Birthdays are complicated when you reach a certain age. Oh, don’t get me wrong. You’re grateful for another year. I mean. You’re still alive and kicking, right? Waking up to a fresh start. Starting a spanking new year on the planet with one more inch in your waist. A number that grants you a whisker more authority in the world. A tad more wisdom.
If you’ve been paying attention to the lessons life likes to offer up as experience, and not sleepwalking, that is. Not acquiescing to the expectations of others. Or choosing safety over the challenge of the new. Or worse- finding yourself somewhere, in some situation, or relationship, strictly for the sake of momentum, chafing inside a role you don’t remember signing up for.
Birthdays can be markers like that.
Defining where we’ve been. And how far we’ve come. Or not.
Wow! That sounds deep…way too serious…not too much like me…Who are you? And more important, where is the real me?
Every year, for my B-Day, my Mom used to ask me what I wanted for lunch. That’s one of the many ways she makes me feel very special on that day. And my answer was always the same:
Almond rice. Chicken with Mushrooms and Mustard sauce. And the salad, well, I always let my mom decided.
But my favorite part was dessert. The best, because as the rest of the food, is always the same: Coconut Flan!
I know, many women out there are worry about counting calories, fat, trying to get the “Miley Cyrus look”, right? I’ll just say I stick with those one that, thank God, still think that women like Ann Margret and Marilyn Monroe are example of the definition of beauty.
Anyway, I usually bake during the week, that way we can have dessert after dinner. But not this week. No dessert, and I was going crazy (and better not to mention Paul…he was driving me crazy!)
So, this is something fast and I always enjoy while I’m preparing it. You know: the anticipation, the wait for something you know is going to be delicious, mouth-watering.
I also know perfectly well that Paul and I are going to devour this flan in less than a eye blink.
Is a pleasure for me, to introduce you, my favorite recipe:
:: CARIBBEAN COCONUT FLAN::
1 cup (200 gr.) beet sugar
425 ml coconut milk ( I love AROY-D, does not contains nothing but coconut extract and water)*
425 ml regular milk
1 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup coconut flakes, toasted, for garnish
Whipped cream (optional)
Preheat oven to 35o degrees F.
In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the sugar until it melts. Add 11 tablespoons of hot water and mix well, until caramelizes. Remember to be careful while preparing it and try, if possible, to use only wooden spoons. Pour it into a flan dish, pie plate or round souffle baking dish with shallow sides, swirling it around to coat the bottom and add little less of half of the shredded coconut on top. Place in freezer while preparing the mixture.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs until foamy with a wire whisk. Beat in the condensed milk, coconut milk, regular milk, and shredded coconut. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish. It will need to bake in a water-bath in the oven. Set the dish into a large baking pan with sides and carefully pour the boiling water around the flan to come 2/3 the way up the sides. Carefully transfer to the preheated oven. Bake for about 1 hour, until the flan is set and the center only jiggles a little bit, like a cheesecake would. Remove from the oven and water-bath and allow to cool completely. Turn the flan out onto a flat serving platter. Cut into slices for serving. Garnish with whipped cream and toasted coconut.
* That brand of coconut milk can be found in asian markets. They have coconut milk for dessert and another one for cooking. Love them both!