It would be a shame to introduce and begin my official food blog if I didn’t talk about flan! It’s been a traditional dessert offered in my parents’ home all my life. My understanding is that it’s a Cuban dessert. So as to not do history or any deserving country any disservice, I went on a fact-finding mission. Cubans jestfully think we come up with everything (sugar cane, rum, cigars, etc…) and though I would take a bit of pride in believing it, I must impart a bit of equal responsibility.
My search brought me to 5 different but consistent accounts of flan, dating back to the Romans! A surprise to me in deed, the articles said something about the peasants making some concoction of sugar, eggs and milk. After Spanish colonization in Latin American and the Caribbean Islands, the flan become the international dessert as we know it today—a Latin specialty. So who knows, maybe the Roman’s version was more of a fufu shishi soufflé! I’ll give us Latin gente a bit of credit and dare say flan is a true dessert of our own (note how I didn’t say Cubans!). Wherever it came from, it’s a darn good piece of sin with not enough calories or carbs.
So now that I’ve given you a bit of history on it, I have to add that as the blog debuts today, so did I publicly as a chef of Latin fusion food! And you know I had to make a flan for the Fox 5 crew for good measure. I was up all last night, no sleep, 26 hours straight, all to show all of Atlanta that I can throw down!
My flan truthfully didn’t come out the way I wanted to visually, but I dressed it up with some mint leaves and raspberries. It looked so pretty and the host of the segment and the oh so cute camera guy devoured it. Clearly, it was gooood. I was charged with making an espresso one this week so check back for that one! I’ve not done that one before, but I look forward to it. I also made one for Christmas day that was prettier in color.
The other food I prepared for TV included chicken croquettes, pollo en fricasse, tostones, and boiled yucca! And, if it hadn’t been for Jason (and my friend Bridget on New Year’s eve), who slept all of 90 minutes before I asked him to get up, I would not have made it to the remote location by 6 am with all the food and props! For my first time, I have to say the organization of it all went pretty good.
Drum roll please…. Introducing the FIRST RECIPE of FLANBOYANT EATS (as cooked on Christmas day for the family and today, live on Good Day Atlanta!) I decided to leave those recipes of all the other food I cooked for later in the life of Flanboyant Eats.
There will be more to come on flan. I hope to increase my recipes and try new flavors, without deviating too much and still allowing you to relish the real and true taste that makes the Cuban flan so darn good! If there’s a particular one you’d like for me to try, shoot me an email and I’ll get to whisking. Check out the clip from Good Day Atlanta here. Happy New Year!
Eat well, love unapologetically, pray with true intention, and take care of yourself.
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TRADITIONAL CUBAN FLAN
- 3 eggs
- 1 can of condensed milk
- 14 oz. milk (2% or whole)
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- flan pan or mold, large saucepan for Maria water bath
Whisk eggs in a medium sized bowl. Add and combine sweetened condensed & whole milk and vanilla extract. Set aside. Add sugar to an 8″ flan mold 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 entire flan mold, 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. Close flan mold.
If you have a traditional pan or mold that does not have a lid, cover with aluminum foil. If using a more updated version, cover lid and shut tight. Add 2 cups of water to large saucepan and gently place flan pan into Maria bath. Bring to boil for 60 minutes. You may remove the foil or lid to check if the egg has fully cooked. If at 6o minutes if still looks a bit runny, allow to cook on high for another 10-15 minutes. If firmer, turn heat off and let sit for 5 minutes. Remove flan pan from Maria bath and discard excess water from saucepan. *Note, if water begins to evaporate continue adding water until it fills halfway to the flan pan or mold.
Do not remove flan from mold. Refrigerate for 8-9 hours, 4-5 hours (if you’re in a hurry); or overnight for best taste. Remove from refrigeration 30 minutes before serving to loosen some. To serve, using a butter knife, loosen the sides of the flan all the way around. Take a large plate, place upside down on top of flan and flip! Be careful not to waste any of the caramel sauce. Serves 8-10. Enjoy thoroughly!