You don’t have to go far to tell of my love for all things Spanish – Read God must be Spanish.

A friend was hosting a get-together at his place and I suggested that there be a theme – Spanish food. I offered to put together a Menu for him and hold your breath – execute it and plate it up! This probably had to be my most daring challenge to date. That in a nutshell is me – Foolhardy. Throw down the gauntlet nonchalantly and then wonder why the hell did I do it? Well, now that the invites were on their way and there was an air of expectation, there was no backing out. Game on! I thought to myself.

After the usual recipe search on the net and pouring through cook books I settled on the three courses I would serve up:

1) Alioli Potatoe as Tapas
2) A Vegetarian Paella for the Main (I see a few raised eyebrows already, and I agree this is as bastardized as the original seafood paella can get.)
3) A Strawberry Flan for Dessert.

I shall deal with the first two courses of meal in another post, and talk about my favourite – Strawberry flan. As easy as it sounded to make this dessert, I’d never used a “bano Maria” or simply a water bath.
I was excited to give it a go and when I unmolded those beauties out of the ramekins, I was all smiles :).

Strawberry Flan

Ingredients (serves 6)

  • 2 cups fresh, ripe strawberries
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 can (400 grams) can condensed milk
  • 6 eggs

caramelized sugar topping:

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • mint leaves – optional garnish

Optional: Reserve about 4-5 diced fresh strawberries for garnish.

Method

  • Heat the oven to 180 degrees C.
  • Put a heavy skillet or saucepan over medium heat for 30 seconds. Add 1/2 cup granulated sugar.
  • With the back of a wooden spoon, keep sugar moving constantly in skillet until sugar is completely melted, and of a rich medium brown color (caramelized).
  • Pour caramelized sugar into each of the ramekins. Set aside.
  • Wash the strawberries and remove the stem.
  • Place the strawberries, sugar eggs and condensed milk in to a food processor or blender and blend until strawberries are minced and all ingredients are mixed thoroughly.
  •  Ladle the strawberry mixture into each ramekin. Cover each ramekin with aluminum foil.
  • Place each ramekin into a large open, oven-proof pan, such as a broiler pan. Add very hot water to the pan. The ramekins should be submerged approximately 3/4 in the water.
  • Carefully place the pan on to the middle shelf of the oven and bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, carefully remove each ramekin from the water, uncover and to allow to cool.
  • Once cool, place in refrigerator to chill.
  • When you are ready to serve, run a paring knife around the outside of each ramekin to loosen the flan. Then, place the serving plate on top of each one and flip it over. It may be necessary to tap the ramekin to force the flan to fall out onto the plate.
  •  Garnish with fresh strawberries and mint.
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