Creme Caramel

Serves 6

120g white caster sugar
500ml barista plant-based milk
2 tablespoons agar flakes
50g caster sugar
vanilla extract

Place 6 dariole moulds into a tray.

Place the first sugar in a small saucepan with enough water to moisten the sugar.
Have a cup of water handy and a pastry brush
Measure 2 tablespoons water into a cup.

Place the saucepan on a medium heat and stir with a metal spoon until the sugar has melted then stop stirring.

Dip the pastry brush in the water and brush around the inside of the pan to ensure any grains of sugar are washed into the caramel. If any grains of sugar get into the caramel, it can cause the caramel to crystalise.

Boil until the sugar changes to a deep caramel colour. Do not stir. If the caramel is colouring quicker in one spot, swirl the pan gently to mix.
When the caramel has turned a golden brown but not too dark.

Working quickly add 2 tablespoons water, be careful the caramel will spit. Swirl the pan to mix in the water then pour equal amounts into the moulds.

If you are making more than six crème caramels, I recommend stopping the caramel cooking before pouring into the moulds to prevent it getting too dark. This is done by putting the saucepan into a sink of cold water to take away the heat of the pan. Fill the sink with enough cold water to reach half way up the side of the pan before you make the caramel. If the caramel then sets too firm – wipe the bottom of the pan dry and place back onto the heat. Swirl until just runny enough then pour into the moulds.

Pour the barista plant-based milk into a large saucepan. Add the caster sugar, agar flakes and vanilla extract.

Place on the heat and stir to the boil. Simmer to dissolve the agar flakes.

Pour through a strainer into a jug and fill the dariole moulds to the top. Leave to cool then place in the fridge to set.

To empty out the creme caramel – I find it best to dip each mould into a bowl of boiling water for a few seconds, place a plate on top and turn over onto the plate.

Serve with dairy-free pouring cream.

I made this dessert for a blog post in 2012 when I made a gluten and dairy-free version of the technical challenge from The Great British Bake Off each week.