Eggless Scotch Flan
Flan, also known as crème caramel, is a baked custard made with three essential ingredients: milk, sugar and eggs. The eggs are a critical component responsible for the final smooth and creamy texture of flan. As the flan is cooked, the proteins in the egg form a network that traps the liquid and forms a gel (check our Gels course to learn more). But in this recipe, we are going to replace the eggs with just a little iota carrageenan and kappa carrageenan to produce a very similar smooth and creamy texture without any fat. This is why iota and kappa are frequently used in low fat products to give them a rich mouthfeel.
The eggs also contribute to the flavor in traditional flan and obviously we are going to lack that in this eggless flan version so we added some smoky Scotch. But experiment with different flavors by infusing the milk. How about a savory Parmesan cheese flan?
This is a good simple recipe to understand how iota carrageenan and kappa carrageenan interact with each other and the proteins in milk to produce a custard-like texture. Experiment with changing the ratios of iota and kappa to obtain different textures. Try the Eggless Scotch Flan if you are looking for a low fat dessert, trying to avoid egg consumption to reduce cholesterol, have a lacto-vegetarian diet, have no time to bake a traditional flan or simply want to understand these great hydrocolloids better.
- 370g (13 oz) milk
- 30g (1 oz) Laphroaig scotch
- 60g (2.1 oz) sugar
- yellow food coloring
- 0.8 g iota carrageenan
- 0.6 g kappa carrageenan
- 1 vanilla pod
- 1/2 cup of sugar
- 1/8 cup water
- 1/8 tsp. lemon juice
- 200g (7 oz) heavy cream at room temperature
- 2 Tbsp. butter at room temperature
Eggless Scotch Flan
1- Mix the Iota and Kappa Carrageenan with the sugar to aid dispersion.
2- Add the mix to the milk, scotch and food coloring and blend using an immersion blender to disperse the carrageenans thoroughly.
3- Slit the vanilla pod open along its length and add it to the milk.
4- Bring the milk to a gentle boil to hydrate the carrageenans.
5- Pass through a fine sieve and pour into individual ramekins.
6- Place in the fridge for about 30 min to let them set.
1- In a pot with thick base, heat the sugar, lemon juice and water until you obtain a medium amber caramel. To avoid crystallization, carefully clean the sides of the pot with a wet brush while the sugar is boiling.
2- Once you obtain a brown caramel color, remove from heat and very carefully add the heavy cream and butter while whisking to deglaze the caramel. It will splatter so be very careful when doing this. Wear long sleeves, glasses and stay as far away as you can from the pot by stretching your arm.
Assemble and Serve
1- Unmold the eggless flan with the aid of a small spatula or knife.
2- Place on serving dish and top it with caramel sauce.