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1/10/2014

Caramel Espresso Flan

Whether you call it flan, baked custard or crème caramel, one bite of this classic dessert will remind you why it’s a perennial favourite. The touch of coffee flavour adds depth to the perfectly set, creamy custard and makes it that much more fabulous.

Prep. Time: 15 mins  Cooking Time: 40 - 45 mins
Refrigeration Time: 2 hrs  Yields: 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups (310 mL) sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) 10 % half-and-half cream or
  • 5 % light cream
  • 1 cup (250 mL) Milk
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) brewed espresso or
  • dark-roast coffee
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) vanilla extract
  • Boiling water
Preparation

Preheat oven to 350 °F (180 °C). Place a 9-inch (23 cm) deep dish glass pie plate in a large roasting pan.

In a small saucepan, combine 3/4 cup (180 mL) of the sugar with 1/4 cup (60 mL) water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring just until sugar is dissolved. Boil, without stirring, until syrup just turns a deep caramel colour. Pour into pie plate, swirling to evenly coat bottom. Set aside to cool.

In another saucepan, heat cream, milk and coffee over medium heat just until steaming. In a bowl, whisk remaining sugar with eggs until foamy; gradually whisk in hot cream mixture in thin steady stream. Whisk in vanilla extract. Strain through a sieve into pie plate over caramel.

Place roasting pan in oven and pour in enough boiling water to come halfway up side of pie plate. Bake for about 40 min or until knife inserted in the centre of custard comes out clean. Remove pie plate from water and let cool completely on a wire rack.

Cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours or for up to 2 days.

To serve, run a small knife around the edge of the custard. Invert a rimmed serving plate on top of pie plate, flip both over quickly and shake gently to release flan onto serving plate. Scrape any excess caramel from the pie plate on top of flan.

Tips
Instead of one large pie plate, divide caramel and custard evenly among eight 1/2-cup to 3/4-cup (125 to 180 mL) individual ramekins or custard cups. Decrease baking time to about 30 min.

For the Adventurous: Serve with a dollop of sweetened, cinnamon whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon on top.