Skip to content

Flan de Coco

It’s always strange to me when I see flan listed as special on a dessert menu.  Far from specialized in Cuban restaurants, it’s not rare to find an all-flan menu – de leche, de queso, de calabaza, de mamey and of course – de coco.  Yet somehow I never get tired of it.  If it hadn’t been brought to the New World via Spain, Cubans would have had to invent it.  Most Latin American countries have their own version of this dessert and, while I can’t pretend to be neutral, in the case of flan I think it has to go to Cuba. For me it’s about the caramel.  Made directly in the mold, the sugar cooked long enough to go dark amber without becoming bitter (though personally I like it a little bitter).  I love the ritual of holding it just over the flame and watching it go clear then dark.  It can get away from you easily but it’s always fun to see how far you can take it. 

Flan de Coco
This recipe belongs to my Tita Olga though it was given to me by her niece Cely. I called her for an emergency menu rundown for a seperate project and she came through with this smoothly rich flan. Originally, it called for canned shredded coconut, but I replaced it with fresh coconut to extract the oils and infuse the custard with as much coconut flavor as possible.  The shredded coconut will rise to the top creating a bottom layer of custard soaked coconut flakes when it’s inverted.

¾ cups of sugar

1 large dried coconut (see notes)
1 12 ounce can evaporated milk
1 14 ounce can of condensed milk
5 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 pinch of salt

Equipment: 8-inch round metal cake pan (preferably 2-3 inches deep), roasting pan

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Using a corkscrew, open the holes in the coconut’s “eyes.” Invert the coconut over a bowl or measuring cup and drain. Reserve the coconut water for another use.

Place the coconuts in the oven for about 15 minutes. Carefully remove then set the coconuts over a dish towel and tap with a hammer or the blunt edge of a knife at its widest point until a fissure opens that will allow you to crack the coconut into large pieces. Use a heavy spoon to scoop out the coconut meat from the hard outer shell. If you’re having trouble cracking the coconut or separating it from its shell, return the coconut to the oven for an additional 5 minutes, then try again. Peel the brown outer layer and chop roughly into large cubes.

Pour sugar into round metal flan mold*.  Place over medium heat and move the pan frequently without stirring, until it takes on an amber hue.  Off heat, swirl the caramel so that the bottom and sides are lightly covered.  The caramel will be very hot so it should be handled carefully. Set aside.

Combine about 2 cups of the cubed coconut and the evaporated milk in a blender. Pulse on high speed until the coconut is finely shredded, about 30 seconds at a time. Strain over cheesecloth into a large bowl or measuring cup, extracting as much liquid as possible. Reserve one heaping cup of the shredded coconut.

Add the extracted liquid, condensed milk, eggs, vanilla, and salt to the blender and mix on lowest setting until blended.  Pour into a large mixing bowl and tir in the drained coconut.

To prepare the baño de María, place the pan in a larger roasting pan.  Pour enough hot water into the pan so that it comes about halfway up the sides of the mold.  Carefully pour the custard into prepared mold the set inside the roasting pan.  Place the pan in the oven and bake for 60-75 minutes until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean though it may still appear wobbly.

Allow to cool completely then refrigerate covered at least 4 hours or overnight.

To unmold, run a thin knife along the flan and side of mold.  Gently shake to loosen. Invert a large plate over the flan and quickly invert the mold in one motion.  The flan will gently drop onto the plate and the caramel will flow out so allow extra space around the flan.

Notes: 
Choose a coconut that’s heavy for its size. The “eyes,” or the three black spots at the stem of the coconut, should be free of mold, and you should be able to hear the liquid inside the coconut when you shake it.

The caramel could also be done in a small saucepan then poured into the mold.

About these ads
89 Comments Post a comment
  1. This leaves me wanting to eat flan … oh là là! Wonderful article, and thanks for the recipe :-).

    17 February 2012
  2. OK, so I have texture issues — like MAJOR texture issues. But I’ve recently discovered an affinity for flan, which is surprising everyone in my family … myself included!

    Thanks for this recipe … sounds pretty darn amazing.
    ;)

    17 February 2012
    • I have MAJOR texture issues, as well. Although I love all the components of flan-especially the caramel (I LOVE caramel)-I just can’t get past the texture. If it wasn’t for the texture, I would be making this for sure.

      17 February 2012
      • DessertFan #

        Flan is so tough to do well. I’ve always had trouble with the texture too until I tried a gourmet flan from a company called Flan King. It’s really rich and creamy. They’re at some farmer’s markets here in L.A. and ship around the country.

        18 February 2012
  3. Roselinde #

    I’m generally speaking not really into flans, but if there’s coconut in there, I’m going to give it a shot one of these days! :)

    17 February 2012
  4. this sounds lovely, i’ve never made flan but i’ll definatley give this a go!

    17 February 2012
  5. I love, love, love, love, love, love, love flan. I will def. be making this. Thanks for posting!!!

    17 February 2012
  6. beautiful photos and I agree – it’s all about the caramel!

    17 February 2012
  7. This sounds amazing !!!!!

    17 February 2012
  8. Need to make this happen!!!

    17 February 2012
  9. Arroz Blanco….Wonderful article

    17 February 2012
  10. This sounds amazing. I will have to test (and advance!) my culinary skills by giving this a try soon! Thanks for posting it!

