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For the Love of Flan: 15 Recipes To Indulge In

flan recipeI love flan. It’s as simple as that. We can call this my ode to flan. It’s also my ode to the food bloggers who are keeping the Latin cooking and baking traditions alive by creating and reinventing dishes and desserts that carry on the spice, sweetness, tanginess and uniqueness of every Latin American country and Spain.

Flan is one of those traditional dishes that came to the Americas via Spain and enjoyed a fusion of sorts as each country took the basic custard recipe made with simple ingredients of eggs, milk, sugar and lemon and then adapted it by adding their own regional touch. Out of this cultural melding came out exotic versions of flan with coconut, dulce de leche, cream cheese, chocolate and even quinoa! New names for flans were created in different countries. Venezuela calls it quesillo. In Perú you’ll find it as a crema volteada and in other places it’s known as natilla.

Yet, no matter what you call a flan or what you add to the mix, the result is still a creamy, velvety, indulgent explosion of caramely sweetness that’s almost impossible to refuse.

My favorite flan to make, and the one I get ovations for, is flan de queso. I stole the recipe from my partner-in-crime, Roxana, who, in turn, stole it from her Puerto Rican mother-in-law who always makes several of them when she visits her house. I happened to be there one of those days and the love affair began.

After I begged Roxana to post the recipe on SpanglishBaby, I ventured into making my own. The custard definitely was as easy as everyone claims, and I did my best to not analyze the gobs of cream cheese I was throwing into the blender. However, no one warned me about the caramel-making process. There’s a real art to that, I learned after a disastrous event. Somehow, during all the mixing and mixing needed to slow-cook the sugar, I had an accident and the boiling, liquid caramel spilled all over my linoleum kitchen floor. Yes, I count the many blessings that prevented it from falling on top of me, but what ensued were hours – literally hours! – of scraping hard caramel off the floor!

It was all well worth it because, in the end, we got to treat ourselves to a delicious-beyond-words flan, cream cheese and all!

If you’ve never had a flan (gasp!) you need to try one now! If you’ve never made one or are looking for a unique variation on your classic recipe, then click through the pictures below to find original recipes created by Latina bloggers hailing from Perú, México, Argentina, Venezuela, Dominican Republic, Cuba and Spain.

Warning: You’re in for a decadent treat!

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  • Flan with Quinoa and Apple 1 of 15
    Flan with Quinoa and Apple
    This Peruvian flan is unlike any other because it uses quinoa as a main ingredient. Quinoa is a staple seed/grain in the Andean diet and the Incas even considered it sacred. Find recipe at Peru Delights.
  • Coffee-Cinnamon Mexican Flan 2 of 15
    Coffee-Cinnamon Mexican Flan
    Feel the rush of caffeine, cinnamon and sugary goodness with this Mexican-inspired flan creation. Find recipe at Nibbles and Feasts.
  • Coconut Caramel Cream 3 of 15
    Coconut Caramel Cream
    I'll have anything with coconut and cream in it. This Dominican flan is actually known as Quesillo. The main difference is that it's made with both the egg yolks and whites resulting in a lighter, yet indulgent custard. Find recipe atDominican Cooking.
  • Tres Leches Pumpkin Flan 4 of 15
    Tres Leches Pumpkin Flan
    This flan morphs the two most-loved Latin American desserts: Tres leches and flan and adds an unexpected ingredient like pumpkin to create an original texture and flavors for a treat beyond Thanksgiving. Find recipe at Muy Bueno Cookbook.
  • Quesillo 5 of 15
    Quesillo
    The traditional and creamy flan from Venezuela holds its own. The irony is that the word "Quesillo" means "little cheese" in Spanish, but this version of the flan has no cheese in it! Find recipe at Pink Guayoyo.
  • Goat Cheese with Brandy Reduction Sauce 6 of 15
    Goat Cheese with Brandy Reduction Sauce
    This blog is dedicated to flans and always coming up with the most original creations, like this one with an unexpected use of goat cheese as the main ingredient. Bren decided to play around with the version of Flan de Queso so popular in the Carribbean, but instead of using cream cheese, she went with goat cheese. She also added brandy to the caramel sauce to spike up the flavors. Find recipe at Flanboyant Eats.
  • Coconut Flan 7 of 15
    Coconut Flan
    Rich and tropical with caramel to please. Coconut flan, known as flan de coco, is very popular in most tropical and Caribbean Latin countries. Nicole decided to make hers the natural way and uses a young coconut to make her own milk. Find recipe at Presley's Pantry.
  • Blueberry Lemon Flan 8 of 15
    Blueberry Lemon Flan
    Silvia took her Mexican family's traditional flan recipe and added two of her favorite fruits: blueberries and lemons. You can experiment with any fruits you like! That's how noble flan is. Find recipe at Mamá Latina Tips.
  • Mexican Hot Chocolate Flan 9 of 15
    Mexican Hot Chocolate Flan
    Some all-time favorite ingredients in this tasty flan: Mexican chocolate, cajeta and sweetend condensed milk. Yum! Find recipe at La Cocina de Leslie.
  • Flan de Queso 10 of 15
    Flan de Queso
    This classic Puerto Rican flan recipe is so creamy it´s almost a cheesecake. It's definitely very indulgent since it uses lots of cream cheese. The texture is a lot heavier than a traditional flan de leche. I can tell you for sure this is my fave! Find recipe at SpanglishBaby.
  • Fresh Corn Flan 11 of 15
    Fresh Corn Flan
    More like a side dish than a dessert, this savory flan can be topped with hot sauce for a kick! Find recipe at Sweet Life Bake.
  • Chocoflan 12 of 15
    Chocoflan
    All the decadence of a chocolate cake and the sweetness of a flan in one gooey bite. If you make this one, you will have a definite crowd-pleaser in your hands! Find recipe at Cooking in Mexico.
  • Malbec Flan Alfajor from Argentina 13 of 15
    Malbec Flan Alfajor from Argentina
    Hmmmm...dulce de leche and wine. Heaven. Argentineans perfected the art of milk caramel, or dulce de leche, and the wines, such as malbec, which they produce are for connoisseurs. This flan has it all. Find recipe at SpanglishBaby.
  • Flan Cake 14 of 15
    Flan Cake
    Flan + Cake. Need I say more? Find recipe at My Big Fat Cuban Family.
  • Cream Caramel or Flan de Huevo 15 of 15
    Cream Caramel or Flan de Huevo
    The classic flan from Spain. Lighter, yet melt-in-your-mouth creamy. Find recipe at Eat Good 4 Life.

Do you have a flan recipe you treasure? Which one of the ones featured here do you want to try?

{Image credit: c3lsius_bb}

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