I have been thinking about dairy free crème Anglaise for a long time. After making it and realising how easy it was, I can’t understand my apprehension about this recipe. The process of making it is more simple, compared to quite delicate procedure of preparing crème Anglaise with regular milk. The taste was very similar to that of regular crème Anglaise, with coconut overtone, but not a very strong one. I was surprised again, because I liked another desert with a coconut milk in it. I am normally not very keen on coconut taste in deserts. There was a slight difference in texture. Coconut crème Anglaise was a touch thicker and had more body to it. It is easy to explain. For regular Anglaise I use organic milk with 4% of fat, while even light coconut milk has 24% fat. Coconut Anglaise probably relates more to the crème made with an equal mix of regular milk and cream, which will still give less fat concentration.
The original mix of all ingredients before heating, gives instantly thicker product. During gradual heating the mixture loses its thickness initially, but later thickens again. I did not reach the temperature of 80C, recommended for the mixture one on the upper range for crème Anglaise, not even 70C, which is the lower temperature range. When the creme was thick enough in my opinion, the temperature was 65C. Typically, I do not check the temperature, but use a standard spoon test.
Because of the initial thickness of the mixture, the process of crème preparation needs you full attention. Constant stirring with a whisk, but not a spoon, is essential to prevent lower layers of the mixture, closer to the bowl walls to curdle.
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 whole egg
- 70g organic honey
- 400ml can of organic light coconut milk
- seeds from the whole vanilla bean
I had so many things happening on my cooktop, that I could not possibly allow for photography to take place. I also did not want to be distracted by the latter and ruin the crème. You can find step by step process of regular crème Anglaise preparation in my other blog here. It is written in Russian, but photos do not need translation.
- cut vanilla bean open and scrape all the seeds from both halves
- in a bowl combine an egg, egg yolks and honey
- whisk them together until you do not feel the lumps of honey in the mixture
- add the contents of coconut milk can
- add vanilla seeds
- mix all ingredients together until fully combined and the mixture becomes nearly homogenous
Some of the solid coconut fat particles were still present in the mixture. To avoid it, gentle heating can be recommended. But you can leave them and they will disappear when the mixture will be heated on the water bath.
- place the bowl on a pot with simmering water on low heat
- make sure, that you have some open space between the bowl and the pot for the steam to come out
- gently heat the mixture with constant stirring with a whisk (I had an impression that stirring with a spoon will not be effective enough)
- the mixture will lose it thickness at first and become more runny, but will thicken quite fast
- apply the spoon test, (when the brake in the thick mixture on the back part of the spoon made with a finger stays clear), take the bowl from the heat
- whisk the crème again and strain through the sifter to take out pieces of vanilla bean and also some small protein pieces, curdled from particular parts of egg whites
- put the bowl with the crème into a bigger bowl with cold water and give the crème an occasional mix to fasten cooling down process
- transfer the mixture into a jar, it can be stored 2-4 days refrigerated
For the tasting I had a serving of fresh apples and pears with dark chocolate shavings and walnuts. I want to add that the pears now are just excellent. I have accidentally bought big, very hard and green pears for cooking, but discovered that after 2-3 days they become very juicy, still hard and not mushy, sweet, with abundance of flavour. Their look did not promise their magnificent taste. I usually add some lemon juice to preserve the colour of my fruits. The dish was very light, with delicate taste, and I am not sure that my regular crème Anglaise made with milk would have delivered the same result.
Vanilla seeds could be replaced with any other vanilla source, but I am not sure, that it will deliver the same intensity of the flavour.