Pudim de leite de coco (Coconut flan)

This most traditional of Brazilian desserts combines intense caramel flavour, a silky texture and a hint of coconut fragrance. Every grandmother will make hers slightly differently, maybe adding a splash of cachaça (cane spirit) or a pinch of salt to the caramel.

Serves 6

For the Flan

½ cup sugar
1 can coconut cream
1t vanilla essence
3 eggs
1 can of condensed milk
½ cup fresh coconut shavings

Method

1. Melt sugar in a heavy-based pan over low heat. Cook until it turns golden-brown, swirling the pan occasionally.
2. Pour this caramel into a round baking dish, swirling it around to form an even layer on the base.
3. In a saucepan, warm coconut cream and vanilla on medium heat.
4. In a bowl, whisk the eggs until light and fluffy.
5. Add condensed milk and stir until combined.
6. Gradually add the warmed coconut cream while stirring.
7. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve (to make sure there are no lumps), then pour it over the caramel base in the baking dish.
8. Cover with foil and place the dish in a roasting pan. Pour water into the pan until the level is halfway up the side of the pudding dish.
9. Bake at 160˚C for 45–50 minutes. The centre should be set, but it should still have a ‘jiggle’.
10. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the water bath until room temperature, then refrigerate the pudding to set for at least 4 hours.
11. Flip upside down to unmould the flan onto a large serving plate (use one with a lip so the caramel sauce doesn’t leak over the edge), and top with coconut.

Recipes and Styling: Chiara Turilli
Food Photographs: Gareth Van Nelson
Assistants: Sean Dollery, Jezza-Rae Larsen, Nicola Naudé

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