I’m going to Australia. Did you hear?!? This Tuesday. For 3 weeks. Eating. Sipping. Horseback riding. Scuba diving. Opera House. Koalas. Kangaroos. And more food. I’ll be exploring and jaunting Aussieland with a mind wide open to absorb everything they have for us Americans. And I can not wait. Counting down the days. I’ve never been to the other side of the world and have one lone Australian friend whom I’ve known about 13 years but moved back 8 years ago. So, I’ve lost my connection to Australia for the most part. It behooved me to turn on my best traveler mode, I started doing some research on what I could expect to see and eat. Their food has never been a subject of excitement or highlighted as being en trend, but I was certain they have some national staples. Lamington was one of them. Actually, it was the first thing I came across in my late night browsing.
Espresso in hand, I read up on this sponge cake laced with thin chocolate icing and covered with desiccated coconut (think ultra dried flakes…no moisture) and was intrigued. I saw a plethora of variations but mostly all of them have the same base recipe. And they seem to be ubiquitous meaning I’m sure to get my little hands on at least one at any given bar or café.
I know you’re like what does this have to do with flan…well…. I woke up this morning, panicking about everything I still have to do (like shoe shopping, mani/pedi, get these insanely mean looking roots done, some cooking for a client, etc…) and quickly thought of this Lamington cake. Not sure why. My brain has a funny way of processing things. Perhaps a sweet thought helped quell the restless back and forth between my phone and calendar, trying to figure out where to start first. Plus, I had no intentions of posting today but when the Nutella and coconut just happened to be staring at me, it all clicked!
A flan inspired by the Aussie’s beloved cake. And to boot, with chocolate and coconut. I mean a Friday morning can not get more delicious in such an instant.
But I went a step beyond and put my little spin on it. I recently received some Baileys hazelnut liqueur (if you didn’t know, there was a time I self-diagnosed with addiction to mint Bailey’s –I poured a generous shot into my espresso every morning during a certain winter) and it is muy, muy bueno! So marrying Nutellla with hazelnut liqueur required no license other than a willful palate and a blank flan.
It took all of ten minutes to figure out how this was going to work. Melt some nutella, add dry coco flakes, stir, thin down with a tad bit of warm water and add in the Baileys liqueur. I simmered it for 7 or so minutes and what resulted was a luscious, creamy, silky and just really pretty glass of chocolate goodness.
This sexy mixture was my version of the cake’s coat. Only mine was going to be the base.
I used the glaze in two ways to play with dimension and transfer of flavor. Adding the sweet goodness underneath the flan gives you a whimsical experience of tasting decadence after the creamy custard; whereas a dollop on top is more standard and your palate already knows what to expect.
I preferred the former but both truthfully do the experiment much justice.
Not exactly a spin-off of Lamekin but a sure nice way to get used to the idea of delectables I’ll be enjoying in Melbourne and Sydney!
If you’ve been to Australia or a reader from there, please, please share and tell me what I MUST try! I’m sure I’ll be missing my Cuban espresso every morning (working on that) so I’ll need something irresistible to get my days going!
So with that, happy #FlanFridays and see you from Australia…yes, it’s vacay, but I’ll be popping in here and there. Follow the action on Instagram, Twtitter and my Facebook Page. Hope to see you there!
Eat well, love unapologetically, pray with true intention, and take care of yourself.
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Hazelnut Nutella & Coconut Glaze Flan
- 4 eggs, whisked
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk
- 1.5 cups white granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup Bailey’s Hazelnut flavor liqueur, divided
- 1/2 cup 2% milk
- 1/4 cup dry shredded coconut, unsweetened (reserve a bit for garnish)
- 2 Tbsp. nutella
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
For Chcocolate Coconut Glaze
In 8″ non-stick pan, add nutella and dash of water. On low heat, melt down, stirring slowly with wooden spoon. Stir in coconut and combine well. Let simmer for 3 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup Bailey’s and simmer again for 3 additional minutes.
Whisk eggs in a medium sized bowl. Add and combine sweetened condensed & milk, vanilla and salt. Set aside. Melt Nutella using a double boiler. Add and mix into egg and milk mixture. Blend well.For caramel:
Add sugar to an 8″ non-stick skillet and caramelize on medium-high heat until it is golden color, stirring constantly. Make sure not to burn sugar. When sugar is fully melted down, carefully coat each ramekin, covering all sides, using circular motion (I suggest using a brush if you are not experienced in handling extremely hot caramel). Move fast if using a brush. Set ramekins aside. In small bowl, combine graham cracker with flour. Add 1-2 tsp. of graham cracker to each ramekin. Pour egg mixture into each ramekin, filling it to the top of caramel. Cover each ramekin with aluminum foil.
Add 2 cups of water to a 4 or 6 qt. pressure cooker. Gently place up to 3 ramekin in cooker and close lid. Place jiggler on lid. If your pressure cooker jiggler has different PSI settings, set it to 10. Cook on high for 6 minutes, or until pressure cooker starts hissing. Turn off heat and allow all of the pressure to release itself, or for another 2-3 minutes.
Remove from pressure cooker after all pressure is released. Repeat until all ramekins are filled. Refrigerate for 8-9 hours or overnight for best taste. Remove from refrigeration 30-45 minutes before serving to loosen some. To serve, using a butter knife, loosen the sides of the flan all the way around. Spread two tablespoons worth of the chocolate glaze on a small dessert plate. Using a different small serving plate, place upside down on top of flan and flip. Using a small, flat rubber spatula, transfer flan with caramel onto plate with chocolate. Garnish each individual flan with a pinch of coconut flakes.
Yields 8 ramekins.