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tandem cooking: mood food (a valentine's day menu)
This classic dessert, also known as crème caramel, is one of my favorite sweets. This recipe makes a two-person portion that's perfect for sharing with your sweetie.

1 cup milk (the higher the fat content the tastier, obviously; I mix ½ cup skim milk, which is what we generally have in the fridge, with ½ cup heavy whipping cream)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup sugar to caramelize; 1 T sugar for custard
1 T. water
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
pinch salt

1 medium (10-12 oz.) custard cup (or other ceramic baking dish)
1 baking pan with high sides, large enough to accommodate the custard cup
, serves 2
time 30-40 minutes prep, 45 minutes baking

1 Preheat oven to 350°F. Pour the milk in a small saucepan, add vanilla, and cook over medium heat until hot (don’t let it boil). Take the pot off the heat, cover, and let the mixture sit for twenty minutes or so.
2 Meanwhile, you can caramelize the sugar. Pour the sugar and water in a small skillet (or saucepan) and cook over medium-low heat, stirring only until the sugar dissolves. As the sugar begins to liquefy, bubble and turn sticky, begin swirling the mixture by lifting the pan slightly above the burner, and gently tilting it around. Continue to cook, swirling frequently, until you have a rich, golden caramel (this will take fifteen minutes or so). Immediately pour the caramel into the custard cup, tilting the cup to coat the bottom completely.
3 While the caramel cools, whisk together the whole egg, extra yolk, sugar and a pinch of salt until smooth. Gradually incorporate the warmed milk into the egg mixture.
4 Pour the custard into the caramelized custard cup and place in a water bath (to make the bath: place the cup in a baking pan with high sides; add boiling water to surround the cup, filling the pan to within one inch of the top of the cup). Bake in the middle of the oven until your custard looks set on the edges, but still trembles slightly in the middle, about 45 minutes.
5 Remove the custard from the water bath and cool on a rack. Serve warm at room temperature, or chill for up to a day. To serve the flan, dip the baking dish into boiling water for 15 seconds or so, then invert the custard onto a serving plate.


pair this with :
crostini with mushrooms and brie | pesto-stuffed scallops | saffron rice | gorgonzola and pear salad 

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