Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Coconut Flan

If you like flan, this variation with coconut will hit the spot. I have made changes to the original recipe which I have adapted from Bon Appetit among other recipes.

It's easy to prepare and bake flans. But there are some tips you should pay attention to. Sugar crystals will form when making your caramel if you keep stirring once the sugar dissolves, so swirl the pan around instead of stirring to melt the sugar.

If you don't want to use coconut flakes because of texture, use coconut extract and omit the vanilla extract.

Instead of using individual custard cups you can use a bundt cake form. But it will need to cook for 50 min. instead of 30 min. If you overcook flan, it has curdles inside, and if you undercook, the middle will be too liquid, so keep an eye on it. You can tell it is done by inserting a toothpick, if it comes out clean, your flan is cooked.

COCONUT FLAN

Ingredients:
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk (you can use low-fat)
2/3 cups whole milk
2/3 coconut milk
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut
Pinch of lemon zest

Directions:
In a heavy sauce pan over medium heat, add 1 cup of sugar and 1/4 cup water. Stir constantly until sugar dissolves and becomes clear. Continue cooking and stirring until mixture turns a light golden brown. Immediately pour mixture into flan dishes, dividing mixture evenly, swirling it around to coat the bottom and sides. Let caramel cool. (Drizzle any remaining caramel onto a sheet of parchment or waxed paper in decorative squiggles. Let the squiggles harden and use them as garnish for the flan.)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Arrange six 3/4-cup custard cups in 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan. Whisk the rest of the ingredients except for the flakes in medium bowl to blend. Then mix in the coconut flakes. Divide mixture among cups. Pour enough hot water into pan to come halfway up sides of cups.

Bake flans until just set in center, about 30 minutes. Remove flans from pan and refrigerate until cold, about 2 hours. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and keep refrigerated.)

When ready to serve, dip the cans in a saucepan of hot water. run a knife around the outside edge of the flan and using a finger, gently press down the edges of the flan, until the caramel runs up the side, which indicates that it's loosened. Invert each flan onto onto a plate. Break the caramel squiggles into pieces and insert them into the top of each flan.

Serves 6.

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