You've probably eaten Spanish flan before - crème caramel's kissin' cousin. So often it's too "eggy" tasting with no other flavor, or the texture's filled with too many holes. This recipe from Bon Appétit, however, gets it just right.
The flavor is rich in vanilla and cream, but not too heavy. The texture is silky and practically melts in your mouth, and the caramel sauce oozes all over this luscious custard.
I added a topping of a Spanish confection called "turrón" - an almond candy that comes in many textures - from a crumbly one I bought at a local Spanish restaurant/store, to a hard-as-rock one that's similar to the Italian torrone. It's totally unnecessary, but adds another texture to the smooth custard.
This flan was the sweet finale to a delightful evening spent with my book club (and husbands) discussing a book set in Spain (The Telling Room) and noshing on tapas and Spanish wine.
And because you can't have too much beauty in your life, here are a couple more photos of paintings of one of my favorite artists - the Spanish impressionist Joaquin Sorolla.
As I mentioned in my last blog post, many of his works are on view at The Hispanic Society of America, in New York City, but the museum closed for renovations starting January 1, 2017. If you're interested in seeing more of his work, but can't get to Spain (where you can visit his actual studio), or don't want to wait two years or more until the renovation is complete, click here for a link to more information about the painter and photos of his work:
Want more Ciao Chow Linda? Check out my Instagram page here to see more of what I'm cooking up each day.
The recipe calls for individual flans. I doubled the recipe and baked it in a large ring mold, placing it in a water bath, or "bain marie" and baking for 40 minutes.
From Bon Appetit magazine May 1992
printable recipe here
1 3/4 cup whipping cream
1 cup milk (do not use low fat or nonfat)
pinch of salt
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
3 large eggs
2 large yolks
7 tablespoons sugar