Me, finally=) I’ve been planning this comeback for lots of days, really. So here’s a series of most notable and worth-mentioning recipes from what I’ve been doing recently. I also got some letters which made me so moved.
And this post finally goes to my overseas but always so close friend Melina, I’ve been meaning ages to dedicate you a post, darling, but I just could not find the right ingredients=) now that, thanks to my Mum, I know that we too have evaporated milk here in Russia, I already have it in stock along with a can of sweetened condensed milk to make a second flan soon=) J’ai ta carte postale en face de moi, avec la petite fille Russe, elle m’a fait penser a toi même plus! Μου λείπεις!
So, yes, here’s Flan de Queso (=cheese) from the traditional Puerto Rican cuisine (Melina always made us laugh when she spoke about the stereotype that people have about Puerto Ricans – bananas and wild dancing=). Melina made it once to us all in Thessaloniki (and I was also a lucky one to try the amazing fried banana plantain and brownies and beans and, Melina, I forgot, but that was definitely delicious!=) and since then I’ve been hahha thinking about ever adapting it to what we have in Russia. So here it is almost unchanged. Next time I will also add some flour or breadcrumbs as the texture is very soft and melting but somewhat asking for some base or crust. I might also reduce the amount of sweetened condensed milk and increase the that of evaporated, just cut the sugar, but I’m not sure how it can affect the texture. Unlike cheesecake, you won’t even notice the cream cheese flavour – which with our Russian cottage cheese version is always felt quite distinctly.
Be prepared for some amount of efforts to make this dessert, but it’s worth it, believe me=) Read here to get extra – and necessary – info on how to caramelise your pan and prepare the special Bain de Marie for baking.
Flan de Queso (Cheese Flan) by Melina – makes a very sweet and cloud-like custard
- 3 eggs
- 1 package cream cheese – I used 0.1% fat cottage cheese as I suppose it corresponds more or less to cream cheese
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 can evaporated milk – the one that is NOT sweetened, a standard can
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk – no the one that IS sweetened
- 1/2 cup of sugar (for the caramel) – I used 1/3 or even less
- 2 Tsp water (for the caramel)
- 1 spoon of wheat or 2 slices of bread (soft one, like the sandwich one) – I didn’t use these but I’d recommend it!
Make the caramel: Put the water and the sugar until it turns brown and then you will put it on the mould where you are going to make the flan. Cover every part of the mould with caramel. Leave it till the caramel gets hard in the mould (mine was crackling like crazy! I used my enameled metal pan originally for Soviet gelatin-based meat eeeh dishes).
Mix all the other ingredients. After mixing all the ingredients, that all seems creamy put in the mould and then in a bigger mould put water till it gets to the half of the caramelized mould (like Bain de Marie; here it’s also advised to cover the pan with foil so that your flan doesn’t burn; also later the same foil will serve you while the flan rests in the fridge). Put it in the oven for about 35 min. in 220 C’. After this check it with a knife. If it comes out dry, it’s done. Take it out and put it in the fridge for 2 hours before serving.
There are also other versions (see the same site from above), like the basic one with no cream cheese or a coconut one with coconut milk (no way for it here, no coconuts, no coconut milk=). When I was making the caramel, I obviously overcooked it (you know, there are those 12 (?) stages of caramelising sugar…), so I could hardly get the caramel into the bottom of the pan, although I eventually had SOME caramel down there. I was afraid that with such crackling and hard-hard-hard caramel the flan won’t come out right, but actually as there’s this bain de Marie while it’s been baked, the caramel gets liquid again and it covers the bottom of the flan nicely – here be prepared for dripping caramel! As I was at work while the flan was hehehe eaten, I asked my parents to make a photo of it before it’s gone. Parents actually kept it in the fridge and ate bit by bit, so it lasted quite a few days. It’s very sweet but at the same time there’s this fluffy texture! I’m not a fan of sweetened condensed milk and I have barely never tried even eating evaporated milk, but in combination with (somewhat unidentified among all the rest of the ingredients) cream cheese the flavour turns out less ‘shouting’. So, sweet-tooth people, here’s a wonderful recipe!
UPD I also tried a version with coconut milk which I by chance found in that gourmet store in Stockmann. So I did the version with coco and cream cheese. I cannot say that with a can of coconut milk it tasted that much different, but it certainly turned out huge (very tall) and lasted a week! =) I also added two Tbs of all-purpose flour as Melina told me. I had no chance to photo the result, though. If you do try one of the versions, I advise you to make sure your flan spends some time, overnight will be great, in the fridge, cause it definitely becomes more hmmm stable =)