When I came across this website a couple of months ago, I was excited to see a product called The Vegg there—a vegan equivalent of an egg yolk that looks, tastes and feels just like the real thing. So when the creator of The Vegg sent me a sample to try out last week, I decided to use it to make a vegan creme brulee, a fantastic dessert that uses only the yolk portion of an egg. Traditionally made with cream and sugar as well, this is a tough dish to veganize, as replicating the egg component is virtually impossible to do with other typical vegan ingredients.
More about The Vegg:
Ingredients: The Vegg uses all-natural ingredients like nutritional yeast flakes, kala namak and beta-carotene and contains sodium alginate, which allows the yolk mixture to be transformed into a spherical egg yolk shape if you want—you’ll just need some calcium chloride to make that happen—but it’s not necessary to do that for most applications of the product.
The texture, look and taste: You’ll have to blend this product in water before using it (1 teaspoon of The Vegg powder mixed with 1/4 cup water will make the equivalent of two to three yolks) in a blender or a Kitchen Aid Mixer on the highest setting. It will instantly yield a mixture that looks, smells and acts just like a real egg yolk. One package of The Vegg contains enough powder to make 30-40 yolks.
The verdict: Silky and rich, with an authentic egginess throughout, this creme brulee was easy to make, addictive after the first bite, and is now my favorite dessert. For this reason alone, I love this product, endorse it 100% and look forward to using it in other dishes and applications.
Availability: You can currently purchase The Vegg in stores listed on their website, online at Vegan Essentials or on amazon.com. 10% of net sales of the product are donated to Compassion Over Killing.
INGREDIENTS TO MAKE THE CREME BRULEE
1 13.66 oz. can of full-fat coconut milk
1/2 vanilla bean, scraped or 1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp agar powder
1 1/2 tsp of The Vegg
1/4 cup, plus 1 1/2 TB water
1/4 cup superfine sugar
extra superfine sugar, for topping
Preheat oven to 325. Combine the coconut milk, vanilla and agar in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat until it just starts to slightly boil, then dial the heat back to the lowest setting.
I used a Kitchen Aid mixer on its highest setting, but you can also use a blender to combine The Vegg powder with the water until well combined, about 15 seconds. Do not mix by hand or it will not work correctly. Then add in the sugar and blend again. Pour The Vegg mixture into the saucepan through a fine-mesh strainer. Whisk vigorously to combine. Keep over the heat for a minute or two so the sugar can dissolve. Turn off the heat and remove the mixture from the burner.
Create a water bath by placing two ramekins in a glass pyrex dish. Pour the mixture into the ramekins, then pour water into the glass pyrex dish until it comes up to about half the height of your ramekins.
Place it into the oven, ensuring that none of the water spills over into the ramekins. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove the ramekins from the water bath as soon as they are cool enough to handle. Cover the ramekins with saran wrap, making sure it does not come into contact with the mixture. Place in the refrigerator to set overnight.
When you are ready to serve the creme brulee, sprinkle about a tablespoon of the superfine sugar over the top. Using a butane torch, sweep the flame over the top until a golden caramel color is achieved. Serve immediately.