Flan, the Latino version of custard con más sabor!! The custard base in this Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Flan is blended with silky sweet dulce de leche and a healthy dose of warm ground cinnamon. Cream cheese is also blended into this custard dream for maximum creaminess and a bit of tang. Cooked low and slow – This caramel flavored custard has all the Latino flair!
Do you remember your teens? I was an awkward teenager. Without the traditional features of what was considered pretty or beautiful at the time – I was unpopular. Unable to afford fashionable clothing meant I was devoid of style. My one redeeming quality: A set of highly styled bangs, liberally sprayed with Rave hairspray. I was quiet and for the most part invisible. And though I experienced quite a few hardships as a teen, I can’t say I was unhappy. I had unhappy moments, sure – But there was nothing good music, good friends, and belly laughs wouldn’t cure. Friends were either always in my apartment, or I was always in theirs. Our nights filled with new dance moves, stories, and the important topics of our time.
My son is now a teen and one of the things I looked forward to as a mom was a house full of laughing teenagers eating up my food and discussing important topics of their time.
I have none of that. The rigors of high school, the pressures of Common Core allow very little time for teenage fun. Teens are now in a perpetual state of anxiety; anxiety which has nothing to do with overcoming the shyness of talking to the opposite next. Video games have also replaced face to face hang outs.
Back when Nintendo and Sega made their debut, those who owned consoles would invite their friends over en masse to play for hours. There was laughter and junk food passed around until your hard faced mom said it was enough. Those, along with summer night hang outs were the fondest of my teen memories.
Nowadays teens play video games far surpassing the graphics of my beloved Nintendo console, yet they play these amazing games with a headset attached. Yes, there is laughter issuing from my son’s bedroom. Yes, there is trash talk. Yes they play deep into the night – but those teens I expected to feed cookies, cakes, and flan to – Seldom come around. My son has friends across the United States whom he speaks to and plays with through a headset.
It makes me sad. Because I wonder, is he lonely? What kind of memories is he making? What will he remember most fondly of his teenage years?
Sigh… Flow with me – Let’s talk about this Dulce de Leche Flan.
Flan was the first dessert I learned to make. I don’t count doughnuts made from Pillbury biscuit dough rolled in granulated sugar. Those were the bomb. Never got me a boyfriend, though.
Anyway, flan. First full dessert. Through the years I perfected my flan technique. A perfectly cooked, perfectly timed dark caramel, a creamy custard base. I was princess flan and shit.
Until I discovered cheesecake flan and now I’m Flan Queen. Dude, this flan is as amazing as it sounds. Maybe more once you get a taste.
You mix the custard base per usual – Eggs, condensed milk, evaporated milk, a little extract – And to that you add a block of full fat cream cheese. I’ll give you a minute to fan yourself. I’m pretty sure this has given you the vapors.
This Dulce de Leche Flan has all the components of a cheesecake flan. On crack. I replaced condensed milk with dulce de leche for that deep latin caramel swing. And if you’ve never tried dulce de leche and cinnamon together – I got you, boo. This flan is full of both.
Baked low and slow over a pan of simmering water, this Dulce De Leche flan is creamy.
Oh, so damn creamy. And sinful as hell.
Really, what I’m doing here is preparing a repertoire of desserts for when my son finally invites friends over on the regular. Because nothing would make me happier than weaving myself into the tapestry (with food, of course) of laughing teenagers making memories of their own.
Dulce de Leche Flan
- For the caramel
- Granulated sugar - 1 cup
- Water - 1/4 cup
- Cinnamon stick - 2 small
- Splash of vanilla extract
- For the dulce de leche cheesecake custard
- Evaporated milk - 2 (12 ounce) cans
- Dulce de leche - 1 (14-ounce) can
- Full fat cream cheese, softened - 8 ounces
- Ground cinnamon - 1 tablespoon
- Light brown sugar, packed - 1/3 cup
- Eggs - 5 large
- Vanilla extract - 2-3 teaspoons
- Boiling water
- Dulce de leche (for drizzle)
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Very, very lightly spray a flan mold, 10” bundt pan or 10” Pyrex dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
Prepare the flan custard:
Combine the evaporated milk, dulce de leche, cream cheese, brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract in a blender. An immersion blender works very well here too. Blend until completely smooth. Using a sieve, strain custard mixture over a large measuring cup with a lip and set aside.
Prepare the caramel:
Combine sugar, water and vanilla extract in medium saucepan. Stir until the sugar is somewhat dissolved. Cook over medium-high heat and boil, without stirring, until caramel turns a copper brown color. This can take anywhere from about 6-12 minutes.
Using either a heavy dish towel or oven mitts, grab the saucepan handle and quickly and carefully pour the caramel over bottom of your flan mold, bundt pan, or Pyrex dish. Please be careful because the caramel will be extremely hot, and seriously – You will not enjoy a sugar burn.
Immediately following the caramel, pour the custard into the mold, pan, or dish. Arrange in the center of a large roasting pan.
Pour boiling water into the roasting pan until it comes about halfway up the side of your flan vessel. Bake for 60-80 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. When nudged the flan should jiggle a bit. If you are using ramekins, begin to check at around 40 minutes. Cool the flan for about 30 minutes, then cover and chill in the fridge for several hours or overnight.
You can do one of two things:
- Run a sharp knife around the rim of the mold and gently shake to loosen.
- Place the bottom of the mold in a couple of inches of boiling water for a few seconds. Invert onto a serving plate.
Drizzle with dulce de leche.