Cook and Taste is a cooking school and much more. Our chefs, welcome our guests in our kitchens just like you do, when you invite friends over for a fun dinner party. They share tips, experience, knowledge and culture. But, above all, we want to make our guests feel like at home. Something very comforting, specially when travelling A way to ensure this happens, is to offer a menu to cater, as far as possible, diet restricitions, food allergies and prefferences.
One of the most common diet restrictions we come accross is gluten free. It’s fairly easy to define a menu avoiding gluten in Spain. Our secret is; fresh produce, non processed, easily purchased in our many many markets around the country. 39 only in our city; Barcelona.
However it can be quite a challenge to think of a dessert that is, a true desert, worthy of ending a delicious meal. Grimond De La Reynière (1758-1837), one of the world’s first food reviewers and restaurant crítics said that dessert has to be espectacular because it arrives when the gourmet is already full. One of our favourite gluten-free choices, other than our national catalan desert, Crema Catalana, is Flan. Or maybe we should specifically say Spanish Flan.
Spanish Flan is a dessert made with eggs, dairy, sugar and a flavor or aroma of your own choice, but we Spaniards usually add lemon peel. Vanilla is also very extended due to the perfect pairing of this spice with egg. It is cooked in a water bath in the oven, let cooled, ideally, overnight, and unmolded and flipped on a plate to serve. Like a tart tatin, it is cooked inverted. The base of the mold is covered with caramel, and when you unmold it the top of the flan is covered or glazed by caramel.
It is loved by many, (specially kids), and disguised by some, you either love it or hate it, and this is probably a matter of texture.
Like always there are as many recipes for Flan as cooks. The recipe we are sharing today is the one we use at Cook and Taste, but we encourage you to do your own variations, and experiment in your kitchens.
Ingredients (6 servings)
3 medium eggs (50g each without the shell)
250ml of milk
250ml of cream
1 fresh Vanilla bean or a tsp of vanilla extract
For the caramel
4 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp water
The fist thing you have to do is infuse the dairy with the aroma you chose. You can either, bring it to a boil along with the aroma, or, infuse in the fridge, overnight or even for a whole day. The final result is the same, however when you cold infuse the líquid is not tinted by the spice you are using (coffee, tonka, cardamom, even vanilla slighlty tints).
Prehet the oven 150ºC (300ºF)
Once you have the flavor, prepare the caramel by heating up sugar and water at high heat in a saucepan until it acquires a golden brown color, or even a little dark if you are fond of bittersweet.
Cover the base of your mold (either small individual molds or one large mold) with the caramel and let cool down.
Whilst the caramel is cooling down put all ingredients (dairy, eggs, sugar) in a vase and gently blend with the hand blender or any blender you have. Make sure though, you’re not adding air, avoiding foam on the top of the mixture. If that happens you can let it sit for some minutes and remove the foam with a spoon. Pour the mixture in the mold.
Prepare a tray, big enough to fit in the mold in, with hot water half way. Place the mold in the tray and cook for about 40 minutes. By that time the texture shouldbe wobbly, but settled. If not, add extra time, but check every 5 minutes, to prevent it from overcooking!
Let cool down overnight in the mold.
To unmold, use a pairing knife to scrape the sides of the flan, and ensure it separates from the mold, place the plate or tray you will be plating with on top and flip. You might need to hit the base of the mold with a spatula once or twice before you feel it sits on the plate.
Serve with whipped cream (try sugarless!) and combine it with berries… Outstanding!!!
We hope you Love it!