I would be remiss if I didn’t include a leche flan recipe in this book! Although there’s a wide array of renditions of this dessert from around the world, I believe Filipino leche flan is the richest of them all. I’m relieved that my dad was able to write down his recipe for me when I first released my zine, flipped: matamis. My friend Meghan also graciously shared her nani Ramila’s chai masala recipe to incorporate into this flan. The mix of warm spices complements the sweetness of this egg custard. You can bake the leche flan in classic llaneras, the traditional oval-shaped metal pans from the Philippines, but I like using a heart-shaped aluminum pan for the cuteness of it.
Nani's Chai Masala Mix
- 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1½ tablespoons cardamom powder
- ½ tablespoon ground nutmeg
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 10 large egg yolks
- ½ tablespoon chai masala mix (recipe above)
- 1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
- 1 (12-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
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Chai Leche Flan is a guest recipe by Abi Balingit so we are not able to answer questions regarding this recipe
NANI'S CHAI MASALA MIX
- Whisk all the ingredients in a small bowl until all spices are evenly distributed. You will have leftovers, so store the mix in an airtight container.
- Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Place the sugar in a medium saucepan. Cook and stir frequently using a rubber spatula over low heat until the sugar is dissolved and turns golden brown, 11 to 13 minutes. Immediately pour the caramel into an 8-inch aluminum heart-shaped pan. Rotate the pan until the caramel evenly coats the whole surface. If it hardens before you cover some spots, you can hold the pan over the stovetop on low heat to melt the caramel again. Set aside as the caramel completely hardens.
- In a large measuring cup, gently whisk the egg yolks, ½ tablespoon of chai masala mix, evaporated milk, condensed milk, and vanilla until smooth. Using a large sieve, slowly pour the mixture directly on top of the hardened caramel. Cover the pan with aluminum foil.
- Place the heart-shaped pan in a larger pan or baking dish. Fill the larger pan with boiling water until it’s halfway up the sides of the heart-shaped pan. I use a 9 × 13-inch aluminum cake pan for the water bath.
- Bake for 45 to 48 minutes in the preheated oven. When the flan is fully cooked, the middle will be slightly jiggly but the sides should be set.
- Carefully remove the heart-shaped pan from the oven and set it on a wire cooling rack. Let the flan cool to room temperature for about 1 hour. Once the hour is up, transfer to the fridge to chill overnight.
- To serve, remove the aluminum foil and run a knife carefully around the edges of the flan to loosen it. Cover the surface with a plate and quickly invert it so that the flan falls onto the plate. Cut into slices and enjoy. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.