Cook's Hideout: Café Con Leche Flan

November 26, 2010

Café Con Leche Flan

Vegan Mofo Day 26:

Did any of you (in the US) go out for shopping today? I woke up my husband 7:00AM and asked him if he wanted to go, he said he's too busy sleeping, so I dozed off too for another hour of sleep. Well we did end up in Walmart around noon to buy toothpaste for our little one and it looked like a carnival in the Electronics section. Every cart we saw had a flat screen TV, my husband was tempted to buy one, but knowing our three year old, who talks to TV and hi-fi's it as if it's his friend, we thought of waiting for another year.
Coming to the recipe for Coffee flan or Café con Leche flan. I don't remember ever eating a flan before though I remember seeing it in many parties. My husband loves coffee, so I decided to make this. Recipe is from Viva Vegan by Terry Romero.
I bought Agar powder from our local Asian market, each sachet was $1.99 and the last time I checked Whole foods, they had Agar flakes for about $10.00. So check your Asian markets before heading to Whole foods or other health food stores.

Caramel Coating:
Granulated Sugar - 1 cup
Water - 3tbsp
Lemon/ Lime juice - 1 tsp

Water - ½cup
Agar powder - 1¼tsp (if using Agar flakes - 2½tsp)
Vanilla soy or Almond milk - 2cups (I used Original Soy milk and it tasted awesome)
Arrowroot powder or Cornstarch - 2tbsp
Coconut milk (lite or regular) - 1 cup
Granulated sugar - ½ cup
Brown Sugar - 2tbsp
Instant espresso powder or Instant coffee - 2tbsp
Vanilla extract - 2tsp (I forgot to add this, but it was still yummy :-))

  • Caramel: Have 4 - 6 individual clean, dry glass or ceramic ramekins or 2 larger 2-cups serving bowls.
  • Terry has a recipe for microwave caramel that I followed and it was done lickety split with no worries: Pour sugar in a microwaveable 2-cup or 4-cup measuring cup. Add water and lime/lemon juice. Stir well to combine. Microwave on high for 5-6 minutes; DO NOT stir again.
  • At about 3½ - 4 minutes mark, sugar will be melted and rapidly bubbling. Soon after that it will turn pale golden, then increasingly amber. Once the browning starts, it will continue to do so very rapidly, so keep a very close eye. My caramel reached the required dark amber color around the 5 minute mark. Stop the microwave and using oven mitts carefully remove from the oven. Alternatively caramel can be made on the stove using David Lebovitz's method.
  • Once the caramel is very hot and ready, pour it quickly into a thin layer onto the bottoms of the ramekins. Gently tilt the ramekin and let the caramel reach about ½ inch up the sides. Set the molds aside and let cool. Prepare the flan.
  • Flan: In a large sauce, combine the water and agar powder and bring to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes.
  • In a small bowl, combine ½ cup of soy milk and cornstarch and set aside.
  • After most of the agar has dissolved, add the rest of the milk, coconut milk, granulated sugar, brown sugar and instant coffee. Mix well.
  • Increase the heat and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally, then lower the heat again.
  • Whisk the soy milk-corn starch mixture and stir rapidly into the simmering coconut milk mixture. Cook and stir constantly until the mixture thickens slightly and the cornstarch is completely cooked (the mixture should taste smooth, not chalky), about 6 to 8 minutes.
  • Stir in the vanilla and remove from the heat.
  • Pour into the caramel lined molds, leaving a minimum of ½ inch from the top of the molds.
  • Cool for 10 minutes, then allow to chill for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  • To serve the chilled flan: Gently run a knife along the sides of the flan. Invert the ramekin onto a serving plate and the flan should slide right onto the plate.

Serve the flan within 2-3 days of preparing. It tastes amazing with the slight bitter coffee taste complemented by the sweet caramel. I'm sure coffee lovers would love this one, my husband did.


  1. A vegan flan- now that is just terrific! Your pictures are too tempting- that gooey goodness is amazing.

  2. Wow wat a catchy and delectable flan, soo tempting..

  3. How good is that Flan? Terry is a genius. We loved it when we made it. Yours looks super pretty!!!

  4. That looks amazing!! Yumm - love the caramel.

  5. Wow, this looks so beautiful & vegan too....bookmarked.


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