February 28, 2010

Kulinarya Cooking Club: Leche Flan

This month's theme for Kulinarya Cooking Club is Leche Flan chosen by Trissa. I have already posted about Leche Flan recipe last year. Please take a look at it here and make sure you read a funny comment (made anonymously, of course) by a person who calls himself Lolo (grandfather in Tagalog) who tried to shame me for it was not a "traditional" Filipino recipe.

If Lolo thought my recipe was not good enough to meet his standards, I would like to know what he thinks of this version! (Are you ready, Lolo?? haha.) This recipe was made in a llanera, an oval-shaped mold, which is the classic shape Leche Flan come in. It looks very traditional, right Lolo? ;)

But I'm afraid tradition stops there because this is a Leche Flan Cheesecake!

This recipe is adapted from Sherry Yard's book Desserts by the Yard that I received as a Christmas present. Once I saw this recipe, I knew I had to make it. The combination of sweet caramel sauce along with the smooth custard texture and creamy cheese will make your head spin, in a good way. My family who tried this all tell me their tastebuds says it's a leche flan, then switches to cheesecake and back again while eating it. I say it's doubly good since you get both flavors in one!

Leche Flan Cheesecake
(Upside-Down Cheesecake Flan) as stated in Sherry Yard's book
makes one 9-inch flan (or 2 llaneras)

For the caramel:

1/2 cup water
1 1/2 cups sugar

For the cheesecake:

1 1/2 pounds (24 oz.) cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped out
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. grated lemon zest
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup heavy cream

1. Make the caramel: In a small saucepan, combine the water and sugar and stir until all sugar dissolves. Bring mixture to boil in medium high heat until golden brown in color. Then pour into mold. Using oven mitts (pan will get hot) swirl caramel around until it coats the bottom and sides of pan. Set aside to cool. (Per Yard, caramel can be left at room temperature for as long as overnight. However, I have not done this so it's good to know.)

2. While caramel is cooling, bring a pot full of water to boil needed for bain marie.

3. Make the cheesecake: Preheat oven to 325 F degrees and place a rack in middle of oven.

Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, blend cream cheese and sugar together on low speed until smooth (takes about 1 minute). Add the vanilla seeds and extract, lemon juice and zest and continue to blend for 2 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl.

Add the eggs one at a time, scraping sides after adding each one.

Then stream in the heavy cream. Mixer speed stays in low speed the whole time to prevent air getting in the cheesecake. Pour into your cooled caramel-coated pan.

4. Place a roasting pan on the oven rack. Set a kitchen towel inside the pan (this will avoid slipping of your flan mold) and place your flan-filled pan on it. Pour the hot water in the larger pan halfway up the sides of your mold. Bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes (for a 9-inch pan per Yard) or only 1 hour for a smaller pan like the llanera. Turn off the oven and leave flan in oven for another hour (for a 9-inch) or 30 minutes for a llanera.

Take flan out of bain marie and let cool to room temperature, about 2 hours. Then cover and chill in refrigerator overnight.

5. To serve, place pan in a larger pan filled with hot water for about a minute. Then invert pan into rimmed serving plate. Enjoy!

Now, can someone tell me what "kabuhungan" means?

Kulinarya was started by a group of Filipino foodies living in Sydney, Australia who are passionate about the Filipino culture and its colorful cuisine. Each month we will showcase a new dish along with their family recipes. By sharing these recipes, we hope you find the same passion and love for Filipino Food as we do.

Please visit my fellow Kulinarya members for their Leche Flan creations:
Trish http://sugarlace.com/
Kath http://acupcakeortwo.com/
Trissa http://trissalicious.com/
Olive http://latesrecipes.net/
Peach http://www.thepeachkitchen.com/
Cusinera http://busogsarap.com/
Asha - http://forkspoonnknife.blogspot.com/
Malou - http://www.impromptudiva.com/
Cherrie - http://sweetcherriepie.blogspot.com/

If you’re interested in joining our Kulinarya Cooking Club, please feel free to drop by and leave a comment – we would love to hear from you!


Anonymous said...

A ha! How super creative of you! At first glance I thought - what a beautiful leche flan - perfect caramelization - now that you tell me it's a cheesecake - well, it is still perfect. I have heard so many good things about Sherry Yard's book - if this recipe is any indication of how good the book is, well then I will have to get one for myself.

Trisha said...

That caramel is absolutely stunning! And combining the best of both worlds - flan & cheesecake - is to die for! This is so great Caroline! Thank you once again for a great Kulinarya post!

A cupcake or two said...

I wouldnt have picked it to be a cheesecake. Looks are certainly deceiving. You certainly gave this dessert your creative flair. Well Done...

cusinera said...

Yes, I was deceived too ha! Looks heavenly...i love cheesecake, gosh...that "cut up" pic looks so creamy...

Tangled Noodle said...

It does indeed 'look' like a traditional leche flan, until the first bite of cheesecake goodness! There's no shortage of traditional versions, so it's great when we get something just a bit different to keep it all interesting and fresh. I am loving the KCC's leche flans!


I was scrolling down and I said... wow perfect flan (i had a frustrating experience with mine hahaha) then i saw the creamcheese and im like creamcheese? wow it must be good. I like it when you dig in expecting for a flan and you will be up to another surprise...love that.
Now going back to what LOLO said,Im intrigued as well what kabuhungan mean... Im guessing this is not tagalog but rather a dialect...
great to meet you Caroline, nice to have a KULINARY member living in the same area as mine...maybe we should have a Kulinarya cookfest someday...

Olive said...

a cheesecake flan..that would make my head spin too:) yummy! What a great idea..I'llput this on my must-try list :).

Asha @ FSK said...

Oh wow!! I saw the first photo and thought to myself - What a perfect looking leche flan and then u tell us it actually cheese cake!! Kudos to your creativity!! :)

Divina Pe said...

I'm already okay with leche flan but you upgraded it to a cheesecake. The caramel is beautiful so does the flan.

Cherrie Pie said...

The caramel on yr leche flan looks so decadent. mmmm yum! When you told me that you were doing something a little different, I didn't think it would be cheesecake but WOW! It looks amazing and I bet it tastes amazing too!

i♥pinkc00kies said...

looks so sweet & creamy!! :D


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