Flan

We’re at the end of January… Is it too late to say Happy New Year? I think not, so, Happy New Year! I hope the new year is treating you well so far.

It took me three tries to get the caramel sauce right for this flan. The first time, I made it in a skillet and I let it sit on the flame a little too long and the color was dark and it had a slight burnt taste. The second time I used a saucepan and I don’t know what happened, but, it just wasn’t right. The third time I used a glass saucepan and once the sugar started to caramelize I lifted the pan off the heat so it wouldn’t be heating it directly and I finally got the color and taste right.

I immediately divided it among my ramekins and it quickly hardened. I hadn’t made flan in a long time so I couldn’t remember if that was normal or not good. Thankfully, it was all good. I blended the ingredients for the custard and also divided that among the ramekins and baked in a roasting pan in a hot water bath and after letting them cool I had the perfect flan.

It was the right consistency and the perfect amount of sweetness.

Flan

Ingredients:

1 cup sugar

1 can (14oz.) sweetened condensed milk

1 can (12oz.) evaporated milk

1/2 cup whole milk

3 eggs

2 egg yolks

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F. In a large shallow roasting pan, place six 6oz. ramekins.

In a heavy nonreactive pan pour the 1 cup of sugar and heat over medium heat. Stir constantly until sugar melts and becomes caramel colored, about 10 – 15 minutes. Pour caramel evenly into ramekins.

In a blender combine the condensed milk, evaporated milk, whole milk, eggs, egg yolks, vanilla and salt and blend until mixture is smooth. Strain the mixture, then pour over the caramel in the ramekins.

Place the roasting pan in the oven and fill the pan with 1 inch of hot water. Bake for about 30 minutes, until the center of each flan is set.

Remove pan from oven and let cool. When the water reaches room temperature remove the ramekins, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours.

Gently run a knife around the edge of the flan to loosen and then invert on a plate.

 

 

Tres Leches Cake

Pardon my blogging hiatus… Maybe another day I will explain, but for now, in honor of Cinco De Mayo I’m bringing you a super simple, a tad bit sweet but perfectly textured Tres Leches Cake. Many versions of this cake can turn into a mushy wet mess thanks to the tres leches (three milks) the cake is soaked in – heavy cream, evaporate milk and condensed milk. But this one holds together perfectly and you’re not left feeling as though you’re eating a cake pudding but an actual cake.

I began by making a sponge cake. In a medium bowl I whisked flour along with baking powder and salt. In the bowl of my stand mixer I combined 3 eggs with sugar and vanilla extract and beat them on medium-high speed until the mixture was light and fluffy. I then added in half of the flour mixture at low speed, then gradually added in whole milk and finally the remaining flour. After pouring the batter into a 9×13-inch buttered dish I baked it in a 350F preheated oven for about 25 minutes.

I let the cake cool for about a half hour and then poked holes in it with a fork and then poured the three milk mixture over the cake.

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After letting the cake sit overnight in the fridge, the following day I enjoyed a piece with some strawberries and whipped cream. One word for this dessert… YUM!!!  

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Tres Leche Cake

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 large eggs, at room temperature

1 cup sugar

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup whole milk, at room temperature

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

1 12oz. can evaporated milk

1 cinnamon stick

2 whole cloves (about 1/8 teaspoon ground)

1 14oz. can sweetened condensed milk

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray a 9×13 inch glass dish with non-stick spray (or lightly butter). In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the eggs, sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy – about 10 minutes. Switch the mixer to low speed and add half of the flour mixture, then gradually add in the milk and finally the remaining flour mixture.

Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and bake for 20-25 minutes, until the center of the cake springs back to the touch. Transfer the dish to a wire rack and let cool for at least 30 minutes.

While the cake is cooling, in a medium saucepan whisk the heavy cream with the evaporated milk, cinnamon stick and cloves and bring to a boil over moderately high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover and let steep for 10 minutes.

In a heatproof bowl, combine the condensed milk with the remaining 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and ground cinnamon. Strain the steeped cream mixture into the condensed milk and stir to combine and let cool for 20 minutes.

With a fork, poke holes all over the cake and gradually pour the milk mixture over the entire cake. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Serve with strawberries and/or whipped cream.

Recipe from Food & Wine

Key Lime Pie Revisited

I made Key Lime Pie for the first time last year when I came across the small limes while grocery shopping. I picked them up having only tried Key Lime Pie once and not caring for it and unsure how easy or difficult the pie would be to make. A quick call to friend and a Google search later let me know it wouldn’t be all that bad. And after my second tasting of Key Lime Pie I was hooked. Unfortunately key limes aren’t something that are readily available in my area throughout the year so I haven’t gotten to enjoy the pie since last year. Granted, I have seen key lime juice in the baking aisle of my local supermarket, but, I have a feeling that using the bottled juice just won’t taste the same as the freshly squeezed version. During a recent shopping trip I came across the limes once again and without hesitation I bought a bag and made another Key Lime Pie and just wanted to share the recipe with you all once again.

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Key Lime Pie

Ingredients

1 9-inch graham cracker pie shell

1/2 cup key lime juice (approximately 12 key limes)

1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk

4 egg yolks

Grated lime zest of one lime

Directions

1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

2) Whisk together the four eggs yolks until pale and fluffy

3) Gradually add in the condensed milk and continue mixing until the mixture becomes light and fluffy

4) Add in the lime juice and finally the lime zest.

5) Pour the filling into the graham cracker pie shell and bake for about 20 minutes, or until the filling is set.

6) Let the pie cool completely on a wire rack and then cover and refrigerate for a few hours.

7) Decorate with whipped cream or save for serving and drop heaping spoonfuls of whipped cream on each slice.

 

Whipped Cream

Ingredients:

1 cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

Whip cream and sugar in a large bowl until soft peaks form. Add in the vanilla extract and continue whipping until stiff peaks form.