My father in law often says that the best thing coming out of Mexico is Mexican Flan. After a stern dirty look from me, he clears his throat and adds: "that is, after Lily of course". We joke a lot about it, but deep down, I know it is true: flan is the best Mexican dessert ever! It's quick, pretty and absolutely scrumptious. It can be made in a matter of minutes (truly, I'm not joking), can be served hot or cold and it can be made in advance or right in front of your guests. I made this one for the IFBA Mexican Supper Club Evening and it got a resounding thumbs up from everybody.
There are loads of recipes for this Flan, some people bake it, others cook it in the oven on a bain marie, I do it the lazy way: in the microwave. Mam showed me how to do it the traditional way and then she showed me the lazy way, over time I have found that the microwave does a good job and makes the recipe, prep time and all, under 15 minutes! Traditionally, this flan is made vanilla flavoured, but I have experimented with different ways of flavouring it with stunning results. I am giving you the basic recipe and will suggest a few flavouring tips at the end.
A note of caution on this recipe, the main thing is to make sure that whatever mould you use is the right size for your microwave. The first time I made it I use a lovely big flan glass mould and got it all ready just to find out my mould wouldn't fit in the microwave!
Making the Caramel:
Put the sugar and the water into a milk pan (or a heavy bottom pot) and turn the heat on to high. Let the sugar heat and become caramel. Resist the urge to stir it. Don't touch it until it's completely melted and going golden brown. Turn off the heat and pour the caramel over your chosen mould making sure you cover the bottom and sides of the mould. Do it quickly as the caramel sets nearly instantly. I use a silicon mould, but a glass mould will work well too. Just remember it has to be suitable for microwaving.
Making the Flan:
Put all the ingredients in the blender or food processor and blend well. You will have a foamy, milky liquid. Pour it into the mould. Put the flan in the microwave at high for 8-10 minutes (check it at 8 and see if ready). It should be firm but sticky as the foam will still be on top, don't worry about this, the foam will set later. Take the flan out and let it rest for 3 minutes before turning it into a serving plate. The caramel will be a little runny so be careful.
Because the shape of my mould, the caramel tends to concentrate in the bottom and form lovely leaves when set. These leaves won't melt completely in the microwave, so when I turn the flan onto its serving plate, I use those bits of caramel to decorate the plan on top, it looks spectacular!
Your flan is done! Super quick dessert. You can serve it hot or cold and make sure you spoon some of the lovely caramel sauce over it when you serve it. If there's any left, keep it in the fridge. It keeps for up to 3 days, although it never lasts that long at home! Hope you enjoy it as much as we do.