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Coconut milk flan with palm sugar caramel

Yeah, you read that right - this is a completely dairy-free flan, which is impressive in and of itself. But would you believe it also has no refined sugar?

By now, if you’ve been reading CliqueClack Food for any length of time, you’ve probably figured out that in the McDuffee household, we eat slightly … how shall we say … off center. No refined sugars, no wheat, no cow dairy — that can put a damper on desserts. Somehow we do just fine, as evidenced in the above picture of a gorgeous coconut milk flan that has become one of our favorite go-tos.

We use this recipe for coconut milk flan from a blog with an awesome name: Spilt Wine and Sticky Rice. Actually, it’s mostly awesome, but the part about the wine being spilt is a little bit sad.

Regardless, this recipe is wonderful in its simple perfection. Perfect except for one little thing — the refined sugar. We went out on a limb and tried the recipe using the amazing coconut palm sugar that has completely changed desserts for us. Imagine, a truly unrefined sugar that won’t wreak havoc on your blood sugar levels, that’s full of nutrients and tastes great. Palm sugar is it and leaves Sucanat in the dust. My nutritional kinesthiologist says so, and that’s all you really have to know about it.

The caramel comes out so thick and syrupy, it’s almost as if you used molasses, yet the taste isn’t quite so overpowering. We’ve actually made this recipe with evaporated cane juice in the past (shhh … don’t tell), thinking that it wouldn’t work with palm sugar, and we were wrong: it is infinitely better with palm sugar.

I just ate the last one … no more leftovers. The sun somehow shines not quite as brightly today.

Photo Credit: Keith McDuffee

7 Responses to “Coconut milk flan with palm sugar caramel”

April 27, 2011 at 11:36 AM

Ok Debbie, tell me the truth: I get that this flan is super special because of the coconut milk and the palm sugar. But does it still have that hard-boiled egg taste that flan usually has? People here love flan and make it for just about every occasion, but I can’t get over the overpowering egg-factor. Is this flan for flan-lovers or flan for those who can’t stand the stuff?

April 27, 2011 at 2:05 PM

Well, it is eggy, but it doesn’t taste hard-boiled eggy to me, just a lovely custard-y eggy. But then again, I like flan! ;-)

I am wondering, though if the coconut milk would make it better tasting for you. Perhaps the regular cream accentuates the egg flavor? If you get a chance, make it and report back!

April 28, 2011 at 9:45 PM

I love flan and that looks so good! I’m swooning.

May 4, 2011 at 12:04 AM

I have to try this “healthy” flan! :-) My quick recipe is five eggs, a can of evaporated milk, a can of condensed milk, some sugar, pinch of salt. And I often use a nice maple syrup to save time (tastes great!), rather than making my own syrup. But the last time I made flan, I substituted coconut milk for the evaporated milk, and it was a huge hit, so this recipe sound fabulous.

May 17, 2011 at 8:19 PM

Hi Debbie! I’m glad to see that you like our recipe for coconut milk flan! I’ll have to get a hold of some palm sugar and make the caramel that way– that sounds heavenly.

I’m lactose intolerant myself, so it’s always nice to have a dessert like this that tastes as good– maybe better!– than the original.

Oh, and don’t worry about the wine– more gets drunk than spilt. ;)

May 17, 2011 at 9:09 PM

Hi Yoko — thanks for commenting! Your recipe is brilliant and let me know how you like it with the palm sugar (we get ours from Amazon).

I feel so much better knowing that not all of the wine gets spilled! :-)

May 26, 2011 at 3:57 PM

Tasted pretty darn good, and awesome for being dairy free! Great!

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