Gary loves flan…actually that’s an understatement….it is his favorite dessert. Gary is usually our Creme Brulee guy…he makes a mean one – and our go to for any special dinner party. I wanted to make something special for him though for our Valentine’s Day, truffle dinner influenced by my trip to Spain and delicious Creme Caramel/Catalan Creme…so attempted flan. It was awesome!!!! I used heavy cream instead of traditional condensed or evaporated milk, added a touch of cinnamon to the vanilla custard and then a touch of Cointreau to the caramel sauce. Special, creamy, slightly spiced and totally decadent. A perfect Valentine’s treat for my Valentine.
Spiced Flan with Cointreau Caramel
3 cups heavy cream
1 1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup Cointreau
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Prep your ramekins, lining a baking dish, that 9 ramekins will fit in, with a dish cloth. Place 8 or 9 ramekins in the baking dish. Set aside, close to the stove to be ready to have the caramel spooned into each one. Heat about 4 cups of water to a simmer in a kettle or sauce pan. In a heavy bottomed sauce pan add 1 cup sugar over medium low heat. Using a wooden spoon move the sugar around constantly until a rich golden color is created. Add in a pinch of salt. Carefully pour in the Cointreau and stir to combine off the heat. Quickly spoon the caramel into the bottom of each ramekin, distributing the caramel evenly.
In another sauce pan heat the cream to a scald, watching to make sure it doesn’t burn. Beat the eggs and the remaining sugar together in a mixing bowl, whisk in a pinch of cinnamon. Carefully add a touch of the cream to the eggs to temper the custard, whisking to incorporate. Add in the rest of the cream, whisking to fully incorporate the the cream into the eggs. Ladle the custard mixture into each ramekin, distributing evenly.
Place the baking dish on the lower rack of the oven, carefully pour the heated water into the dish (avoiding the ramekins) for a water bath, ensuring the water comes half way up each ramekin dish. Bake for 55 minutes, carefully rotating the dish 180 degrees half way through. Remove from the oven, place each ramekin on a rack and let cool completely, then place in the fridge and refrigerate until ready to serve. When ready to serve run a knife around the edge of each ramekin then place a plate over each ramekin, flip, tap and unmold each. Serve immediately.