Have you wondered why I’ve not shared a new or vintage flan recipe in a long time? I’m talking about more than a year, kind of long time? I know. So negligent of me. All with good reason, however. I’ve been slaving away for the past 18 months, penning my first cookbook, “Modern Pressure Cooking.” It’s the dream book my heart (and Mother) have been praying on for over a decade. It’s the subject matter that keeps me excited about cooking, even inspired to keep pushing boundaries and conjuring up ways to create new amazingness. Truth be told, though; I’ve not been experimenting with new flans — or many desserts for that matter — since I took on this project. All of my energy went to developing recipes and designing dishes that you can make and really enjoy in the pressure cooker. No need letting you know a few of my beloved flans were going to occupy some good real estate in the desserts chapter. Yes, of course. The namesake of my blog, Flanboyant Eats, which launched on Jan.1, 2008, most assuredly deserved some love in the book. After all, that sexy little, luscious and decadent egg custard got me here.
All the way here…
A 224- page cookbook filled with over 100 recipes cooked in a modern pressure cooker — stovetop or electric — and a crazy generous amount of pictures to pair with most of the dishes. A cookbook that explains pressure cooking, why I love it, why you will love it (if you don’t already), and curates some of my Cuban food culture. It’s the cookbook I started dreaming about in 1999 and started writing back in 2009 but couldn’t make it work. But, it’s here!
Since you — old or new — are the reason I started Flanboyant Eats and have built this House, I’m so delighted and truly humbled to give you a sneak peak of the book in a few upcoming posts, starting with this recipe post. Because, let’s be real. While you can’t judge a book by it’s cover, you can most certainly be enticed to order and buy one if the pictures are seductive.
It’s only proper I officially serve you one of the first flans I ever shared on the blog — an espresso flan. Only this one is super upgraded with the works: toasted almonds, top-notch espresso and fancy espresso salt. Sometimes it’s about the details.
It’s probably my favorite flan of the 50+ I’ve made since I first started #FlanFridays. It’s the soul of my food existence. It’s quite sinful how perfect a good espresso and a creme caramel connect. It’s quite perfect, actually.
I share 4 flan recipes in the cookbook — classic vanilla with rosemary, toasted almond and espresso, black truffle and thyme; and toasted pistachio — each having a special meaning. As you could have guessed, espresso drives my life into organized chaos so it’s a must. Plus, it’s the one shot I really enjoyed styling. The coffee salt gives it a gorgeous layer of texture most flans beg for. The black truffle one is my winner. It’s the flan I made for and won in a recipe competiton. The prize: a 3-week, all expense paid trip to Australia! Yea, you should find yourself making one. Even if it’s the most expense flan you’ll ever make. It’s worth it. Trust. Just imagine how much you’ll have shaving black truffles on your petite-sized dessert. Your friends will think you’re the most bougie food ever. And they’re probably right. The pistachio custard is one of my fave creations, still, because of the lovely nutty flavor and the pretty green. If you didn’t think caramel sauce and pistachios could work, try that flan.
These flans here are just as glimpse of what “Modern Pressure Cooking” has to offer you, especially this holiday and Christmas season. I’m all about saving time, but also being conscious of time and energy efficiency. If you didn’t know, pressure cooking can easily save you up to 70% cooking time… HELLO! YES! This is what dreams are made of. I also made sure to cover you if you have a stovetop or electric cooker with recipes instructions for each. And, because I want you to fall in love with pressure cooking and my flans, check out how these little babies are done in no more than 15 minutes, total. Yep. 8 minutes for 4 ramekins in a 6 quart pressure cooker, 10-11 for a 1-quart size flan, with 4-5 minutes of releasing pressure. That’s it. No fluff. No stress. No 60-90 baking in the oven. Not to mention, evenly cooked. Cuz you know how baked goods can be sometimes.
Joel Robuchon said my ‘flan are the perfect dessert for anyone, young or old.’ He did. He sure did.
Did I convince you yet? Let these three pretty pieces finish my job.
Pressure Cooker: $50-$100.
Read more about “Modern Pressure Cooking”.
Happy #FLANFRIDAY & ‘TIS THE SEASON!
(flan images photographed by Ken Goodman; Styling by Bianca Borges & moi)
Decadent Espresso and Toasted Almond Flan
Serves 6 to 8
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 (14-oz [425-ml]) can sweetened condensed milk
- 14 oz (425 ml) whole milk
- ¾ cup (175 ml) plus 1 tbsp (180 ml) unsweetened brewed espresso
- 1 tsp (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
- 1 tsp (5 ml) almond extract
- ½ tsp espresso salt
- ½ cup (100 g) cane sugar
- ½ cup (73 g) toasted almonds, sliced, for garnish
- Ground espresso, for garnish
In a medium mixing bowl, stir the eggs, using a wire whisk. Whisk in the sweetened condensed milk, followed by the whole milk, ¾ cup (175 ml) of the brewed espresso, the extracts and the espresso salt. Whisk until all of the ingredients are well-blended, without creating bubbles, about 1 minute. Set aside.
To a round 1-quart (946-ml) aluminum flan mold or pan, add the sugar and the remaining tablespoon (15 ml) of brewed espresso and place on the burner. Turn the heat to high and begin caramelizing the sugar, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to medium-high as soon as it starts to melt, using a wooden spoon or medium silicone spatula, 2 to 5 minutes, until the sugar is completely melted and a beautiful golden Cognac color.
Turn off and remove the mold immediately from the heat. Working fast, coat the entire mold with the melted sugar, rotating it in a controlled circular motion. If you are not experienced in handling extremely hot caramel, leave the mold on your counter and quickly coat with a pastry brush or a small silicone spatula. It is about 330ºF (165ºC) at this point. Set aside and let sit until the caramel sets, about 1
minute. Pour the custard mixture into the flan mold or pan, using a medium-mesh hand strainer to collect the egg embryo. This last step here is not entirely necessary.
Add enough water to the cooker to cover the mold halfway. Close the mold or cover your pan with aluminum foil and gently place in the middle of the cooker. Close the lid.
Stovetop: Set to high pressure (15 PSI) and set the timer for 16 minutes. Cook over high heat until the pressure point is reached, about 11 minutes, then turn off the heat but do not remove the cooker from the stove. The residual heat will finish cooking it. Allow the pressure to release on its own for the remaining 5 to 6 minutes.
Electric: Set to high pressure (10–12 PSI) and 16 minutes. When done, cancel cooking. Allow the pressure to release on its own (natural-release).
When all of the pressure is out, open the cooker and gently remove the mold, using silicone gloves. Do not unmold. Chill the flan for at least 5 hours, giving it enough time to set. Remove the flan from the fridge 30 minutes prior to serving. See the directions on page 192 for tips on unmolding the flan. Garnish with almonds and ground espresso.