I love flan and have successfully made a pumpkin flan in the past for Thanksgiving. So when it was time to try some Latin desserts during Hi...

Flan de Coco Flop

I love flan and have successfully made a pumpkin flan in the past for Thanksgiving. So when it was time to try some Latin desserts during Hispanic Heritage month in the Read and Rise Book Club, I knew I had to make flan. I decided to try out this recipe for Flan de Coco (Coconut Cream Cheese Flan) because cream cheese and coconut are two things I absolutely love. 

Disclaimer: Flan is the Latin version of cheesecake. When it's made right it's so silky and creamy and unbelievably delicious. But like cheesecake, flan can be fickle and difficult and a huge pain in the butt. 

I started out positive and motivated thinking, it'll take me about a half hour to get this in the oven and then I can go do my yoga and play with the kids before lunch. Correction: it took at least an hour and a half, probably two hours when you add in cleaning up. So what happened? This is what happened.

I started out with caramel that was not cooperating. I swear it looked like this for a good half hour as it boiled and I stirred so it wouldn't burn. Sub-quality sugar? Maybe. Heat too low? Possibly. The wrong size pan? Perhaps. I've made caramel before but it can be a tricky thing and I am by no means an expert.

Eventually the water evaporated and I had a pot of dry looking sugar again (I'm not sure if this is supposed to happen, but it's definitely happened to me before). I tried to just keep stirring and stirring while the sugar melted but I had a big chunk that just solidified and stuck to the bottom. I tried to break it up as much as I could so it would melt...

Eventually I had most of the sugar melted back down so into the pan it went! I had read elsewhere that a 8-9" pie/cake pan was good to use if you didn't have an official flan pan so I went with my 9" pie dish.

These are the sugar chunks that didn't make it...they were rock solid.

At this point I was exhausted from making the caramel and I just wanted to finish so there are no more photos of the cooking process. I threw all the flan ingredients into the blender, mixed it all up, and started pouring into the pan. And then my pie dish was full...but the blender was still half full...Seriously?! The flan in the picture didn't look that big! What do I do now? Improvise. I grabbed a rectangular glass baking dish, coated it with cooking spray and poured the rest of the custard in. I put both dishes in a water bath and stuck them in the oven - not knowing how long I should bake it because clearly my pan was smaller than the one used in the recipe. I started with 60 minutes then kept checking and adding 10 minutes. What I didn't realize was that the water under the rectangular dish had evaporated because near the end I was only checking the round one...

So without further ado, here are my flans. The round one seemed to come out mostly how it should have. It was caramel-y and creamy and delicious.

The other one? It was definitely overcooked and though the flavor was good, the texture was off and not quite so creamy...but, if there's one thing I try to remind myself and my children, it's that our brains don't grow when we do things right. Our brains only grow when we make mistakes. In conclusion, I think my brain grew a bunch today.