Thursday, July 24, 2008

FlanTastic!

Flan.........GLORIOUS FLAN! For those of you unfamiliar with this ultra decadent dessert, flan is a Latin American custard like dish, sort of like a thicker, upside down, creme brulee without the caramelized sugar topping. Instead the caramel is syrupy and found on the bottom. This perfect flan specimen pictured above is compliments of my mother-in-law {aka} The Flan Master - Puerto Rican Super Hero of the flan baking world, just ask anyone who has ever had her famous specialty, "Cheese Flan", almost like eating cheesecake. She has been making this recipe for years and it's funny but each time she makes it, we swear it was even better than her last. It's the dessert that keeps getting even more delicious.

The trick to making a great flan is the "bain marie" or water bath it is baked in. If you place your flan in the oven by itself, it will turn out like scrambled eggs due to the dry heat. When the flan is placed inside a pan filled with water, enough to come up 3/4 of the side of the flan dish, this creates steam in the oven and the consistency of the flan will be silky smooth.
I wanted to post my mother-in-law's recipe, but soon found out it was a "family secret" and if I did any such thing my knee caps would be removed by Jose Wallnuts-riguez. Seeing as I need my knee caps these days, I decided to leave you with this FLANTASTIC recipe that I used for many years, prior to meeting my husband. ENJOY

BRANDY FLANS
Serves 6
recipe from Miami Spice {quite possibly the best cookbook I have ever owned!!!!!}

1 1/2 cups sugar
3 large whole eggs
1 egg yolk
2 cups milk
1 1/2 tablespoons brandy, preferably Spanish
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Have ready six 8 oz ramekins or one large, deep dish pie plate.

2. Make the caramel: Place 1 cup of the sugar in a heavy saucepan with 3 tablespoons water. Cover and cook the sugar over high heat for 1 minute. Uncover the pan and continue cooking until the mixture turns dark golden brown, about 4 minutes.

3. Pour a little of this mixture into each ramekin. Tilt and rotate the ramekins to coat the bottom and sides. Set aside.

4. Meanwhile, bring 1 qt water to a boil.

5. Whisk together the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, the whole eggs, and egg yolk in a mixing bowl. Whisk in the milk, brandy, vanilla, and cinnamon. Correct the flavors, adding sugar or cinnamon to taste. Pour this mixture into the ramekins.

6. Place the ramekins in a small roasting pan and pour in boiling water to a depth of 1/2 inch. Loosely cover the pan with aluminum foil. Bake until the flans puff slightly and an inserted skewer comes out clean, about 20 minutes.

7. Remove the flans from the roasting pan, and let cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate until cold, at least 6 hours. The flans set up even better if you allow them to chill overnight. Just before serving, run a sharp knife around the inside of each ramekin. Place a plate on top and invert. Gently shake the dish; the flan should slip out easily. Spoon the caramel sauce around the flan and serve.

4 comments:

WarmAndFuzzyBaby said...

I have to try this recipe, it sounds so yummy.

Shiny Black Shoes said...

haha that's a funny post :) good job!

High Desert Diva said...

oh yum

Stacey said...

That dessert looks divine!
I just had a peek inside your store - you have some lovely products. I am sure to come back for a better look later.

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