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Chocolate Flan

Chocolate flan has a deep and rich Mexican heritage. In fact chocolate originated in Mexico, and of course, flan has been a favorite there since the Spanish came to the region. Combining flan and chocolate seems a natural thing to do. Don't forget that chocolate has now been found to have properties that make it a healthy thing to eat, at least in moderation (like everything else). So enjoy this authentic, rich and luxuriant dessert dish.

Ingredients:
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup evaporated milk
1 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 cup whole milk
4 ounces of Mexican chocolate, ground
4 large eggs
2 additional egg yolks
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon vanilla

Prepare six flan molds (8 oz oven-safe, smooth-sided dishes). A single, larger 9-inch round flan mold may also be used. Pour sugar into a saucepan and heat on stove-top at medium. Watch closely, constantly stirring. The sugar will eventually brown and turn to liquid. This should take about 5 minutes. Be careful not to scorch the sugar. Remove caramelized sugar from heat and pour it into the flan molds, just covering the bottoms. While doing all this, preheat the oven to 325° F.

Again, over medium heat in a saucepan, mix the evaporated, condensed and whole milks together. Add in the chocolate and the cinnamon stick. Continue to stir until chocolate is melted and the mixture is thoroughly blended. When this is accomplished remove the mixture from heat for about 15 minutes.

In a separate bowl, mix together the eggs and additional yolks. When blended add the eggs as well as the vanilla to the saucepan. Remove the cinnamon stick from the saucepan and blend thoroughly.

Pour the custard mixture in to the flan molds. Place molds in a pan with about one inch of water and place in oven. Bake for about 1 hour, longer if using a single pan. To check to see if a knife inserted into the custard comes out clean.

When baking is complete, remove flans from roasting pan. Let them cool, then place in refrigerator at least 3 hours. Place on serving plate by running a knife around the top of the flan where it is baked to the mold. Flip over flan mold onto the serving plate, and jiggle the flan loose, making it fall in one piece onto the plate. Caramelized sugar forms a sauce over the flan.

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