Monday, February 13, 2012

coffee flan with bourbon coffee sauce

I love flan. I love coffee. I love this dessert.

1 cup sugar
1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup whole milk
5 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons instant coffee dissolved in 1 teaspoon boiling water
1 tablespoon bourbon 
Preheat the oven to 200F. Place a 9 inch round x 2 inch deep cake pan on the sheet and warm it in the oven. (You can also make smaller individual flans in ramekins, if you like; warm them the same way.) In a heavy medium saucepan, cook sugar over medium heat, stirring frequently, until melted and golden brown, 5 to 8 minutes. Take your time melting the sugar, but move quickly when it reaches a dark amber and pour the caramelized sugar syrup into the warm cake pan. (Take it out of the oven, first.) Tip the pan around to coat the bottom and up sides a bit with the caramel syrup. Set aside.

Raise the oven to 325. In a saucepan or the microwave, bring about 3 cups of water to a boil. Combine the three milks, the eggs, egg yolk, vanilla, coffee, and bourbon in a blender. Mix on low speed for one minute until everything is completely mixed and smooth. (If there is too much liquid, blend in two batches to prevent overflowing.) Pour the custard into the caramel-lined pan and place it (or the ramekins) is a larger dish or baking sheet that has high sides and then put it on the middle rack of the oven. Carefully pour boiling water into the larger holding pan to a depth of about an inch. Bake uncovered for thirty minutes and then check it. If custard is still not set (which mine usually is not) increase the temperature to 350 and set the timer in ten minute increments and continue cooking until custard is set and a thin knife blade inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely on a rack and then refrigerate covered with plastic for at least two or three hours. You can refrigerate it over night.

While it's cooking, make the Bourbon Coffee Sauce.
1 cup sugar
1 2/3 cups extra strong coffee (best at room temperature)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/3 teaspoon salt 
In a heavy skillet, melt the sugar slowly, stirring often, until the sugar melted and has turned a light amber color, about five minutes. Slowly add 1 1/3 cups of the coffee, stir ring constantly. Be prepared for a lot of steam. In a small bowl, blend the cornstarch and the remaining 1/3 cup of coffee until smooth. Stir the mixture into the hot coffee-sugar mixture. Continue cooking over low heat and stir until the sauce boils and thickens, about 8 to 10 minutes. Let it cool and then refrigerate.

Set both the sauce and the flan out of the fridge for a couple of hours before serving. When you are ready to serve the flan, run a thin knife around the edge of pan between custard and pan. (Press the knife against the pan, not the custard.) Place a deep serving plate with a rim over the pan and invert it to move the flan to the serving dish. Carefully lift up pan and allow syrup to run over the flan. Cut into wedges and enjoy. I served the desserts with chards of Pumpkin Seed Brittle.

Peace, Milton