    17 February 2012
  11. These are beautiful photos! (I am a WordPress photoblogger too)
    I love photographing food, I can see you like to too! :)

    17 February 2012
  12. Constance V. Walden #

    Hungry Sofia. Come to my house, now!!!. Thank you for sharing this. Connie

    http://7thandvine.wordpress.com/

    17 February 2012
  13. Okay, now I’m hungry. Mm: flan!

    17 February 2012
  14. Hay que rico! Have to pass this on to my daughter, she loves flan and tres leches. I am sure she’ll be making it pronto! Thanks for sharing.

    17 February 2012
  15. My mouth is watering!

    17 February 2012
  16. Beautiful! I am lucky to have a Spanish neighbor who makes lovely flan–I’ll have to send her this recipe as a hint!

    17 February 2012
  17. Jasmine T. Cruz #

    I love this!

    17 February 2012
  18. Yum! Flan de calabaza?!?!! Is that some kind of squash flan? I would love to try that!

    17 February 2012
    • hungrysofia #

      With West Indian Pumpkin. I think I have to try that next.

      17 February 2012
  19. Here in the Philippines we make leche flans all the time. We celebrate just about anything and there’s always leche flan. I think it’s just an excuse for us to eat really good food, that’s actually going straight to my thighs. Our flan is really very rich but I’ve never tried one with coconuts in it. Thanks for sharing your recipe!

    17 February 2012
  20. Yajaira Franchesca #

    I love flan…and coconut! This is great!

    17 February 2012
  21. bon apettit.. looks so yummy…

    17 February 2012
  22. mhmarin16@hotmail.com #

    Will have to try!

    17 February 2012
  23. I literally squeaked when I saw this post! Flan is my all time favorite dessert and I’m a huge fan of coconut. . . and then you went and combined it. I’m in love, thanks for sharing, :)

    17 February 2012
  24. Oh mY oH my I love Pudim de leite condensado com coco

    17 February 2012
  25. Rai #

    yum yum yum yum yum yum yum

    17 February 2012
  26. Looks yummyy~ thanks for the recipe!!

    18 February 2012
  27. Already a flan lover, can’t wait to try with coconut! THANKS

    18 February 2012
  28. Mouth watering! I’m a sucker for caramel, and that includes leche flan! Flan with coco intrigued me since I never thought there’s flan de coco too (most of us here in the Philippines are very familiar with leche flan). I’ll bookmark your post and share the recipe with my wife who loves to cook.

    Thanks for your post!

    18 February 2012
  29. Its too delightful and looks very tasty :P

    18 February 2012
  30. looks so sweet and yummy.. it resembles our very own favorite dessert leche flan. congrats on being FP.

    18 February 2012
    • hungrysofia #

      Thanks!

      18 February 2012
  31. I Love your place , cuz I love your minds

    18 February 2012
  32. You know fashion has always been my passion. But THIS! I may have to rescale my passions! :D

    Great post!

    http://www.dressupforme.wordpress.com

    18 February 2012
  33. Beautiful flan! Stop by and say hi :)

    18 February 2012
  34. Reblogged this on finnegan2749.

    18 February 2012
  35. I love flan.

    18 February 2012
  36. Oh wow! This looks very decadent but delicious! Although I’m not sure my waistline would approve if I ate too much of it….

    18 February 2012
  37. I was looking for something to read and saw the word flan and I had to come and check it out. I love the article and the recipe. I’m a flan lover and I make it quite often because I find it is an easy kind of dessert. But I have never tried it with coconut. I’ve done the calabaza, panapén, yautía. I think the prettiest was one I made with a Cuban fruit a neighbor gave me (forgot the name) because the flan was PINK! And tasty too. Honey, you’ve got yourself a follower!

    18 February 2012
  38. I’m really impressed by your blog. How do you make time to do all the cooking, taking the pics and keeping such a beautiful blog. I like to try new food and experiment in the kitchen, but I’m humbled by your work. Anyway, I haven’t been able to see all you have to offer yet. I plan to check out the section of Puerto Rico, The Bronx, and others very soon.

    A neighbor brought me some Jamaica flowers and I looked it up in the Net and found how to make Agua de Jamaica. As usual added a pinch of this and a pinch of that and finally a shot of Tequila. Awesome!

    18 February 2012
  39. jonathanochart #

    Flan is probably my favorite dessert – add in coconut and then it’s definitely my favorite! Great post and intro – the dessert takes me back to times I spent eating flan when visiting my grandparents in Puerto Rico. Now I can try making my own, thanks to your detailed instructions I think it’s possible (; Thanks for sharing!

