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Cheese Flan

Cheese flan has some of the same flavor of cheese cake, but the caramelized topping makes it a different dish altogether. Also, using a "bain marie" process gives it a more custardly texture. Here again, we use the base recipe that we conjured up with basic Spanish flan and build a richer, more lively dessert calculated to please the tastes of even your most demanding guests. If you enjoy cheesecakes in general then this dessert will add to your pleasure.

3/4 cup of granulated sugar for sauce
1 can of evaporated milk (12 oz.)
1 cup whole milk
1 eight ounce package cream cheese (at about room temp)
1/2 cup sugar for custard
4 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

Ready a 9-inch round flan mold (a pie dish will generally do). Place sugar in a stainless steel saucepan on stove top at medium heat. Vigilantly and religious stir the sugar until it turns a light liquid brown. This will take 5 or more minutes depending on your stove. Avoid scorching the sugar. When sugar has liquified, pour into the bottom of the flan mold.

In a mixing bowl combine remaining ingredients (add sugar last) and blend together until the eggs are no longer recognizable as white or yoke. If you decide not to use an electric appliance for this process make certain that the yokes and whites of the eggs are unrecognizable and the sugar has been thoroughly dissolved into the mixture. Pour the custard into the flan mold over the top of the now hardened caramelized sugar.

Run about an inch of water into the bottom of a roasting pan and set on the rack in the oven. Place the flan mold within the roasting pan, making certain not to allow water to enter the mold. Slowly and carefully slide the rack and close oven door. Turn oven dial (or push the buttons) to 350 degrees F. Do not preheat (but if you already have, don't worry too much about it). Bake for one hour and ten minutes. Use the knife test to determine doneness. If it comes out clean, then the cheese flan has fully cooked.

Remove flan from roasting pan. Place on a rack to cool for one hour. Refrigerate for 3-4 hours (or longer). Run a knife around the top of the flan where it is connected to the mold. Flip mold onto the serving plate. Gently shake the flan loose to make it fall in one piece onto the plate. The caramelized sugar will form a sauce over the flan. Delicious!

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