The first time I heard the word “Flan” was in the TV Show Friends, and since then, the Monica Geller in me wanted to make it. Of course, I looked it up and saw how it’s made and I’d be lying if I said I thought it was easy. Although, when I actually made this, I realized that OH MY GOD! it’s not rocket science. Just a few steps to be done just as it is called for and you will have one of the best tasting desserts ever!
I twisted the flan to a cheesecake. I KNOW! I think I love cheesecakes a little too much. This one might just be my favourite after Nutella Cheesecake, no wait.. I guess I love this one more. You know what, I love all kinds of cheesecakes! Coming back to this recipe. I used ginger-nut biscuits and coconut oil to make the crust and it complements the custard so well that I was blown away. It does take a little time to put together (but totally worth it), like most baked cheesecakes and it can be pre-made and refrigerated too! That’s always a plus in my book. Let’s get baking! I have marked the important steps in bold.
For the crust-
168 g Ginger-nut biscuits (any ginger flavoured biscuit/Graham Crackers/Digestive biscuits)
2 + 1/2 tbsp coconut oil
For the custard-cheesecake filling-
3 large eggs
100 g castor sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
a good pinch of salt
120 ml milk
150 g Cream cheese
For caramel: 1/4 cup sugar + 1 tbsp water
1/2 cup roasted pecans (for garnish)
- CRUST: Take a 7″ spring form round cake tin (or a 7″ cake tin with a loose bottom should work too). Slightly butter the pan and cover the outside of the pan with foil.
- In a food processor, add your ginger-nut biscuits (or biscuits of choice) and blend them till they turn into a fine powder, add the coconut oil and pulse till all the biscuit crumbs are moistened. Then put this mixture into your spring form pan and press it down tightly, push the crumbs up the side of the cake (creates a nice wall for the custard to be poured in). Once everything is pressed down nice and tight, put this in the freezer while you make the custard cheesecake filling.
- CHEESECAKE FILLING: Preheat your oven to 150ºC, In a medium-large bowl crack your eggs, add the sugar and vanilla and whisk until well combined. Keep aside.
- In a medium sized heavy bottom saucepan, add your milk and cream cheese, keep stirring continuously on a medium-low heat till the cream cheese dissolves and the mixture comes to a simmer, it should take around 5 minutes.
- When the milk mixture reaches a simmer, take it off the heat, IMPORTANT STEP: Pour about 1/4th of the mixture into the egg mixture whisking continuously, once mixed in, add the same amount of the hot milk mixture again continuing to whisk, now slowly pour the remaining milk mixture whilst whisking. (This is called tempering)
- IMPORTANT: Once you mix the milk and the eggs, strain the mixture into a pour-able container (just to remove any bits of cooked egg and for a silky smooth custard). Remove the spring form pan from the freezer and pour this mixture into the pan. IMPORTANT: Take a larger cake pan or roasting pan that can fit your cheesecake pan, place the cheesecake inside this pan and pour hot water into the larger pan till it reaches about halfway up your cheesecake pan (cooking in a water bath provides gentler cooking, perfect for custards). Bake for 55-60 minutes or until the flan is almost set with a very slight jiggle in the middle. Carefully take the pan out, from the water bath and leave to cool on a wire rack till it reaches room temperature. Once it reaches room temperature, refrigerate for a minimum of three hours.
- When your cheesecake is cooling, make your caramel: In a heavy bottom saucepan add your sugar and water and cook on a medium low heat till it reaches an amber colour (Be extremely careful while working with hot sugar) as soon as you see the colour changing, take the caramel off the heat and keep an ice bath ready so that you can put the sauce pan on it and stop the caramel from burning and getting bitter. Do not try to touch or taste the caramel. Leave it to cool for a good 20 minutes in the ice bath.
- Once your cheesecake is set, gently remove it from your spring form pan on to your serving platter. Then drizzle this on top of your cheesecake. I also added some toasted pecans for texture, you can omit them or use nuts of choice. Enjoy! This tastes best when served cold. The cheesecake should last for 3-4 days in the refrigerator when stored in an airtight container.
Do try it and let me know how it turned out! 🙂
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