- For the coffee caramel:
- 100 g sugar
- ¼ cup espresso
- For the flan:
- 2 cups full-cream milk
- 1 cup cream
- 1 t vanilla extract
- ¼ t freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 T citrus zest (any mix of lemon, lime or orange)
- 3 free-range eggs
- 6 free-range egg yolks
- 200 g sugar
- A pinch salt
To make the coffee caramel, mix the sugar and coffee in a small, heavy saucepan. Cook over a medium heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Stop stirring and cook until syrupy and deep caramel in colour. (To be absolutely accurate the syrup should form a soft ball when dropped into iced water.)
Swirl around in the pan, then pour into a round cake tin, 23 cm in diameter and 5 cm deep. Quickly rotate to cover the bottom of tin and as much of the sides as you can. Refrigerate while making the flan.
To make the flan, preheat the oven to 160°C. Mix the milk, cream, vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon stick and citrus zest in a saucepan. Heat just until bubbles form around the edge of the pan, stirring continually. Pour through a fine sieve into a bowl. In another bowl, gently whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, sugar and salt until blended but not foamy. Slowly pour the milk mixture into the egg mixture, gently whisking all the time.
Pour into the caramel-lined pan. Place in a larger pan filled with enough water to come a quarter of the way up the sides of the flan. Bake for 1 hour. Remove from the pan of water, allow to cool a little, then chill for 4 hours, or until ready to serve.
Gently loosen the sides using a small spatula, invert onto a suitable platter and slice into wedges.
Cook's note: Flans are a popular Mexican dessert, but this one is extra special - subtly citrusy, gently spiced with a coffee-laced caramel syrup.
Recipe published courtesy of Marc Spahr at Caffe Todos Santos.