Coffee & Caramel Flan
Espresso beans ground in a coffee grinder would be too fine and impart too strong a coffee flavor to the flan... Instead, crush the beans lightly with the bottom of a heavy saucepan for a very coarsely "ground" bean.
1 recipe Caramel Sauce (see below)1/2 cup espresso beans, lightly crushed1 1/2 cups whole milk1 1/2 cups of light cream3 large eggs2 large egg yolks2/3 cups sugar1 teaspoon vanillaPinch of Salt
Directions - Coffee & Caramel Flan:
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Pour the warm Caramel Sauce into the bottoms of six 1-ounce custard cups or ramekins. Using a potholder, immediately tilt the cups to spread the caramel over the bottom and halfway up the sides.
In a saucepan combine the milk, cream, and crushed coffee beans, heat just until steaming (not boiling), about 6-8 minutes. Turn off the heat, cover and steep mixture until coffee flavor has infused the milk and cream, about 15 minutes. Next, pour the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. This strains out the coffee beans.
In a separate bowl whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, vanilla, sugar, and salt. Pouring slowly, gradually stir the milk mixture into the egg mixture. Stir gently until the sugar is dissolved. Next, pour the flan custard into the caramel-lined cups.
To bake the flan find a roasting pan large enough to comfortably accommodate the custard cups. Cover the bottom of the roasting pan with a towel to prevent direct contact with the bottom of the roasting pan. Place the cups on top of the towel in the roasting pan. Space them so that they do not touch one another, or come in contact with the sides of the roasting pan. Pour enough scalding-hot water into the roasting pan to come about one-half to two-thirds of the way up the sides of the custard cups.
Bake in the water bath until firmly set in the center, 40 to 60 minutes for individual cups. Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes at room temperature. Next, refrigerate flan custards for at least 4 hours up to 2 days.
To unmold, dip the cups briefly in hot water and loosen the edges with a knife. Invert flan onto individual plates.
Caramel Sauce Recipe: In a small heavy saucepan place 3/4 cup sugar. Drizzle 1/4 cup water evenly over the top of the sugar. Place saucepan over medium heat and gently swirl sugar mixture, without stirring. Gently swirl until a clear syrup forms. It is important that the syrup clarifies before it boils. Next, increase the heat to medium-high and bring the syrup to a rolling boil. Cover the saucepan tightly and boil for 2 minutes. Uncover and cook until the syrup begins to darken. Begin to swirl the syrup again until a deep amber color forms in the syrup. Quickly pour this mixture into the custard cups.
Recipe yields 6 servings.