READ THE SMALL PRINT FOR DAIRY-FREE INGREDIENT SWAPS!
Yield: 6 servings / one 8" round flan / six 1/2-cup sized ramekins
Serving Size: 1 slice / one (1/2 cup-sized) ramekin
For the Flan:
4 large (50g each) whole eggs (add 2 more yolks for an extra-creamy custard flavor)
3/4 cup (100-110g) keto baking sweetener (any erythritol-based blend, or allulose, or tagatose
1 cup (240ml) low-carb milk (unsweetened cashew milk is ideal, feel free to sub water)
1 cup (240ml) 30% butterfat whipping cream (sub coconut cream or unsweetened dairy-free coffee creamer)
1 tsp (5ml) vanilla extract (or other flavoring of choice)
1/8 tsp (a pinch) sea salt (optional)
For the Caramel Layer:
1/2 cup (80g) allulose / tagatose (other keto sweeteners may not caramelize, but can also be used)
2 Tbsp (30ml) water
1. First preheat the oven to 163C/ 325F, prep your pans of choice (either an 8" round cake pan, or six 1/2cup single-serving ramekins) with a thin layer of butter or oil. Place the pan(s) inside a large baking dish with higher sides to act as the bain-marie later.
2. Place the caramel ingredients in a small saucepan or pot and melt on medium heat. Once melted, do not stir, just swirl the caramel by tilting the pan around at least every minute or so, watching carefully until it starts to brown (for allulose it browns around 330F-350F). It will go from caramelized to burnt very quickly so be on your toes during this process! Once it gets to a nice brown color (err on the lighter side since keto sweeteners do not get a pleasant smoky caramel flavor when too dark like sugar will), immediately pour the caramel into your prepared pan(s) and swirl the pan to spread the hot caramel evenly along the entire bottom of the pan(s).
3. Once the caramel is made, crack all the eggs into a large bowl, add the sweetener and whisk everything until well combined, then set aside. Heat all the remaining ingredients in a medium pot on low heat, stirring until the sweetener has dissolved. Turn off the heat and remove the pot right before the mixture comes to a boil.
4. While whisking the egg mixture, slowly drizzle in a little bit of the hot cream liquid at a time (gradually warming up the eggs) until all the liquid has been incorporated. Place a strainer over the now-empty pot and pour this flan liquid back through the sieve to strain out any little bits of egg white chalazae. Put the custard liquid aside to sit for a minute to let any foam disperse, meanwhile set some water to boil in a kettle or in a clean pot.
5. Once the water has come to a boil, evenly distribute your custard mixture between the ramekins (about 1/2 cup each), or fill the 8" round cake pan entirely. These should already be sitting inside the large baking dish, which you can now place into the preheated oven. Pour the just-boiled water into the larger baking dish so that it pools around your flan dish(es). Fill up the larger dish until the water rises halfway up the sides of your flan dish(es). Close the oven and let the custards bake for 25-40 minutes. They should be done when the edges are firm, and most of the center is jiggly but no longer liquid.
6. Remove the entire bain-marie dish from the oven and place somewhere steady and heat-resistant. Carefully remove the flan(s) from the bain-marie without touching the hot water, and let them cool to room temperature, then chill at least 4 hours before serving. To serve, slide a thin knife around the edge of the flan dish, place a slightly-large plate or bowl upside down overtop the flan dish, hold them together firmly and quickly flip them to release the flan into the new container. I usually need to place the two dishes (still held together) down on a firm surface and tap or hit the original flan dish to force it to come out, but be careful with this as the custard is very fragile.
--I would NOT use coconut cream or coconut milk in this recipe unless you want it to be VERY noticeably coconut-flavored.
--If you want a smooth flan, two things are important: a) do not over-cook the flan or try to cook it without a bain-marie, b) do not cool the flan down too quickly. If you try to put the hot flan straight into the fridge it will shrink as it cools and split, leaving cracks on the surface of the flan.
--Do not try to use stevia on its own in this recipe, it will leave the dish tasting too eggy and more like a fritatta. Nutritive sweeteners such as erythritol, allulose and tagatose (and any sweetener blends using one of those three as a base) will react best with the eggs, giving you a smoother custard texture and less eggy-ness.
--Feel free to cap each ramekin or cover the large flan dish with baking parchment or aluminum foil to keep the tops from drying out, this will help ensure even cooking and less cracking, but you will need to remove one while the flan is still baking to check for doneness, which might be a pain.
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Unsweetened Cashew Milk: https://amzn.to/2W53ra6
Coconut Cream: https://amzn.to/2xct1is
Nutpods Creamer: https://amzn.to/2HoylFd
Vanilla Extract: https://amzn.to/2XgBsFX
Vanilla Bean Powder: https://amzn.to/2uclToy
Sea Salt: https://amzn.to/2xYwRzt
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9"x13" Baking Dish (for Bain-Marie): https://amzn.to/2rb9CQ6
Round Cake Pan Set: https://amzn.to/2OY2Upl
Ramekin Baking Set: https://amzn.to/31Wh53s
Strainer / Sieve Set: http://amzn.to/2shOYgU
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Plastic Mixing Bowl Set + Measuring Cups: https://amzn.to/2NFnN81
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("dash", "tad", "smidgen", etc. measurements below 1/4 tsp)
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