I don’t do Valentine’s Day. Since I’ve been blogging, I’ve always found a way to make reference to it, either via a savory recipe or sexy libation. In the same reference I always advise that for me, it’s nothing more than S.A.D. — Single’s Awareness Day!
Well, let me say before I continue, ‘Welcome back #FlanFridays!‘ I found no better way to come back other than this, a succulent piece of a fancy custard.
For us single people, February 14th is not that big a deal; at least not the ones I know. Getting chocolates should be retired, though I adore anything artisan and boutique-ish (à la the ones recently enjoyed at the Biltmore). Bubbly is always welcomed but that’s just it–I can sip on that any day of the week. Perfume is seductive but I have a plethora I’ve yet not enjoyed and flowers are just so, uhm, standard…. though I do love receiving those ‘just because.’
Instead of sulking in the misplaced misery of being a 30-something single woman, I embrace the liberty I enjoy from being so. I mean, I can travel when and for however long I want. I can make anything I’d like for dinner without considering his desires and I can spread out on my bed without being confined to a straightjacket form.
But, this year, while I still won’t relish in the love affair with pronouncing affection on one single day, I will allow my accounted for friends to enjoy their moment. A neighbor and several loyal clients have placed their orders for a decadent flan that profiles all the love in the world for their significant other!
I thought about all the prototypical flavors used in Valentine’s desserts, sweets and concoctions like the one I made below for last year’s lovers’ day and nothing about the usual suspects allowed for a creative separation. I fell for the same and resigned to making a chocolate and raspberry flan. Nothing new. In fact, if I remember correctly, I made a version of this very custard for my 1st ever clients in Atlanta.
And I remember it being a hit.
So, why go with something so exotic when two simple ingredients dance so well together?
(My Instagram shot I took as I prepared to plate)
For my neighbor, I made this specific one because it honestly reflects their relationship. She’s semisweet like the dark chocolate, he’s bittersweet like the raspberry. I didn’t think to approach it that way until I was making my custard last night. If she reads this post, then she’ll know how I really feel about them! So goes the transparency of having a blog!
While I love me some chocolate and fruit together, the two alone seemed so ordinary, even after all the thought I gave it. I wanted to experience a culinary ménage à trois, one that would really wow them (sans me, of course— cuz that would be kinky and I don’t roll like that!). The only other thing that could have made this courtship work so lovingly, was a sprinkle of sea salt. Like Cinderella slipping her foot into that stunning glass slipper and all was made whole again, the sea salt turned to be the great equalizer this time!
I will not lie! I wasn’t uber excited initially, but after spreading raspberry jam I got from Imladris Farm in Asheville, N.C., all over the top of the flan and sprinkling a conservative amount of salt, I sunk in my robe, hugged myself and smacked my lips… I wasn’t going to cut her flan so that she could enjoy the look of a full, untouched dessert, but I’m not regretful for the experience I enjoyed this morning with my single slice!
Oooooh wee, ooh lala and oui, oui, oui!
This is taking chocolate and raspberry to new heights my friends. It’s taking a boring and lackluster romantic relationship to revived lust and steamy affection. It has to… because if you don’t allow it to, then you may want to consider counseling… both relationship and culinary knowledge/appreciation!
This is my Valentine’s Day gift to you! Enjoy its decadence and allow yourself to indulge in sexy lusciousness… don’t forget to spoon feed your S.O.!
DARK CHOCOLATE GANACHE & RASPBERRY JAM FLAN W/SEA SALT
- 4 whole eggs
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk
- 14 0z. milk (2% or whole)
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 3 heaping tbsp. fine chocolate ganache, melted
- 6 teaspoons of raspberry jam, divided
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. sea salt, divided
In a double boiler, melt chocolate and stir using whisk. Stir in 1 pinch of salt and 1/2 amount of raspberry jam. Turn off heat and let stand. Whisk eggs in a medium sized bowl. Add and combine sweetened condensed & whole milk, chocolate and jam mixture and vanilla extract. Set aside. Add sugar to an 8" flan mold and caramelize on medium-high heat until it is golden color, stirring constantly. Make sure not to burn sugar. When sugar is fully melted down, carefully coat entire flan mold, covering all sides, using circular motion (I suggest using a brush if you are not experienced in handling extremely hot caramel). Move fast if using a brush. Close flan mold.
Add 3 cups of water to a 4 or 6 qt. pressure cooker. Gently place flan mold in cooker and close lid. Place jiggler on lid. If your pressure cooker jiggler has different PSI settings, set it to 10. Cook on high for 10 minutes, or until pressure cooker starts hissing. Turn off heat and allow all of the pressure to release itself, or for another 5 minutes.
Remove from pressure cooker after all pressure is released. Refrigerate for 8-9 hours or overnight for best taste. Remove from refrigeration 30-45 minutes before serving to loosen some. To serve, using a butter knife, loosen the sides of the flan all the way around. Take a large plate, place upside down on top of flan and flip. Using small spatula, even spread remaining jam on top of flan. Sprinkle top with remaining sea salt or to taste.