Fifteenth Birthday Flan
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/8 cup red wine
- 2 cups coconut milk
- 1 cup evaporated milk
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 6 eggs
- 1/2 cup sugar
Special equipment: 12 individual (3 1/2-inch diameter, 1/2-cup capacity) lightly buttered flan tins or custard cups
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Have a tray of ice water ready into which you will be able to immerse the bottoms of the custard cups. To a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan add sugar and evenly pour the red wine over the top. Without disturbing the contents, heat the saucepan over medium heat. Do not stir. Swirl the pot gently until the sugar dissolves, but do not let the syrup boil UNTIL you see that the sugar has dissolved, that is, when the syrup is clear and you don't see any cloudiness or sugar crystals. You may have to remove the pot from the heat periodically to keep it from boiling before the sugar dissolves. When the sugar is entirely dissolved, cover the pot, increase the heat to high and boil for 2 minutes. Remove the lid and cook until you see that the syrup is beginning to darken. Avoid stirring as this will leave crystallized streaks in the syrup. When it is a deep amber remove the pot to the bowl of ice water you have standing by. Working quickly, immediately spoon a teaspoon of the caramel into each custard cup and swirl to coat the interior with a thin layer of caramel. Place each in the tray of ice water.
Pour the coconut milk, evaporated milk, and milk into a saucepan and add the vanilla. Over medium low heat slowly bring to a boil, then remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and gradually add 1/2 cup of the sugar whipping until you see a change in color. Slowly incorporate the cream mixture into the egg yolk mixture a little at a time, whisking constantly as you go.
Pour the custard into the caramel coated custard cups and place them in a roasting pan. Prepare a bain marie by adding hot water to the pan so that the water level is halfway up the side of the ramekins. Be careful to avoid splashing any water into the ramekins. Bake in the oven until a butter knife inserted in the center comes out clean, about 40 to 45 minutes, allow to cool and then refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving. Just before serving remove from the refrigerator and allow to warm up a little. Then invert each custard from the mold onto a chilled dessert dish.
2008, Robert Irvine, All Rights Reserved.