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.



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



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.



Boston Cream Pie

I remember when I was younger I was not a fan of filled donuts. Jelly, cream, chocolate, whatever the filling, it was not my thing. Fast forward a few years and I can eat them now, but, and I apologize if this sounds a little gross, I squeeze out the excess filling first and then eat the donut. I just don’t like the filling to overpower the donut and that seems to happen a lot with filled donuts. And that, in a very roundabout way brings me to today’s post… A Boston Cream Pie. A yellow cake filled with custard and glazed with chocolate. I’ve have it in a donut form, but, the pie version is a 100x better.

I began by making the cake. To do so I started off by sifting cake flour, baking powder and salt in medium bowl. In my stand mixer I whisked eggs and sugar on high speed for 15 minutes. This part is integral as it ensure that the cake will be light and airy. Once the egg and sugar mixture was ready – it will be pale and tripled in volume – I gently folded in the flour mixture in two addition with a rubber spatula. And finally, I added in whole milk, vegetable oil and vanilla and returned the bowl to my stand mixer and beat it until everything was combined. I poured the batter in a 9-inch round cake pan that I sprayed with baking spray and baked it in a 350 F oven for about a half hour.

While the cake was in the oven I made the pudding. In a large bowl I whisked whole eggs, egg yolks and sugar until it was light and fluffy, and then whisked in cornstarch and salt. In a medium saucepan I heated whole milk and vanilla extract until it was hot, but not yet boiling. I then whisked in a 1/4 cup of the milk mixture into the egg mixture in order to temper the eggs and then gradually whisked in the remaining milk mixture. I then returned the entire mixture to the medium saucepan and constantly whisked it on low heat until it was thick and pudding like. Once it was the right consistency, I strained the pudding through a fine mesh sieve by pushing the pudding through the sieve with a rubber spatula. After letting the pudding cool for a few minutes I pressed plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pudding and refrigerated it for at least 2 hours.

Once the cake was done and the pudding cooled it was time to assemble. I cut the cake in half and spread the pudding on the bottom half.

After topping the cake I made the chocolate glaze by melting semi-sweet chocolate with heavy cream, vanilla extract and a pinch of salt. I then spread the glaze on the cake…

And then refrigerated it until the glaze was set.

Final verdict… YUM!!!


Boston Cream Pie


For The Cake:

1 1/4 cups cake flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 large eggs, at room temperature

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup whole milk

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract


For The Pudding:

1 1/2 cups whole milk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 large eggs plus 4 egg yolks

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup cornstarch

Pinch of salt


For The Glaze:

4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pinch of salt



Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray a 9-inch-round cake pan with baking spray or butter and flour.

Make the cake: Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a medium bowl. Beat the eggs and sugar in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment on high speed until pale and tripled in volume, about 15 minutes. Gently fold the flour mixture into the eggs mixture in two additions using a rubber spatula.

Add the milk, vegetable oil and vanilla and beat with the mixer until combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes until a cake tested inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack to cool and then invert onto to the rack to cool and invert once again and let the cake cool completely.

Make the pudding: Heat the milk and vanilla extract in a medium saucepan over medium heat, but, do not boil. Whisk the whole eggs, egg yolks and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add the cornstarch and salt and continue whisking until no lumps remain. Whisk 1/4 cup of the milk mixture into the egg mixture and then gradually whisk in the remaining milk mixture.

Pour the egg-milk mixture into the saucepan and cook over low heat, whisking constantly, until thick and pudding like, 10 to 15 minutes. It could take longer as well. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve by pushing the pudding through the sieve using a rubber spatula. Let the pudding cool for a few minutes and then place a piece of plastic wrap on the surface of the pudding and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Slice the cake in half and spread the pudding over the bottom half of the cake. Top the cake with the top half.

Make the glaze: Heat the chocolate, heavy cream, vanilla extract and salt in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring until the chocolate is melted and all of the ingredients are well combined and the mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes, you want it to be slightly thickened, then pour over the entire cake using an off-set spatula to smooth it. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes so the glaze can set.

Recipe from Food Network

Pumpkin Custards

It’s officially Fall and you know what that means… Bring on the Pumpkin treats! Can I just say it really is amazing (and a bit insane) how pumpkin and pumpkin spice flavor can be found in almost everything! Now, don’t get me wrong, I love pumpkin spice flavor but, I just don’t think I need to have it in everything. Have you seen these Pumpkin Spice Flavored Candy Corn? I’m totally cool with the traditional flavor of candy corn so I really don’t see the need for it being spruced or spiced up with additional flavoring. If anyone has tried them though please let me know how they taste in the comment section below… LOL! There are a few pumpkin flavored items I couldn’t resist trying though… Chobani Flip Yogurt, M&M’s and Pepperidge Farm Milano Cookies. All of which were quite tasty in my book. I also purchased some Pumpkin Spice Morsels from Nestle that I can’t wait to bake into cookies. Which leads me to my first pumpkin baked treat of the season… Pumpkin Custards.

To begin to I whisked together heavy cream along with cinnamon, allspice, ginger and nutmeg in a medium saucepan and heated it over medium-low heat and warmed the mixture until it began to bubble along the edges and steam. I then removed it from the heat and let it stand for 15 minutes.


While the cream mixture was cooling, in a large bowl I blended together egg yolks, vanilla extract, salt, pumpkin puree, granulated sugar and light brown sugar until it was smooth.


Slowly I poured the cream mixture into the egg mixture, and stirred it until it was blended. You don’t want to put the cream into the eggs too quickly because you don’t want to end up with scrambled eggs!


