Chilli chocolate flan

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Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes
Serves: 6

  • 1 cup (220g) caster sugar
  • 1/4 cup (60mL) water
  • 12/3 cups (420mL) milk
  • 150g dark cooking chocolate, chopped
  • 5 eggs
  • 395g can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground chilli
  • strawberries and whipped cream, to serve

1. Preheat the oven to 160°C, and line the base of a large roasting pan with a folded tea towel.

2. Combine the sugar and water in a medium saucepan and place over low heat. Stir without boiling until the sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat slightly and bring to the boil. Cook, without stirring, for about 7 minutes, until the mixture is a deep golden-caramel colour (remove from the heat and let the bubbles subside to check – return to the heat if not quite ready). Use a wet pastry brush to brush any crystals from the side of the pan as it cooks. Pour the caramel into the base of six 1-cup capacity ovenproof ramekins, dividing evenly. Set aside to cool and harden.

3. Place the milk and chocolate into a medium saucepan over low heat. Heat gently to melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally. Increase the heat and bring almost to the boil. Meanwhile, whisk the eggs, condensed milk, vanilla and spices in a large bowl. Gradually add the chocolate mixture to the egg mixture, whisking constantly.

4. Place the ramekins onto the tea towel in the roasting pan. Pour the custard mixture evenly into the ramekins. Pour boiling water into the roasting pan around the rame-kins, to come halfway up the side.

5. Bake for 30 minutes, until just set. Carefully lift the ramekins from the pan, and cool to room temperature. Put onto a tray in the fridge for 8 hours, or overnight.

6. To serve, run a knife around the edge of each flan. Place a serving plate on top, then invert so the flan slides onto the plate. Serve with strawberries and whipped cream.

Note:

I used oval-shaped ramekins, but you could use round ones. Alternatively, make this in a 20cm  cake tin, and cook for 40 minutes. Turn out onto a platter and cut into wedges to serve. You may find the inclusion of chilli powder strange, but it goes really well with chocolate and gives a gentle heat. Leave it out if you must! Use a fresh, good quality chilli powder.