    18 February 2012
  40. Wow! Delicioso!

    18 February 2012
  41. Whoa. This can’t be fair. So beautiful, it goes without saying that the flan is food of the gods! It looks so delicious!

    18 February 2012
  42. Flan. One thumb up. Coconut. Second thumb up. No more thumbs. Hard to eat flan without hands. Must slurp it instead. Mmm-mmm-mmm. Perfect.

    18 February 2012
  43. Oh my…this looks good. Beautifully photographed too!

    19 February 2012
  44. Really cool blog, I’m digging the style that you’ve gone for. Ill be checking up on your blog from time to time, so make sure you update it often :)

    Cheers from a fan in San Diego.

    http://operationshellshock.wordpress.com/

    Check out my blog whenever your bored, its about awkward situations.

    19 February 2012
  45. really i like this……………….

    19 February 2012
  46. hello, sofia,

    over at our place, leche flan is a staple during feast days and other occasions. but it’s my first time to hear and read about flan de coco. sounds and looks really delicious, makes me crave for one right now, haha. ^^

    very insightful step-by-step narration/instruction, thanks. congrats on being FP’d! :)

    19 February 2012
  47. Ron #

    mmm tastyy..

    19 February 2012
  48. Great blog!

    http://www.amiarting.wordpress.com

    19 February 2012
  49. carbonara #

    Your images are delectible, and the cocco makes me think of warmer weather. Great.

    19 February 2012
  50. Love all flans! . . . Looks like a scrumptious recipe! Thank you for sharing!

    http://arabianmusings.wordpress.com/

    19 February 2012
  51. That is one perfect looking flan. Impressive stuff.

    19 February 2012
  52. You had me at coconut… and great pictures, by the way.

    19 February 2012
  53. Reblogged this on Make Something Every Day and commented:
    Citrus drink on a grey day. Great blog post!

    19 February 2012
  54. Very nice… It reminds me my childhood… I used to make this years before from almost the same recepie!

    19 February 2012
  55. Looks delicious! Can someone please explain to me if there is a difference between crème caramel and flan? I always thought they were the same thing.

    19 February 2012
  56. O my! I grew up in the Tampa Bay area. Lots of Cubans there and Cuban restaurants. Love the Cuban cuisine. While most of the Cuban restaurants in central Florida serve their flan like it was molded in a ramekin my mother always prepared it the way you have here in the photo. I’ve always enjoyed several types of Flan but have never had this one. Thanks for sharing. I now live in Birmingham with few if any Cuban restaurants so I have to make my own. Can’t wait to try this recipe.

    19 February 2012
  57. batteries-world.co.uk #

    wow, it looks very beautiful and delicious

    19 February 2012
  58. Yum! This makes me want to skip dinner & jump straight to dessert…

    20 February 2012
  59. beccysfoodies #

    im not a flan person, but i think that recipe converted me! :)

    20 February 2012
  60. looks interesting :)

    20 February 2012
  61. This looks so decadent!

    20 February 2012
  62. This looks delicious! Flan is popular here in Portugal too. By the way, love your blog’s name (my name is also Sofia). :)

    20 February 2012
  63. I really want to make flan but, I’d like to know, how much time is required to make it?

    20 February 2012
  64. This sounds absolutely amazing…..!

    20 February 2012
  65. raajtram #

    Well …Making this would explore a new part of me :D And it is going to take place…very soon :D Cheers

    20 February 2012
  66. maddythebaker #

    This sounds absolutely delicious!!! It makes me want to go bake it now:)

    20 February 2012
  67. Gorgeous photography! I do love a good flan…and this looks a good one. What is FP by the way?

    20 February 2012
  68. Reblogged this on delectablediction and commented:
    I came upon this wonderful story ~ about food, family ~ seems love has woven her fingers through another… tangling up in the strands.
    Thanks for sharing, Hungry Sofia!

    21 February 2012
  69. OMG… I’m feeling hungry even if I’ve just eat choco biscuits with milk.
    It’s dangerous about my glycaemia to read your blog! XD

    21 February 2012
  70. This my excellent air this recipe, I am very tempted to make, thank you for this wonderful sharing

    21 February 2012
  71. This looks amazing. I’ve always feared making flan, but I think I’m going to give it a try.

    22 February 2012
  72. looks yummy!

    22 February 2012
  73. Reblogged this on Comics A-Go-Go! and commented:
    We DO love us some good flan. And this looks like a fantastic recipe. When the urge to eat flan overwhelms our laziness, we will make this sumptuous delicacy ours!

    23 February 2012
  74. I love this flan recipe~ thanks for posting! ^.^~

    28 February 2012
  75. Denise Browning #

    It’s to die for… Coconut + the beloved flan = What a masterpiece!!!

    20 April 2012

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Catching Up in February | hungry sofia
  2. Catching Up in February | hungry sofia
  3. Creamy Leche Flan Recipe « To Cook With Love
  4. Catching Up to the New Year | hungry sofia
  5. Oblivion | Flan de Coco

Would love to hear your thoughts here...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 5,491 other followers

%d bloggers like this: