Vegan Flan with Dulce de Leche

It looks and tastes like traditional flan, but there’s no heavy cream, eggs, or sugar. It’s deliciously simple—just blend and chill. My Latino guests were surprised at the perfect custard-like consistency and flavor, especially when they learned it is made with cashews and coconut milk. They gasped in amazement that the sauce tastes just like dulce de leche. Orange peel adds a zesty flavor and golden color. There are two ways to serve this flan. You can turn it out onto serving plates, or serve it right in the ramekin. Any blender works to make this. A high-speed blender such as Blendtec or Vitamix will provide the smoothest results, but is not required. Yield: 4 servings. Find more yummy treats in my book Paleo Desserts, 125 Delicious Everyday Favorites, Gluten and Grain-free.

Vegan Flan with Dulce de Leche

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Ingredients

Instructions

    Flan:
  1. Get out four ramekins. Decide which way you'd like to serve your fan, turned out on a plate, or in the ramekin. If you're going to turn it out onto plates, get out 4 small serving plates. Cut 4 small circles of parchment paper to line the inside of the ramekins. The paper should fit exactly and adhere to the bottom smoothly. If you're going to serve it in the ramekin, disregard the previous 3 sentences.
  2. Blend the coconut milk, cashews, sweetener, yacón syrup (if using), coconut oil, lemon juice, salt, vanilla, and orange zest until very smooth.
  3. In a shallow nonstick pan over medium heat, stir the agar flakes into the 1/4 cup of coconut milk. Cook and stir gently for 2 to 3 minutes until it is bubbly and gummy, and the flakes begin to dissolve. Add the agar mixture to the blender immediately, and blend well to remove any lumps. Sweeten to taste.
  4. Pour into the ramekins. Chill for 1 hour to thicken.
  5. Dulce de Leche Sauce:
  6. Place the sweetener in a small serving pitcher, and pour a tablespoon of warm water over it. Stir until the crystals dissolve. Add coconut milk, yacón syrup (if using), maple flavoring (if using), vanilla, and salt. Whisk until very creamy. When completely smooth, gently add the melted coconut oil and stir until smooth.
  7. To Serve:
  8. Remove the chilled flan from the refrigerator. If you're turning them out onto serving plates, use a thin knife to carefully release the flan from the sides of the ramekin. Center the plate face down on top of the ramekin. Flip them both over carefully so that the flan drops out of the dish onto the plate.
  9. Pour the dulce de leche sauce over the flan. If you want to make zig-zag design with the sauce, use a small squeeze bottle for better control. It doesn't really matter what it looks like, the taste is awesome. Enjoy!

Flan is easy and delicious served in a ramekin!