Chocolate (or not) Flan
1 c + ¾ c sugar
4 c milk
6 oz semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (optional)
8 large eggs
½ tsp vanilla
½ tsp cinnamon
Select a 2-qt. baking dish, perhaps a soufflé or casserole dish. Heat dish in 400oF oven as you melt 1 c sugar in a heavy-bottomed skillet over a medium flame. When sugar is entirely melted and a rich golden caramel color, put on pot-holder gloves and take out heated baking dish. Pour caramel into it, then immediately tilt dish around so that caramel coats both bottom and sides. Set dish aside.
Scald milk, stopping short of boiling. While milk is heating, break the eggs into large mixing bowl, saving the shells. Beat eggs with remaining ¾ c sugar until smooth and becoming thick. Add vanilla and cinnamon.
When milk is scalded, add chocolate, cover, and remove pan from the heat. Set aside until chocolate is melted. Stir.
Gradually whisk milk and chocolate mixture into egg mixture. Pour into prepared baking dish with caramel at bottom. Place dish in larger baking pan with at least one inch of hot water in it. Add a few egg shells to water so it won’t splatter when put in oven. Bake flan for about at hour at 350oF. Flan should be golden brown on top and tremble slightly when shaken. A thin knife inserted into middle should come out clean.
Cool, then refrigerate for several hours. When flan is ready to serve, run small sharp knife around sides of the mold, cover with large rimmed plate, and invert to release.
Nutritional Information: Servings: 12, Amount/Serving: Calories 295, Total Fat 11g, Sat. Fat 5g, Cholesterol 157mg, Sodium 97mg, Total carbohydrates 44g, Sugars 42g, Dietary Fiber <1g, Protein 9g, Calcium 127mg, Vitamin D 52 IU.