May 5, 2011

{Sweet Treats} Mexican Chocolate Flan for Cinco de Mayo

I welcome any excuse for a party. So while I've never celebrated Cinco de Mayo growing up in Toronto, I absolutely embraced the idea of margaritas and Mexican food after I moved to the U.S. When one of my gal pals invited me over for an informal Cinco de Mayo dinner tonight, I knew that was just the right excuse I needed to try making something new.

I decided to make a Mexican Chocolate Flan (with Kahlua!) based on a couple of recipes, including one by Chef Rick Bayless (from his signed cookbook that we bought when we dined at Frontera Grill).  I actually had these hot Mexican chocolate tablets on hand (bought them at Tehuitzingo), which inspired this dish.  This chocolate isn't as sweet as milk chocolate. It has a higher cocoa content and it also contains cinnamon, which lends itself to a nice spicy taste.  (Had I had cayenne pepper on hand, I may have added some more heat to this dessert!)  This recipe does take a few steps and can be made a day or two before any event. Enjoy!
Mexican Chocolate Flan (adapted from this recipe and Rick Bayless' cookbook)

Ingredients (serves 4):
For caramel topping:
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
For the chocolate flan:
2 tablets of Nestle Abuelita 
1 cup milk
4 oz (half a package) of cream cheese
1/3 cup granulated sugar
 1 T Kahlua
4 large eggs
1/2 t vanilla extract
Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 325F.

2. Caramel topping: Set 4 custard cups (I didn't have any so I used ramekins which were 4 inches in diameter and 2 inches tall. This made my flan more of a fudge-like consistency rather than a silky custard consistency) in a baking pan (use an oven-safe glass pan if you have it) deep enough to hold 2 inches of water.

Pour 1/2 cup of sugar into a small saucepan. Add in 1/4 cup of water and stir several times. Bring to a boil, then simmer over medium heat without stirring until the syrup begins to color.  Swirl the pan until you get a deep amber color. Pour the syrup evenly between the 4 containers (I found it easier to pour a bit in one container, swirl it around so the entire bottom is covered, and then move on to the next container).

3. Custard: Pour the milk and cream cheese into a medium size saucepan. Add the Mexican hot chocolate tablets and let it melt over medium heat.  Let the mixture simmer and add the 1/3 cup of sugar.  Stir occasionally until everything is mixed together and remove from heat.

Whisk the eggs, Kahlua, and vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl. Slowly whisk in the hot Mexican chocolate/milk mixture.

4. Baking the flan: Evenly fill the molds with the mixture. Pour about 2 inches of very hot water into the pan around the filled molds. Lay a sheet of foil on top of the pan (don't seal it) and bake in the middle level of the oven until the flan is barely set.  Bake for about 45 minutes, or until a knife inserted halfway between the center and the edge comes out clean.  Let the flan cool in the water bath, and then refrigerate the flan to cool completely.

5. Serve:  Remove the flan from the refrigerator and run a nonserrated knife around the edge of each mold. Flip the mold upside down onto a small plate. (I had to do this a few times before the flan came out!) Scrape out any caramel in the container onto the flan and serve.
Happy Cinco de Mayo!

1 comment:

  1. Now this is a flan I could love. My wife loves them, i usually think they have too little taste. But such extras

    Great Post
    Dave

    ReplyDelete

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