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Asked by tracypee. Answered on 19th August 2012

Full question

I love the Flan recipe in Nigella Express (p244) - I have made it several times to my guests delight. I am just back from America where I tasted a coconut flan in a Mexican restaurant and it was amazing. I just wondered if substituting the evaporated milk for coconut milk would work?

Our answer

Flan is the Mexican and Spanish dessert which may be more familiar to some as Creme Caramel. It is a baked egg custard with a caramel sauce. Nigella's recipe is made with a combination of evaporated milk and condensed milk.

Coconut milk is very similar in consistency to evaporated milk and there does not seem to be any reason why you could not use unsweetened coconut milk instead of the evaporated milk. There is a coconut varaiation on Flan which is apparently popular in Columbia. However we have not tested this version of the recipe so cannot guarantee results.

Please note that the can sizes of each type of milk differ so you would need to use only 340mls (1 1/3 cups) coconut milk rather than a full can. A coconut version could also benefit from a little fresh mango served alongside.

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