After straining the mixture through a fine mesh sieve I divided it among 4 ramekins which I placed in a baking pan and filled the pan with boiling water about halfway up the sides of the ramekins. After covering the pan with aluminum foil I baked it in a preheated 300 F oven for about a half hour – until the edges of the custards began to set.


Once I removed them from the oven I transferred the custards to a wire rack to cool to room temperature. I had a bit of a mishap in transferring them. My wire rack somehow slipped and I ended up losing two of the custards. Thankfully the ramekins didn’t break, but, I was left with a quite a mess to clean-up since the custards hadn’t completely set and ended up splattering everywhere.

After they had cooled I covered them and placed them in the refrigerator and later that evening it was time to enjoy my first pumpkin treat – well, first pumpkin treat that I personally baked – for the season with a topping of whipped cream!


Pumpkin Custards


1 1/2 cups heavy cream

1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon allspice

1/8 teaspoon ginger

3/4 teaspoon nutmeg

5 egg yolks

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

6 tablespoons pumpkin puree

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon light brown sugar


Preheat the oven to 300 F and boil a pot of water.

Pour the cream into a small saucepan and whisk in the cinnamon, allspice, ginger and nutmeg. Heat over medium-low heat and the warm the mixture until bubbles form around the edges and steam begins to rise. Remove from the heat and let stand for 15 minutes.

In a large bowl blend together the egg yolks, vanilla extract, salt, pumpkin puree, granulated sugar and light brown sugar.  Slowly pour in the cream mixture, stirring until blended. Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve set over a large bowl. Divide the mixture among four 8 fluid-ounce ramekins and place them in a baking dish. Pour the hot water into the pan about halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Cover the pan loosely with aluminum foil and bake for about 30 minutes, until the custards are just set around the edges.

Transfer the ramekins to a wire rack to cool to room temperature, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 3 days.

From Williams-Sonoma

Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Happy National Ice Cream Day!!! While I can pretty much eat ice cream any time of the year – frigid temperatures do not deter me from enjoying this creamy treat – summer is the ideal time to enjoy it. Which makes July the perfect month to celebrate National Ice Cream Month and the third Sunday of the month National Ice Cream Day!

I love texture when it comes to most things, i.e. nuts in brownies, sprinkles on cupcakes (and ice cream of course), so it’s no surprise that while I do enjoy plain old vanilla and chocolate ice cream I am partial to those flavors that have some sort of bite to them. Hence me making Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream. Well, the other reason for me making this particular flavor… Once the weather gets warmer mint grows wild around my yard. Usually I ignore it and let it grow as it is a good deterrent with squirrels digging holes everywhere in search of food, but this year I got the idea to make mint chocolate chip ice cream with it.


After collecting and rinsing 2 cups of fresh mint leaves…


I combined them along with whole milk, sugar, cream and salt in a saucepan and simmered the mixture over medium heat, stirring it occasionally until the sugar dissolved. I then removed the pan from the heat and let the mixture steep for 30 minutes.


Following that I strained the mixture and returned it to the saucepan and heated it on medium-low heat


I took a cup of the warmed milk and slowly added it to a bowl with whisked egg yolks; while adding the milk I whisked the mixture constantly to temper the eggs. If tempering is not done properly you can end up with scrambled eggs.


Once the eggs where tempered I added them to the remaining milk mixture on the stove and stirred the combined mixture constantly to form a custard.


Following that I strained the custard through a sieve into a medium-sized bowl. After letting the custard cool for a few minutes I covered it and refrigerated it overnight. I was a bit concerned when I saw that my custard was yellow – I feared that my ice cream was going to be this color. Green & white are cool for mint ice cream, but yellow not so much!


The following day I transferred the mixture to the bowl of my ice cream maker and once it started to firm up I added in chopped semi-sweet chocolate to the ice cream.


And finally I transferred the ice cream to an airtight container to place it in the freezer so the ice cream could firm up.


Final outcome… Well, thankfully it didn’t end up being yellow! The flavor is definitely different than store bought mint chocolate chip ice cream. It has more of an earthy flavor and doesn’t have the aftertaste that I find with some store bought ice creams. Also, since the base was custard and not a liquid like I normally make for ice cream it was definitely much creamier and reminded me of ice cream that you sometimes get from “old-time” ice cream shops. I definitely want to try to make this again, but, I think I would use less mint leaves and sugar and instead of making custard I would steep the leaves in milk similarly like when I made Lavender Vanilla Ice Cream.


Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream


2 cups fresh mint

1 cup whole milk

1 cup sugar

2 cups heavy cream

Pinch of table salt

6 large egg yolks

4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped


1. Combine the mint, milk, sugar, cream and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let steep for 30 minutes.

2. Strain the milk mixture through a sieve into a large bowl, pressing to extract as much liquid as possible; discard the mint. Return the milk mixture to the saucepan and place medium-low heat.

3. Set the sieve over a medium bowl. In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks. Slowly add 1 cup of the warm milk mixture to the egg yolks, whisking constantly, until combined. Return to the saucepan with the remaining milk mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens to custard and coats the back of a spoon, 10 to 12 minutes.

4. Remove the custard from heat and strain. Let sit until slightly cool, about 10 minutes. Refrigerate, covered, until cold, at least 3 hours and up to overnight.

5. Transfer the custard to an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s directions. Fold in the chocolate. Transfer the ice cream to an airtight container and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours and up to 4 days.