Friday, March 07, 2008

Flan de Coco

Flan de Coco: La Guardia Coconut Flan With Curried Custard Sauce

By The Denver Post

Article Last Updated: 03/05/2008 05:08:25 AM MST

"The street outside the elegant old mansion is in disrepair. Inside, in what was once the grand entrance hall, a couple of stray dogs are camping out on dirty marble floors, and a poor family has set up housekeeping. Climbing the crumbling staircase, you may begin to have reservations about this culinary adventure, but at the second landing there is a large black door. Ring the bell and a face appears at the peephole. When you are recognized, the door swings open and you step into La Guardia, a world of well-dressed patrons and great food. The innovative menu features new Cuban recipes like this delicate coconut flan served with a subtle but exotic custard sauce." From "Eating Cuba" by Beverly Cox, serves 6.


1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup half-and-half
5 large eggs
1 3/4 cups thick fresh coconut milk, or 1 (13.5-ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Curried Custard Sauce and Guava Sauce


Place six individual 6-ounce metal flan molds or ovenproof custard cups in a baking pan large enough to hold them without touching each other. Place 3/4 cup of the sugar in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Set the saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring, until the sugar melts and the syrup takes on an amber tinge, 8-10 minutes. Quickly but carefully pour a portion of the caramel into each mold, tilting the mold to evenly coat the bottom with caramel.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the half-and-half and the remaining 3/4 cup sugar. Simmer, stirring, until sugar is dissolved; set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk eggs until just combined, then slowly whisk in half-and-half mixture, coconut milk and vanilla. Strain custard through a fine sieve into a clean bowl, then ladle it into caramel-coated molds. Place baking pan on middle rack of oven and pour enough boiling water around molds to come two thirds of the way up the sides of the molds. Carefully slide the rack back into oven. Bake flans for 50-60 minutes, until barely set in the middle. Remove the pan from the oven and let custards cool slowly in water bath. Refrigerate until ready to serve, about 1 hour.

When ready to serve, run a thin-bladed knife around the edge of each flan, penetrating about 1/2 inch below the surface. Turn molds over onto individual dessert plates. One by one, grasp plate and mold firmly and shake up and down until flan drops onto plate. Carefully remove molds and allow caramel to drizzle over flans. Spoon a ribbon of Curried Custard Sauce around each flan. Place three or four dots of Guava Sauce in the custard sauce and draw the tip of a paring knife through the dots to make a decorative pattern. Serve immediately.

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