You people have been asking for a pudding or custard recipe long enough. I’ve had requests for dairy-free, egg-free crÃ¨me caramel, flan, allergy-free creme brulee, pudding, and custard. And then Flo Makanai at Makanai, Bio, Bon, Simple requested a vanilla pudding or vanilla custard, free not only of the top 8 most common allergens, but also that it be rice-free, potato-free, and corn-free too. This was a challenge, Flo, thanks for making me sweat! Additionally, Flo lives in France, where I don’t believe she can purchase my go-to: Ener-G Egg Replacer. I really had to put on my thinking cap for this one. Allergen-free, vegan, no rice, potato, or corn, international shopping restrictions I didn’t have a clue.
What I did have, however, was a kitchen blow torch. So I decided to commit myself to a CrÃ¨me Brulee, and figure it out as I went along.
The trick, I discovered, to creating an allergen-free vegan, internationally-friendly CrÃ¨me Brulee? Coconut milk for the cream, tapioca starch for the eggs, light brown sugar, vanilla extract, and a few ramekins. This recipe got a lot of love from my son Lennon, but I may attempt to further perfect the concept in coming blogs perhaps with Flan, so check back to see it in a new incarnation. Read on to make your free-of-almost-everything custard!
I’m part Swiss. Did I ever mention that? In fact, I’m a Swiss Citizen (dual). Yup, that’s right, just call me “Heidi”. What do Swiss people like more than anything? Well more than anything other than a good watch, and neutral politics? And perhaps a good army knife? HOT CHOCOLATE. That’s right. Thick, complex, rich, and so chocolaty that it’s almost like it’s just a melted cup of chocolate.
But it’s not easy to replicate this type of hot chocolate with most of the cocoa powders you find at the store. Imagine how delighted I was when Vermont Nut Free Chocolate sent me a care package! Not only are all their chocolate products manufactured in a dedicated nut-free facility, this cocoa powder rivals Valrhona. Dark, robust, with a full spectrum of flavor. It made the best hot cocoa I’ve tasted, since, well, since sitting on the hill in Lausanne, drinking a hot chocolaty bowl of heaven with my mother 10 years ago. Thanks, Vermont Nut Free! You just rocked my world! Oh yeah, and my kids were pretty thrilled too. (They added the marshmallows. I’m a purist, when it comes to anything chocolate).
Allergy-Friendly Hot Chocolate
- 2 cups dairy-free milk of choice
- 2 heaping Tablespoons Vermont Nut Free Cocoa Powder
- 2 heaping Tablespoons evaporated cane juice or granulated sugar (try Wholesome Sweeteners)
1. Combine 2 cups dairy-free milk, cocoa powder, and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk well, until slightly frothy. Keep just below a boil, bring to a “scald”. Remove from heat.
This pudding was such a hit with my kids that my older son tried stealing his brother’s portion after he finished his own. You might want to double the recipe if you have more than one child.
- 2 3/4 cups rice milk
- 2 Tablespoons Vermont Nut Free Cocoa Powder
- 1/2 cup Enjoy Life Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips (Vermont Nut Free also makes yummy chocolate chips, which are nut-free, but please note they contain soy lecithin)
- 1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons cornstarch (or tapioca starch, or arrowroot starch, or potato starch)
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon gluten-free vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon cognac, or brandy, or rum (optional)
- Fresh raspberries, optional
1. Combine 2 1/2 cups rice milk, cocoa powder, and chocolate chips in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk well, heating until the chocolate chips are completely melted and combined with the rice milk. Keep just below a boil, to “scald” rice milk. Remove from heat.
2. In a bowl, combine cornstarch, sugar, and salt. Whisk well.
3. Add remaining 1/4 cup rice milk to cornstarch mixture, stirring until smooth.
4. Add to rice milk/chocolate mixture, stirring with a whisk. Continue whisking until pudding thickens to the consistency that it coats the back of a metal spoon.
5. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla extract (and cognac).
6. Divide evenly among 4 ramekins or custard cups. Chill. Serve as is or topped with fresh raspberries.
Vegan (soy-free!) Chocolate Pudding
© 2010 by Cybele Pascal