This easy coconut flan recipe removes the “baking” nightmares many people have in the kitchen. If you have made a flan and it comes out as too liquidly or like cottage cheese, then read below to see some tips and tricks on how to prevent flan disasters.
One kitchen product that makes this process way easier is a flanera. A flanera is a flan mold that is made out of stainless steel and has a tight latching lid for efficient closure. This pan is made to make your job 10x easier at molding the flan into the right form.
You can find this product at your nearest latin supermarket or this flanera amazon link if you want it delivered right to your door.
This traditional Cuban flan recipe includes shredded coconut flakes and substitutes the evaporated milk with coconut milk for a slight coconut taste. The addition of condensed milk is also an ingredient that Cubans use in their flan. They’re many other flan flavor variations in the Caribbean Islands. For example, different flavors include mango, pina colada, and a delicious dark chocolate flan.
This is perfect for large special occasions like Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any other holidays when the family is together.
Some people have trouble making the delicious gooey caramel that covers the flan. It is very simple but many people do this step differently. One way of doing this is heating the sugar inside the flanera instead of doing it in a separate saucepan. We personally use the wet sugar method to caramelize in our recipe and the only difference is the added water. This practice helps with controlling the degree of caramelization as some people heat dry sugar quite quickly, resulting in a burnt taste.
Be careful when heating sugar as this can cause very painful sugar burns. Also, you do not want to walk away or do multiple things at once while caramelizing the sugar. It is easy to mess up this step in many flan recipes.
Baking a flan in a water bath is essential to perfecting the flans texture. In Cuba, traditionally this is baked in a baño maría (water bath) inside of a pressure cooker instead of an oven.
Because flan is a type of custard, we will want to bake it slowly and not overcook the top or outer sides. To water bath, you place the flanera or similar baking pan into a larger baking pan (preferably one with taller walls). Next, you fill the larger baking pan with hot water up until the halfway mark of the flanera. This water evaporates at boiling point, keeping the water inside the oven at a fixed temperature.
They’re benefits of baking the coconut flan this way. A benefit from water bath baking a flan is insulating the outer part of the flan so it doesn’t cook too fast than the center part. Another benefit of doing this is to prevent the batter from curdling. No one will want to cut into a flan that breaks apart into a cottage cheese texture. Eww.
So, don’t be worried if you check your coconut flan before letting it cool, and it looks under-cooked. It will continue to bake inside of this water bath after taking it out the oven. It is also recommended to refrigerate the coconut flan for at least 4 hours to overnight before serving.