Banana desserts are always welcome, specially for me because I don't like eating very ripe bananas since they are too sweet for my liking. So, I always have extra bananas for making desserts. Today it was a flan. A basic flan recipe to which I only added some bananas and cinnamon.
For the flan, I had to make some caramel to put in the bottom of the baking dishes. I couldn't resist the temptation of playing with caramel again. I learned this art during one of the Daring Bakers' Challenges, the PIÈCE MONTÉE. Because I used a little bit of the caramel from the recipe, it wasn't enough for all the little bowls I needed. So, I baked two bowls without caramel and after they were ready and cool, I turned them into plates and spread some sugar on top. Then, I used my torch to melt the sugar and turn it into a thin crispy caramel topping, very similar to a Crème Brûlée. This is how it looked like:
Different in texture but with similar taste to the ones I made the traditional way.
The banana flan was so delicious, it deserved to be "dressed up", so here are a few suggestions:
I made the designs on a piece of parchment paper with the help of a spoon.
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
Cook water and sugar in a sauce pan over medium-low heat. Do not stir. When it gets an amber color, pour in a baking dish or several individual heat proof bowls or ramekins.
1 can sweetened condensed milk (395g)
1 can milk (use the condensed milk can for measuring)
6 small bananas (or 5 medium, or 4 large)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp corn starch
Put all ingredients in the jar of a blender and blend well. Pour in the prepared pan or individual bowls.
Arrange pan or bowls inside a bigger pan and pour hot water halfway up the sides of the bowls (like a bain-marie).
Bake in preheated oven at 375°F (190°C), until lightly golden and firm to the touch. It should puff up slightly, as you can see here:
Mine took a little more than one hour to bake.
Remove from the oven and from the bain-marie. Let cool and refrigerate for a few hours before turning them onto plates for serving.