To this day, I still remember the way the velvety texture of the flan seemed to take on a life of it's own, dancing and swaying in my mouth. It was a rather poetic experience and I was saddened when the last bite had been taken. It's funny. The first thing that I do when I have a seemingly religious experience with food is I immediately think of how I can recreate it in my own kitchen, taking guesses and making tweaks until it's something delicious. My mind didn't go there when I had flan. How on earth could I replicate something like this? I just didn't think it would happen, but I came pretty darn close.
When a Spanish theme had been decided for a New Year's Eve dinner, I was instantly brought back to Madrid and the how sweet that first bite of flan tasted. Knowing I couldn't recreate it entirely, I at least wanted to attempt to create something similar. After careful review of many recipes, I stumbled upon this recipe by Ingrid Hoffman for Cheesecake Flan. This recipe stood out because I liked the American twist of adding cream cheese. Afterall, flan and cheesecake? Together? It seemed perfect.
I ended up cutting the recipe in half (mainly due to the fact that I only have 8 ramekins and I knew that having something like this just hanging around could be very dangerous.). If you attempt this recipe, make sure you use full-fat versions of all of the dairy products because you'll end up with a creamy and rich flan cheesecake. Although this recipe put a little time to pull together (the toughest part was making the caramel sauce.) the results made it well worth it. One thing to also note, my caramel sauce inexplicably got rock hard in a matter minutes. I attributed this to too high heat and I think I was swirling the pan too vigorously (SBK = 0 points, Science = 1 point). If this happens to you, just turn down the heat a bit and add a little water to the sugar and break up the sugar crystals with a fork. Bonus of this mistake? You end up with more caramel sauce to drizzle over your cheesecake flans...
For the full recipe, click HERE.