Hi I'm Leonie, Collector of feathers, pebbles, words and adventures, with an overactive mind and a sunshine-filled heart.

This blog is all about: NATURE ~ RUNNING ~ ART ~ FOOD ~ LOVE ~ SELF-DISCOVERY

Orange, almond and chia faux-brulee

Yes... faux-brulee. Not quite creme brulee, but still super tasty!

On this damp rainy winter's day I've been craving something stodgy and pudding-y to warm my belly, but wanted to avoid the, ahem, 2 CUPS of cream in real creme brulee (even though that sounds totally drool-worthy). Plus I have about 10 oranges in our fruit bowl thanks to my mum's friend who has a couple of fruit trees.

So Holly and I did some experimenting and created this healthy version of creme brulee. It's totally yummy, with a little burst of orange flavour paired with almond milk and flaked almonds on top.

I did end up adding a wee bit of proper full-fat dollop cream, just to give it a hint of that traditional cooked-cream consistency, but the rest is filled out with yoghurt, eggs and almond milk.

Holly is in charge of eggs in this house. She's only 3 and a half but she can nearly separate the yolks from the whites! She loves helping me in the kitchen, and I love that she chooses cooking over watching tv, if cooking is on offer. Especially now she is old enough to listen to me when I say DON'T TOUCH THE SCALDING HOT PAN (well, most of the time).

I added chia seeds for an extra hit of protein, fibre and Omega-3. When chia seeds are wet, the outer skin becomes gelatinous, and I have heard they create such a good binding 'jelly' they can even be used as an egg substitute. However, they are completely tasteless, and therefore great to add to almost anything!

And it totally hit the spot - hot, wobbly, creamy, with a little bit of crunch on top.

I don't have a grill that works, or a brulee torch, so instead of a caramelised top I just bumped up the oven temp for the last five minutes and toasted the flaked almonds on top with a teeny sprinkle of brown sugar and some extra orange zest.

This brulee has just a hint of sweetness; I've used a combination of stevia and maple syrup (why? Because I ran out of maple syrup). If you'd prefer to use a natural greek yoghurt instead of vanilla yoghurt you might like to add a little more of your favourite sweetner.

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Orange and Almond Faux Creme Brulee

  • 1/2 cup of unsweetened almond milk (I used SoGood)
  • 3 free range eggs
  • 2 tablespoons stevia granules (I used Natvia)
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 6 tablespoons fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 1/4 cup good quality vanilla yoghurt (I used five:am organic yoghurt)
  • 2 tablespoons thick dollop cream
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 2 tablespoons white chia seeds
  • A few little bits of orange pulp (around a teaspoon for each brulee)
For the 'crust':
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest, chopped finely
  • 2 tablespoons flaked almonds
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar

Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celcius.

Whisk the eggs, then add the remaining ingredients and whisk again. Pour into four ramekins and gently drop some chunks of orange pulp into the middle of each brulee. Place in a deep baking dish or big cake tin.

Carefully pour boiling water into the dish to come around half way up the sides of the ramekins. Place in the oven for around 40-45 minutes (my oven is gas, and pretty old, so you might need to adjust for your own oven). You are looking for the brulees to be set but still a little wobbly; if you gently touch them in the middle the mixture shouldn't stick to your finger.

Remove the brulees from the oven and from the water bath. Place ramekins on an oven tray and turn oven up to 220 degrees Celcius. Sprinkle orange zest, almonds then brown sugar over each brulee and return to the oven for 5 minutes or until the sugar starts to soften and the almonds are slightly browned. I took mine out of the oven a little bit earlier as I had sprinkled the zest on the very top and it had started to burn, so I'd suggest adding the zest first, then covering with almonds, then sugar on top. 

Makes 4.
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And now that I've polished off my second one today (at 9pm, oops), I'm going to head to bed ready to start the week tomorrow with focus and renewed motivation to run. This week has been a write-off - I've been a little unwell, Richard has been on-call and working at all hours, and I've just been in a bit of a bad headspace.

However: tomorrow is a new, magical day! And I'm setting my alarm for 5.30am (crap, shouldn't have looked at the weather forecast... 8 degrees! Argh!). 

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