Make yourself a dessert from the islands with this coconut caramel flan

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One bite of this delicious coconut caramel flan and you'll be imagining yourself in a faraway tropical land. The creamy flan custard is flavored with coconut milk and baked in a bain marie until set but still jiggly in the center. Shredded toasted coconut is the perfect garnish to sprinkle atop this not-too-sweet dessert.
The recipe below is essentially the recipe for a traditional flan, the only exception being the addition of coconut milk instead of whole milk or heavy cream. You can serve the dessert at room temperature, but it's yummiest and most refreshing when served slightly chilled. This dessert is popular with kids and adults alike, and the kids especially love the sweet caramel flan topping.
Cooktop Cove
Coconut Caramel Flan
20 mins
60 mins
2 hrs 20 mins
2 cups white sugar
2 tablespoons water
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 14-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
5 large eggs
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup toasted shredded coconut (optional)
Add the white sugar and water to a large saucepan, and place over medium-high heat. Stir constantly until the sugar caramelizes and becomes a deep amber brown color, about 10 minutes. Remove the melted sugar from the heat, and carefully pour it in the bottom of a flan mold. Set aside to cool.
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
In a blender or food processor, combine the condensed milk, coconut milk, eggs and vanilla. Cream together until smooth, about 1 minute.
Pour the flan mixture into the mold on top of the cooled caramel syrup. Tap the sides to remove air bubbles.
Place the flan mold in a large roasting pan or baking dish. Create a bain marie by filling the baking dish with water until it comes halfway up the sides of the flan mold.
Place the baking dish in the preheated oven, and allow the flan to bake until the center is firm but still jiggly when touched, about 45-60 minutes.
Remove the flan from the bain marie, and allow it to cool completely. Place the flan in the refrigerator for a minimum of one hour, up to overnight.
When the flan is set, remove from the fridge. Run a paring knife along the perimeter of the flan to loosen the sides. Place a large plate on top of the flan mold, and quickly invert the plate so the flan slides out easily.
Serve the flan on a plate using a large spoon. Garnish with shredded coconut, whipped cream and fresh berries (optional).
Pro-tip: Add shredded coconut to the flan mixture for some extra texture in the dessert.
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