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
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.
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.
This leaves me wanting to eat flan … oh là là! Wonderful article, and thanks for the recipe :-).
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.
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.
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.
Thanks. I’ll have to try it again.
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! 🙂
coconut flan is delicious!!! http://chasinchuleta.com/2012/02/17/fancy-friday-coconut-flan/
i love flan, it took me years to perfect.
this sounds lovely, i’ve never made flan but i’ll definatley give this a go!
I love, love, love, love, love, love, love flan. I will def. be making this. Thanks for posting!!!
beautiful photos and I agree – it’s all about the caramel!
This sounds amazing !!!!!
Need to make this happen!!!
Arroz Blanco….Wonderful article
This sounds amazing. I will have to test (and advance!) my culinary skills by giving this a try soon! Thanks for posting it!
These are beautiful photos! (I am a WordPress photoblogger too)
I love photographing food, I can see you like to too! 🙂
Hungry Sofia. Come to my house, now!!!. Thank you for sharing this. Connie
Okay, now I’m hungry. Mm: flan!
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.
My mouth is watering!
Beautiful! I am lucky to have a Spanish neighbor who makes lovely flan–I’ll have to send her this recipe as a hint!
I love this!
Yum! Flan de calabaza?!?!! Is that some kind of squash flan? I would love to try that!
With West Indian Pumpkin. I think I have to try that next.
I hope you post that one!
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!
I love flan…and coconut! This is great!
bon apettit.. looks so yummy…
Will have to try!
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, 🙂
Oh mY oH my I love Pudim de leite condensado com coco
yum yum yum yum yum yum yum
Looks yummyy~ thanks for the recipe!!
Already a flan lover, can’t wait to try with coconut! THANKS
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!
Its too delightful and looks very tasty 😛
looks so sweet and yummy.. it resembles our very own favorite dessert leche flan. congrats on being FP.
I Love your place , cuz I love your minds
You know fashion has always been my passion. But THIS! I may have to rescale my passions! 😀
Beautiful flan! Stop by and say hi 🙂
Reblogged this on finnegan2749.
I love flan.
Oh wow! This looks very decadent but delicious! Although I’m not sure my waistline would approve if I ate too much of it….
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!
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!
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!
Whoa. This can’t be fair. So beautiful, it goes without saying that the flan is food of the gods! It looks so delicious!
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.
Oh my…this looks good. Beautifully photographed too!
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.
Check out my blog whenever your bored, its about awkward situations.
really i like this……………….
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! 🙂
Your images are delectible, and the cocco makes me think of warmer weather. Great.
Love all flans! . . . Looks like a scrumptious recipe! Thank you for sharing!
That is one perfect looking flan. Impressive stuff.
You had me at coconut… and great pictures, by the way.
Reblogged this on Make Something Every Day and commented:
Citrus drink on a grey day. Great blog post!
Very nice… It reminds me my childhood… I used to make this years before from almost the same recepie!
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.
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.
wow, it looks very beautiful and delicious
Yum! This makes me want to skip dinner & jump straight to dessert…
im not a flan person, but i think that recipe converted me! 🙂
looks interesting 🙂
This looks so decadent!
This looks delicious! Flan is popular here in Portugal too. By the way, love your blog’s name (my name is also Sofia). 🙂
I really want to make flan but, I’d like to know, how much time is required to make it?
This sounds absolutely amazing…..!
Well …Making this would explore a new part of me 😀 And it is going to take place…very soon 😀 Cheers
This sounds absolutely delicious!!! It makes me want to go bake it now:)
Gorgeous photography! I do love a good flan…and this looks a good one. What is FP by the way?
Freshly Pressed on WP. They picked it up on Friday:)
Congratulations! You deserve to be picked up by them a long time ago!
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!
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
This my excellent air this recipe, I am very tempted to make, thank you for this wonderful sharing
This looks amazing. I’ve always feared making flan, but I think I’m going to give it a try.
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!
I love this flan recipe~ thanks for posting! ^.^~
It’s to die for… Coconut + the beloved flan = What a masterpiece!!!