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Recipe by Afroza Mannan | Image by Sabina Huq
I came up with this recipe when I had to make a dessert for a friend who is lactose and gluten intolerant. By substituting regular milk in traditional flan with coconut milk, I came up with the following recipe.
1 and ¾ cup white granulated sugar (¾ for milk, 1 for caramel)
2 (14oz) unsweetened coconut milk.
To make lighter: use 1 can low fat & 1 can regular coconut milk. To make denser: use 1 can coconut cream & 1 can regular coconut milk.
6 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
Pinch of salt.
Small deep heavy based saucepan – for browning sugar. Must be heavy based to prevent sugar from burning during caramelizing process.
Eight 8oz round ramekins or one 9”x9” baking dish.
Hot water bath – A large enough roasting or baking tray to hold dishes plus enough hot water to come up to 2/3 of sides of dishes.
1. Preheat oven to 350F
2. Caramelizing sugar: Place 1-cup sugar in center of the pan over medium heat. Do not stir until sugar begins to melt. Once sugar starts to melt, keep gently pulling sugar to center until all of it melts and starts to turn amber/light brown color. Immediately remove from heat otherwise caramel will burn and become bitter.
3. Quickly pour caramel enough into each cup/dish to coat bottom. Swirl around then let cool.
4. In another saucepan, gently heat milk and add ¾-cup sugar, salt and vanilla. Do not have to bring to boil; just warm enough to dissolve sugar. Set aside.
5. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs. Then slowly add the milk mixing constantly. (**Make sure milk is not too hot otherwise the eggs will get cooked**)
6. Pour the mixture into the caramel lined ramekins/dish and place in the tray.
7. Pour enough hot water in the roasting tray to come up the 2/3 of side of cups. (**You can pour the water in to the tray after placing in oven so as to avoid spills**)
8. Place in center of oven and bake 35 to 45 mins or until center is set.
9. Remove from water bath and allow to cool. Cover each ramekin or dish and refrigerate for at least 4hrs or up to 24hrs.
To serve: Loosen by running knife around edge of ramekin then turn out flan on to serving plate. The caramel will pour out around the flan. Decorate with mint leaves and fruit of choice.