Monday 20 July 2015

Cardamon flan aka A happy accident

From avoiding sugar (with varying degrees of success) to full blown sugarholic. This is my journey. While everyone is on a healthy eating tip these days, with Helmsley&Helmsley and Deliciously Ella,  I appear to have gone the other way entirely in the last couple of months, whilst experimenting with cake and dessert recipes. Writing a cookbook and being  pregnant has given me the perfect reason (excuse?) to fall off the sugar-free wagon and on to a soft cloud of cream cakes and delicate meringue; bouncy doughnuts (I made these twice in the last fortnight) and an unexpected cardamon flan. The flan was a cream-cake-gone-wrong, a very happy accident indeed. Just like my pregnancy come to think of it. It was a taste I'd had before, somewhere in Spain - was it Andalucia or Barcelcona? I can't put my finger on it.  I've visited both numerous times and I wish I'd recorded more of the meals I'd eaten there, because they were some of the best I've ever had. So in summary, a flan similar to this was once eaten by yours truly sometime in the past in Spain. It was not cardamon though, and this ancient, aromatic spice is what makes my flan really special.
Can you see how soft and squigy it is inside? This is because it's based on a cardamon custard: heat 400ml of the milk, cream and cardamon pods slowly in a saucepan. Whisk the sugar and egg yolks together. Blend the cornflour with the remaining 100ml of milk and add to the eggs and carry on whisking. When the milk has come to the boil, take it off the heat for about 10min. Remove the pods and heat once again. Stir continuously until this mixture thickens, then place the pan in a sink of cold water to cool. Stir occasionally. Once the mixture is completely cold blend it with an electric blender or whisk while adding the butter and flour. Bake at 180 degrees C for about 50min.


500ml milk 
50ml single cream 
5 cardamon pods 
3 tablespoons cornflour 
4 egg yolks 
100g light cane sugar 
200ml butter 
150g flour

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