"Filipino food is a fusion of different flavours which evolves through various influences like Spanish, American, Chinese and other Asian countries. As we adapted and concocted these dishes it has created diverse flavours that are uniquely Filipino seasoned and spiced by our rich culture".

Friday, December 16, 2011

Leche Flan with Coffee Caramel

Filipino Catholics headed to church very early this morning as today is the start of the Simbang Gabi, a nine-day novena which starts from December 16 to December 24. 

As quoted from Wikipedia : 

"The Simbang Gabi originated not just out of devotion, but also due to practicality. In the early days of Spanish rule, it was the customary tradition to hold novenas in the evenings during the Christmas season. However, the friars and the priests saw that the people attending the novenas were tired and numb from work in the fields, even though they continued to want to hear the word of the Lord. This was because in the Philippines, an agricultural country, families started their day even before the sun would rise to avoid the inhospitable temperatures in the fields. As a compromise, the clergy began to hold Mass early dawn when the land would still be dark, a break in tradition prevalent in Spain and her Latin American colonies.
Filipinos came by the countless multitudes to the Simbang Gabi. Afterwards, it became a distinct feature in Philippine culture to celebrate Holy Mass at such a rather early time. In time, Simbang Gabi became a symbol for Sharing, in both hardship and happiness, for the largely Catholic nation."

Philippines is distinctly known as country with the longest celebration of Christmas. As early as September (which is the first day of "ber" months), you'll hear christmas carols. And we usually put down the parols, Belen and other christmas decors after the celebration of Epiphany or January 6, which marks the end of Christmas season.
The long days of celebration gives us also a long list of preparations. And one thing that wouldn't miss is the list of our favorite noche buena foods. So, what's on your list? Let me guess. I'm sure this one has always been a part of your feast, the Leche Flan. Though christmas or not, this is one of our favorite desserts... never mind the calorie load. Hay! But this this so delicious. So creamy. So sweet. Personally, I like using egg ducks for the flan. Ducks eggs are larger than chicken eggs and tastier. Traditionally, we use steamer to cook this. But I prefer using the oven. And here's the twist to the flan, I topped it with coffee caramel. Here's how i do it... 
Lechen Flan with Coffee Caramel

10 eggs yolks (i used duck eggs)
2 cans 370ml evaporated milk
1 can 300ml sweetened creamer ( or condensed milk)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp calamansi juice ( i wonder where the lemons are, the grocery ran out of it. But instead of lemon rind, i used  calamansi juice to remove the slight pungent smell and taste of the eggs. and it makes the flan smoother)
brown sugar, about 1 cup
1/2 to 1 tsp coffee, or as preferred

  • I used 2 oblong molds (llanera) and 6 small round molds for the above flan mixture.
  • In a saucepan, let the sugar caramelize over low heat.( Or you may use the llanera itself instead of saucepan, if you'll be using  about 1 or 2 llaneras only). Continuously stir, until the sugar melts. Then add coffee. Then spread the caramel evenly on the bottom flat layer of the molds. The more caramel you put on it, the sweeter the leche flan will be. So pour in just enough to cover the bottom of the molds.
  • Set aside the molds. Let cool.
  • In a bowl, put the yolks, beat slowly. Then add evaporated milk, condensed milk, vanilla extract and calamansi (or lemon rind if you're using one). Mix slowly. Avoid creating bubbles. Just mix it nice and slow.
  • Strain the mixture with a fine strainer for a smoother flan.
  • Then pour the flan mixture into the molds (llaneras). Then cover each mold with aluminum foil.
  • Steam for about 30 minutes.
  • OR, If using oven:
    • Pre-heat oven to 190°C 
    • Place the molds in a larger baking . Then fill this large pan with hot water, with almost halfway level to the sides of the llaneras.
    • Bake for about 1 hour or until the flan is firm.
  • You can tell if it's cooked through inserting toothpick, if it comes out clean then it's cooked.
  • Let the flan cool. Then refrigerate. It sure is worth the wait. 
  • To serve, gently turn the mold upside down. Now you see, the sweet golden caramel on top and some dripping on the sides.
  • Enjoy a melts-in-the-mouth leche flan!
A creamy, delicious, melts-in-the-mouth Leche flan

