Monthly Archives: August 2013
It was raksha bandhan last week – the festival to celebrate the brother-sister bond.
As kids, we used to meet at my grand mom’s house and tie rakhi’s to all brothers. And coconut barfi was the sweet of the day. Sweet coconut rice used to part of the ensuring dinner.
I don’t know why coconut is so important but it did feature on the menu.
Varun’s cousin sisters sent him rakhi this year. To celebrate the occasion I wanted to make something with coconut. I find both coconut rice and barfi to be too sweet for my taste. So instead to make something not too sweet, I made coconut flan.
Now, flan’s, like soufflé’s, are temperamental. Sometimes they don’t set, other times they get soup-y, or they can be egg-y ( if that’s a word!). Also water baths sound very terrifying.
Fortunately, I have a recipe that does not fail. I have tried this several times over the years and it has never failed me. And if you are careful with hot water bath and caramel it is not very daunting task.
The flavors of coconut are subtle so don’t skip this even if you otherwise hate coconut. The flan is creamy but not too rich or sweet. It’s that perfect dessert , made individual servings or as a whole which never fails to impress.
What are you waiting for, give it a try!! Am sure you will make it as often as we do!
Coconut Flan Recipe
- 1/2 cup sugar ( for caramel)
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 can light coconut milk
- 1/2 cup 2 % milk
- 4 eggs
- 1/3 cup brown sugar ( for custard)
- 1 teaspoon rum or vanilla extract ( or 1/2 vanilla bean split and scraped)
- 2 cups water (for water bath)
1. Heat the sugar with water in a saucepan on medium heat till it melts. It will caramelize into golden brown syrup. You will see big bubbles forming. Take it off the heat at this point and pour the caramel into individual ramekins or a pie dish.
Caramel is very hot, so don’t touch it. Be very careful handling it. It hardens as it cools.
Set the ramekins (or pie dish) aside to cool.
2. Pre-heat the oven to 180 C ( or 350 F)
Set water to boil in another saucepan for the water-bath
3. Bring the coconut milk and milk to a light boil in another saucepan. In the meantime, whisk the eggs with sugar and rum. Add a spoonful of milk to the eggs mixture and whisk.
This will help the eggs consume the hot milk without scrambling the eggs.
Add milk bit by bit and whisk well.
4. Pour the custard mixture in the containers
Place the custard containers in a deep baking pan
5. Place the dish in oven and then pour the water in to the base dish till it comes up half way to the custard containers.
Be careful. Hot water and hot oven should be handled carefully!
6. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes till the custards are baked and a toothpick inserted in the center comes off clean.
7. Take the custard ramekins out one by one and let them cool on counter top before letting them chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours ( overnight preferred).
8. Run a knife along the edge of the containers, invert and serve with some fresh coconut for garnish.
August is THE happening month in our family. Birthdays, warm weather ( when we were in Seattle), rainy season ( to cool things off in India), and not to mention festivals. Bonalu and Ramzan in Hyderabad in addition to the other festivals that typically are in August. I remember staying up all night with my friends for Gurupoornima listening to their homage to our music guru – different ragas for different phases of the night ending with Bhairavi in early morning . I recall the coconut barfis made by mom for the Narali Poornima. I feel nostalgic for the day of rakshaa bandhan when we all descended at my uncle’s home and tied rakhis.
And not to mention the monsoon trek with college friends to some waterfalls around Karjat area as well as family picnic to one of the lakes/waterfalls to enjoy more of the same.
This year, however, our august has been very quiet. Filled with illness, spiking fevers, coughs and colds, multiple doctor visits. Both Varun and I have been out of sorts for a while now and hence the lack of activity on the blog.
Today, after ages, it seems like we are doing well and hence I ventured to make some pistachio scones. The warm scones and their cardamom flavored aroma was to entice some appetite back and pistachios to give some much-needed fat to Varun.
This is a simple recipe. Very easy to put together and make. It’s an unusual scone in the sense it doesn’t have the usual fare – almonds or chocolate. It’s lightly sweetened and low fat.
Pistachio Scones recipe
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground cardamom
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 5 tablespoon butter ( at room temperature)
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup pistachios chopped ( unsalted, toasted and shelled)
1. Preheat the oven to 180 C or 350 F
2. Add all the dry ingredients and mix well ( flour through cardamom powder).
3. In a separate bowl, cream the butter with sugar for couple of minutes. Add eggs and whisk for another couple of minutes.
4. Fold the butter-eggs mixture into the dry ingredients. Add pistachios. Mix well.
5. Form a log and bake for about 22 – 25 minutes till golden brown.
Let cool , slice and serve warm.