the milk.
- Whisk in the vanilla extract.
- Pour the custard into a 500ml jug and divide evenly between the six ramekins.
- Carefully pour the boiling water into the baking dish until it's just over ½ way up the sides of the ramekins.
- Carefully place the baking dish in the oven.
- Bake for 45-50 minutes until the custards are JUST set (they should be jiggly in the centre still).
- Remove the ramekins from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool to room temperature.
- Cover each ramekin with plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight.
- To remove the custards from the ramekins, gently run a sharp knife around the edge of the ramekins (alternatively you can set the ramekins in lukewarm water for a few minutes).
- Place a plate on top of the ramekin and, holding tight, flip the plate and ramekin. You might have to gently shake the plate/ramekin until you hear the custard slide down onto the plate.
- Serve immediately topped with the coconut chips.
I’m so happy I have an easy classic French dessert recipe to share with my dairy-free friends!
Coconut milk is a pantry staple in our house so I’m happy to have a sweet application for it (we mostly use it in savoury dishes – curries and the like). What do you like to make with coconut milk? Have you tried coconut sugar? How did you like it?
Grace coconut products can be found in the international aisle at: Metro, Food Basics, Sobeys, FreshCo, Wal-Mart, Loblaws, NoFrills, RCSS, Coppa’s fresh market and Highland Farms.
Want to try Grace Foods coconut products for yourself? I’ve got a giveaway going on for residents of Canada (excluding Quebec, sorry friends who live there). Check it out here.
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Grace Foods but all opinions are my own. I only write about and recommend products I use and love myself.
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