This is my recipe for the Kulinarya Club, which tasks us to share one of our star recipes for Noche Buena. This simply is it, my leche flan coffee caramel. My family's Noche buena isn't complete without it. Seafood Paella has also been part of my family's Christmas dinner tradition. My daughter has started to like glazed Ham (she even calls it "the noche buena") so I guess we won't be skipping with that, too. I would also like to try the Kinulob na Itik (deep-fried duck seasoned with secret spices ) which is one of Victoria, Laguna's specialty . There's a new branch near our place, so I might as well try it. they said it really tastes good.
But let us not forget, whatever food we prepare, the more delicious and sweeter it is when it's shared with the whole family. Let us not also forget the real essense of Christmas spirit which teaches us to love, to share and to forgive. Let the brightest Star of Christ  shine among us all.

This post is linked to :  eRecipecards ,  Food Trip FridayFood Friday


i♥pinkc00kies said...

leche flan + coffee caramel? ooh wow both so yummeeeeh :)

Wok with Ray said...

Marge, this looks decadently delicious! Nice post for KCC December theme. Merry Christmas!

~ ray ~

Pinoy Kitchenette said...

thanks! you must try it. It's so creamy, and may bonus pang kape :)

Pinoy Kitchenette said...

@Wok with Ray
Thanks Ray! a merry Christmas to you too!

Nancy said...

Yay, that looks so tempting! :D

Rosita Vargas said...

very nice te ha quedado perfecta,una gran receta bien elaborada,abrazos hugs,hugs.

Anonymous said...

The duck eggs are a great twist, as is the coffee. Thanks for sharing your ideas!

adorasbox said...

What a beautiful leche flan. Indeed, all Filipino celebrations shouldn't be without a flan. I like the addition of coffee on your caramel because I actually like my caramel very dark so there's a bitter edge to it. Happy Christmas to you and your family, Margarita!

tatess said...

leche flan is one of my old time dessert.your version looks delicious. i will try it.

Kim, USA said...

One thing that I miss in the Philippines is the Simbang Gabi. And after the mas, oh my, the food is awesome! Your leche flan is awesome!

Blueberry Muffin

Jenn said...

Leche Flan is one of the desserts I don't really eat, but I do give it a taste at times. I love the creamy not so sweet ones.

You photographed this wonderfully.

Hopping from Food Trip Friday.

Reel and Grill said...

Marge this is a family favorite and definitely a must for our Noche Buena .... the coffee caramel topping is great ... happy holidays :)

Pinoy Kitchenette said...

Thank you all guys for your wonderful comments! a very merry Christmas to you and your families!

Dudut said...

yummmm! leche flan with coffee? sarap!

merry xmas, marge!

♥ Willa @ Postage Journal♥ said...

I certainly miss eating Leche Flan,one of my fav filipino dessert.


i thought i was the first one who commented here when you sent an email to the KCC group but alas it didn't go through?
well as I mentioned in my "supposed" comment hehe, I love the soft and silky tease that flan gives to your mouth haha. and with coffee caramel? wow winner!

Pinoy Kitchenette said...

Thanks Malou! :X
Happy holidays!

annabanana said...

Wow! A different twist to leche flan. Breaks all that sweetness I guess. A must try for me.

maiylah said...

awww, love the post!
leche flan reminds me so much of my childhood (mama loved cooking it for papa so we had it almost every week! she also used duck eggs...nakakamiss!).

thanks so much for sharing over at Food Friday! :)
ps. thanks also for leaving a comment a couple of days ago! much much appreciated! *hugs

Jessica said...

yummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm looks delish and am sure it taste heavenly too. Thank you for sharing the recipe too :-) Visiting late for FTF, hope that you can return the favor too.


Anonymous said...

ask ko po if coffee means coffee powder or already disolve is water. thanks

Pinoy Kitchenette said...

Hi! @anonymous: that's coffee powder...
Have you tried it? Thanks for dropping by.

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