If someone asked me what food I miss most as a vegan, custard would be up there. I absolutely loooooved custard tarts, custard donuts, french vanilla slices and custardy textures in asian desserts. Oh my goodness… I’m getting hungry just thinking about it!
Most vegan custard recipes have cornflour in them… I don’t like cornflour because:
- My family used it as a thickener in stir fries and I’m just really over it.
- It gives food a weird, fake and gloopy texture.
- It’s overused in gluten-free baking.
I endeavoured to create a custard without cornflour and to make it as raw as possible. I played around with ratios of silken tofu, almond milk, coconut cream and cashews. As a lot of raw desserts taste like coconut, I tried to minimise and avoid coconut where possible. For thickeners, I experimented with coconut butter and psyllium husk.
I settled with a perfect combination of tofu, cashews, coconut butter and a heated agar agar mixture to firm up the custard. I loved this combination because it wasn’t thick and dense like a cheesecake, yet it was firm enough to hold in a tart. Like many raw desserts, the custard filling is rich but oh so delicious.
I wanted the custard to taste like how I remember custard to be… so, ‘eggy’. I used black salt (or kala namak) to give the custard a unique eggy texture. Black salt is an Indian ingredient which has a pungent eggy smell (or rotten eggy smell). However, when you mix it with savoury or sweet foods, it lends a subtle flavour. A small bit goes a long way! I initially made the mistake of adding too much so my custard kind of stank! I ended up adding a whole load of other seasons and sweeteners to balance it out… then felt sick… well someone’s gotta do the taste testing!
If you’ve read my previous blog posts, I’ve been training myself up to drink more tea. I’m slightly sick at the moment, so I’m hoping the tea and increased liquids will assist my recovery! One brand that I’ve fallen in love with is Change Chai, a small local Australian company. Change Chai isn’t just another tea company but embodies the philosophy that small steps and changes can help improve the quality of your life… something that I’m constantly working on!
I used Change Chai’s Indian Spice Chai powder to flavour the vegan custard. The chai powder is naturally sweet (from the cinnamon), not overpowering but gives me exactly that chai flavour that I love! I complemented it with a nutty pecan base which is pretty moreish in itself!
It’s winter in Australia and where I live (Canberra), the max temperature today is a whopping 8 degrees celcius. I don’t feel like this city was built for the cold… but I’m going to compensate with a hot cup of chai with a slice of this custard tart.
Who would like to join me? 🙂
This post was sponsored by Change Chai. However, as always, all opinions expressed in this post are 100% my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that allow Rainbow Nourishments to be sustainable.
- ½ cup pecans
- ½ cup almonds
- ½ cup sunflower seeds (if you don't have any of these nuts/seeds, substitute them with any other nut/seed)
- ⅓ cup dates, soaked in water overnight
- 2 dried figs, soaked in water overnight
- 1 tsp Change Chai Indian Spice Chai
- 1 cup cashews, soaked in water overnight
- 1 cup firm silken tofu
- ½ cup softened coconut butter
- ½-1/4 cup rice malt syrup (or any other liquid sweetener)
- 2-3 tsp Change Chai Indian Spice Chai
- ¼ tsp black salt
- ¼ tsp vanilla bean powder or extract
- Pinch of turmeric
- 3 tbsp plant-based milk, as needed
- 1 tsp agar agar powder + 2 tbsp water
- Line a 20cm tart tin with baking paper or brush with oil.
- For the crust, add the pecans, almonds and sunflower seeds to a food processor. Blitz until fine crumbs. Drain the dates and figs and add to the processor with the chai powder. Blitz until combined.
- Scoop crust mixture into tart tin and press along the bottom and sides. Set aside.
- For the custard filling, add all ingredients (except the milk, agar agar and water) to a high-powered blender and blend until as smooth as possible.
- If your mixture is too thick or will not blend, add milk and blend again.
- Add the agar agar and water to a small saucepan over medium heat. Mix then bring to boil. Add 2 tbsp of custard filling to saucepan and mix again. Add the agar mixture to the blender then blend until smooth.
- Pour custard mixture into tart tin and tap against the kitchen bench to flatten the surface. Set aside in the fridge for 2 hours or until the custard has set.
- Decorate with fruit as desired then serve!