27.4.11

Ginger and Coconut Flan-- What's the difference between Flan and Crème Brulee?


How was everybody's Easter long-weekend? In this part of the world, rained all weekend. But at least the long weekend helped me –and J.--to relax more, read more, watch some movies and of course do more cooking.

 I guess I can't complain!

 
 
I've received two lovely emails this week. One from Marcela from the lovely blog food travel and wine –She is having a contest and great giveaway— and the other one from sweet K., who asked me: What’s the difference between Flan and Crème Brule? 



It’s always special to receive emails from any of you. Thank you!

 
So to answer K.'s question, I've decided to make a flavored Flan--Coconut and Ginger Flanunfortunately because we’re in fall season I couldn’t get fresh coconut but I replaced it with desiccated coconut. I just found out that they still sell fresh coconut--even in autumn! Sorry still new here :) So this flan has a soft coconut aroma :)


What’s the difference between Flan and Crème Brulee?
 
They are both custards, but there’s a difference in texture and taste. Crème brulee has a more heavy-thick texture-flavor and it is made with heavy pouring cream, egg yolks and sugar. I find it to be closer to a dense pudding.


While Flan is made with milk, whole eggs and sugar. And it has a more soft-delicate texture and flavor, it's like a creamy-caramel jello.
Also, one thing to keep in mind is that Flan recipes will vary depending on each Latin- American country.  


I believe at the end they all taste wonderful!


 
Any other thoughts on the subject? I would absolutely love to hear about it!


Wish you all a nice and colorful rest of the week!


Ginger and Coconut Flan
makes 6- 8

For the caramel:
1 cup sugar
1 / 2 cup water

For the flan:
4 cups hot milk
1 / 2 cup sugar
6 medium eggs
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract 
1/2 C. Shredded Coconut**
3 tsp. fresh ginger, grated 
2 Green Cardamom seeds

**fresh or desiccated-whatever is available to you.

Preparation:

First preheat oven to 180 ° C / (350 F.)

To prepare the caramel, place sugar and water in a medium saucepan and simmer, stirring, until sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer 5 to 10 minutes until caramel is made turning its color turn from golden brown to dark brown. Remove from heat. Working quickly but-- at the same time being careful not to burn yourself-- pour hot caramel into molds and spread throughout the base.

To prepare the custard, place milk, sugar, grated ginger and coconut in a saucepan.And slowly heat the milk– do not let the milk boil-- stirring occasionally until sugar dissolves and milk is hot.

In a bowl beat eggs and vanilla essence for about 2 minutes, pour into hot milk mixture and stir. Strain the mixture into a container and divide the mixture into the coated ramekins /molds and place them in a baking dish. Fill half of it with hot water and bake in bain—marie/ water bath for about 30 minutes or until a knife inserted in center of the custard comes out clean. Allow to cool, then refrigerate until ready to use. Serve with dulce de leche or whipped cream.
 ~Flan can be serve warm or cool.
~Flan can be made the night before. Just keep it in the refrigerator.

Before Serving Tips:
To remove the flan from ramekins/molds, run a knife around the edges of each of them. Place a plate over the ramekin and using both hands, invert both dishes-- shake it gently, If necessary -- carefully, so that the flan and the liquid sauce--caramel-- unmold onto the platter.

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