For the final day of Exploring the Southern Hemisphere, Here is one more dish from a South American country – Chile. When I was reading about cuisines, I found that there are s many similar dishes all over south America with names being different. Leche Asada or literally roasted milk is a kind of caramel pudding from South America. Usually caramel custard or flan is baked in a water bath, but leche asada is directly baked. And caramel custard is removed from oven when slightly jiggly, but leche asada is baked until the top is nicely browned. But as for the recipe it is almost the same. I also found some which used evaporated milk and condensed milk, but most of the recipes uses milk, sugar and eggs. For flavouring vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg are used.
I made a tiny portion for my daughter. With 2 eggs and 2/3 cup of milk, I got two ramekins full of the milk mix. I made them in the morning after everyone left and they were ready by the time Sruti returned from school. I did some changes in the recipe. The major one is that it has no refined sugar. I have used palm jaggery instead of sugar. This is the first time I made caramel using palm jaggery and I was not very confident of the result. But everything went great and my caramel set perfectly.
Recently I got a huge batch of palm jaggery also known as karupatti as gift from my aunt. As I wanted to use it in recipes, I dissolved all the blocks in water, boiled the syrup, strained it off impurities and stored it in fridge. I have been using this syrup instead of sugar in many dishes and I must say, the results are pretty great and I have the imminent satisfaction that I am feeding Sruti with less of refined ingredients. It also adds so much flavour to the dishes. I am truly lucky that Sruti loves this flavour. If you are making this with regular sugar, use 2 tbs for the milk mixture and 3 tbs for the caramel. And I forgot that it is baked directly, so you will see water bath in my step wise pictures. You can skip that when making.
For The Caramel:
Palm Jaggery syrup – 3 tbs
For The Custard:
Milk – 2/3 cup
Palm Jaggery Syrup – 2 tbs
Vanilla Essence – 1/2 tsp
Egg – 2
Heat the jaggery syrup until it is thick and frothy.
Divide it between two ramekins and allow it to cool completely. It must set rock hard.
Preheat oven to 175°C.
In a bowl, mix together eggs, jaggery syrup and vanilla.
Add milk little by little and whisk until all the ingredients are combined well.
Pour this through a strainer to make a smooth mixture.
Divide this mixture between the two ramekins.
Bake them in preheated oven for 20 – 30 minutes or until the top is nicely browned.
Remove from oven and allow it to cool completely.
Cover with a wrap or foil and refrigerate it for two hours.
During serving, gently release the sides of the flan from the ramekin and flip it onto a serving plate.
Serve it immediately.