Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Coconut Flan - A Latin Dream

Coconut Flan
Photo by Leticia Alaniz © 2014 All Rights Reserved
Dream a little dream with this heavenly coconut flan.  It’s creamy, coconuty, silky and so delicious!  The feeling you get while eating this wonderful traditional desert is like sleeping on a cloud. 

They say there is a love language when expressing love and I believe one of the “love languages” is simply food.  I like to demonstrate love in the kitchen with delectable creations that express everything that love encompasses and the need to have our loved ones by our side.  Therefore, all the cooking that I do is based on love and my love of food.  

Flan is perhaps one of my favorite deserts because it’s a simple custard, yet its one of the most traditional latin deserts.  In México, you can find many street vendors called flaneros selling little cups of flan from their colorful carts in many of the plazas and markets.  Made with time, passion and devotion it becomes magic in the kitchen.  Flan seems to take on the silky voice of the soprano in an opera.

To prepare this flan you will need fresh sweet flaked coconut, but if fresh coconut is out of reach you can substitute dry coconut.  Another special ingredient is dark rum.  You can use a little for the recipe and pour another small  portion over ice with a splash of lime to enjoy for yourself while making the desert.  Beware!  Once you cut the first slice you will easily be transported to the tropics, hear the ocean waves and even feel your feet buried in the soft sand.  Start dreaming! 

(This recipe can serve at least eight slices.  But if you become a little greedy like me, you can serve a few slices, then hide the rest for yourself in the back of the refrigerator).


1/2 cup white sugar
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (15 oz) can coconut milk
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
12 oz cream cheese at room temperature
1 to 2 tablespoons of dark rum
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup of shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (175 degrees C).
In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, melt sugar until liquefied and golden in color.  Carefully pour hot caramel into a baking dish or flan dish, turning the dish to evenly coat the bottom and sides.  Set aside.  
In a large bowl, beat eggs, condensed milk, coconut milk, evaporated milk, rum, vanilla and half of the shredded coconut.  Last, beat in cream cheese until very smooth.  If you prefer, a blender can also be used.  
Pour egg mixture into baking dish.  Cover with aluminum foil.  It will need to bake a la bain-marie or water-bath in the oven.  Set the dish into a large baking pan with sides and carefully pour hot water around the flan dish to come 2/3 the way up the sides.  
Bake in preheated oven 60 minutes.  Let cool completely.
Chill in refrigerator preferably overnight.  
To serve, carefully invert on serving plate.  Toast remainder of coconut and garnish the flan.