I’m so disloyal sometimes. So incredibly dismissive and unaffectionate. To flan that is, folks. Just to the flan. I struggle with the lack of I love I extend to the very thing that’s helped me come this far. A single dessert concept. A decadent pie, fully enriched in glorious sweets. A perfect slice to indulge the sweet tooth. The justifiable sugar coma-inducing dessert. The mighty flan. I love it. And so I’m committing to being faithful to the classic custard again.
Because it’s been 5 super long months since I shared one with you. That’s just wrong. All kinds of wrong.
It was this one here.
When I started #FlanFridays a few years ago, I was eager to share a new flavor every week. And I did for a long while. I’d take the occasional break, mostly due to travel and being away from my kitchen to experiment. It was also a challenge for me to go beyond the core of something so simple.
But it’s not been quite easy to maintain this year. I think I tapped out. Creativity in the kitchen is like creatively in the music studio: there has to be inspiration in order to produce. Without inspiration, the product isn’t authentic. And those enjoying what was supposed to be a timeless masterpiece, ends up being a simple moment of pleasure. Nothing memorable. Nothing to really talk about.
But today… today my friends. The creativity is back! I had to go to a quiet place to find my purpose in creating. My work this summer was full of challenges, new experiences, great new people I’ve met along the way, odd recipe requests, exaltation of certain dishes I’ve repeatedly been making, and even some of the travel lent to this fabulous masterpiece right here.
Oooooh la la!
She is screaming!
Sit tight. But get excited. This one was perfect in so many ways.
After a canned appearance for later airing on CBS in Atlanta last week, wherein I talked up all things espresso and was specifically asked to bring Kahlúa, I came back home excited about merging my two loves into one plate-licking worthy flan. Coffee and caramel.
It just makes sense.
And here we are… 5 months later with a luscious dessert, full of glory and happy ahhhhhhs.
Such a perfect marriage of flavors and textures.
The Kahlúa was so wildly seductive blended in the custard and then drizzled over top of the already amazing caramel. But what did me in way deep was the superior touch the hazelnuts added. I soaked them first in my own mixture of rum and espresso (essentially what Kahlúa is made of) for on hour and then roasted them on open fire.
You can smell it, right? You can feel that crunch, right?
It’s like fall: Aromatic, sultry, warm, ambient.
That’s what this flan is.
A robust and nutty flavored flan.
It was so perfect, I was inspired to stay in the kitchen and make more custards. I came up with a few mind-blowing flavor combinations; enough to have a new #FlanFriday post for the next 5 weeks! Now that’s exciting and something to look forward to.
You know fall is here. And that means all the fall favorite ingredients are about to make appearances.
For now….love on this one. Love on it hard. Intoxicate yourself with it…
And then make one!
And like 90% of my flans, I made this one in the pressure cooker. Because who really has time to wait around for 90 minutes (plus cooling time) to bite into this amazingness!
Happy fall and happy #FlanFridays! It feels good to be back!
Eat well, love unapologetically, pray with true intention, and take care of yourself.
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ROASTED HAZELNUT KAHLUA FLAN
- 6 Tbsp. sugar
- 3 whole eggs, whisked
- 1- 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
- 14 oz whole milk
- 1/2 cup Kahlúa, divided
- 1/2 cup hazelnuts, chopped
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. hazelnut extract
Soak hazelnuts in your own mixture of equal parts espresso and rum. Set aside for one hour.
Whisk eggs in a medium sized bowl. Add and combine sweetened condensed and regular milk, 1/4 cup Kahlúa, and both extracts. Set aside.
Add sugar to the aluminum flan mold and bring to medium-high heat. Allow all of the sugar to melt down until golden caramel, stirring constantly. Do not allow sugar to burn. When sugar is fully dissolved into caramel, carefully coat the bottom and sides of the flan mold using hand towels to hold the mold. Use a brush if you are not experienced in handling extremely hot caramel. Let sit for two minutes until sugar sets. Pour flan mixture into pan using a medium mesh hand strainer.
Baking the Flan
If you have a traditional 10″ flan pan, cover entirely with aluminum foil. If using a more updated version, cover lid and shut tight with latches. Add two cups of water to a large saucepan and gently place flan pan into the baño de Maria. Bring to boil for 45-60 minutes or until custard is fully cooked, but not too firm. Once the flan is fully cooked, immediately low heat and let simmer for 5 minutes. Remove flan pan from the baño de Maria and discard excess water from saucepan.
Do not remove flan from pan. Refrigerate for 7-9 hours or overnight.
Drain hazelnuts. Before serving flan, roast hazelnuts for 5 minutes on medium heat. To serve, loosen the sides of the flan all the way around using a butter knife. Take a large plate, place upside down on top of flan and flip! Drizzle remaining Kahlúa and garnish with roasted hazelnuts. Garnishing with some green herbs for color.
Serves up to 8.