March 26, 2008

Venezuelan flan

Venezuelan Flan

Carefully stir the following ingredients together in a bowl:

4-5 eggs / 1 can condensed milk / 1 (14 oz) can coconut milk / lemon or other tropical fruit flavorings (I tried pandan for this - a fragrant leaf used to flavor Asian desserts) / lemon or lime zest (optional) / sugar for the caramelized topping

Prepare 2 llaneras (oblong shaped aluminum flan pans) or 2 6" round cake pans by heating up about 1/4 cup white sugar for each pan and melting the sugar until it turns into a deep caramelized color. Set aside the pans while preparing the flan mixture. Careful stirring will prevent air bubbles from forming and will produce a smoother flan texture. If using egg yolks only, about 8 is needed. I was planning to make the traditional and more common leche flan (made with eggs and milk) but I run out of regular evaporated milk so I switched to plan B and used coconut milk instead. I found this recipe a long time ago in a magazine and it was so good that I've been making it since then. The coconut milk adds a rich tropical taste to this popular dessert version. Be sure to strain the mixture while equally dividing and pouring into the pans. Set the 2 pans in a bigger rectangular pan and slowly pour boiling water around the pans ("bain marie" method). Suggested water level is half of side of pan. Be careful lifting and transferring it to oven. A better and safer way is to fill with boiling water when the pan is already set in the oven. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 45 minutes.

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