Although I had already waved goodbye to summer a few weeks ago, it has been unusually hot here in Germany and I have been trying not to use the oven too much. Salads in all shapes and forms were on the menu these last few weeks and as for baking, I would either bake in bulk in the morning when it was still cool or I would try to prepare “cold” desserts. Indeed, I forgot to mention that French people and families need to have a dessert at the end of a meal!
Last Christmas, my dear mum offered me a beautiful cookbook which has turned out to be very useful for planning meals. It is entitled The Family Meal: Home Cooking with Ferran Adrià. It is written by one of the world’s greatest chef, Ferran Adrià but do not be afraid! The recipes are not three stars complicated ones! They are meant for a family dining at home! The book features meals that anyone can prepare, inspired by the dishes eaten every day by the staff at his legendary restaurant El Bulli. What I like about this cookbook is that it is organized into three-course menus, with appetizers, mains and desserts and each recipe is shown with numerous step-by-step full-color photographs, and conversions on how you can prepare a meal for a small or large group, from 2 to 75 people!!! I have not cooked a whole menu yet as in my humble opinion they are not well-balanced enough. For example one menu starts with carbonara pasta and then as a main a fish sandwich with mayo! To me, it is way too heavy and too high on carbohydrates! However, I have cooked a few dishes successfully, in particular this creamy coconut flan!
I had always been scared to prepare a caramel sauce because of my fear of the sticky spoon glued to the pan as I would let the sugar melt for too long in the pan! But this time I decided to go for it (at the risk of loosing a spoon and a pan!) and as I followed the step-by-step instructions from the master chef, I discovered to my delight that it was not that difficult! The flan itself was super easy to prepare and did not require many eggs which is unusual for a flan and is a relief if like me you never have enough eggs! One thing my boys didn’t enjoy so much was the grated coconut so I will do without next time I make one.
For the caramel sauce: in a pan, heat one tablespoon of water and 50g sugar. Mix together until the sugar dissolves in the water, then continue to heat the mixture until it starts to come to the boil and it looks dark. Pour the caramel sauce into an ovenproof dish.
For the flan: whisk 4 eggs together. In another bowl, mix together 500ml coconut milk, 30g grated coconut and 50g sugar. Add the eggs to the mixture and whisk until it is well blended. Pour the mixture into the ovenproof dish on top of the caramel sauce.
Cover the ovenproof dish with aluminium foil and put it in a larger roasting dish. Add cold water halfway through the roasting dish and put the dish in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes. Watch over it from time to time because the water should not be boiling. When the flan is cooked (it is firm when you touch it), let it cool down in the oven, then take it out and put it in the fridge. Before serving it, remove the flan from the mold. Sliding a knife around the flan can be useful!
What about you? What is your never fail flan recipe?