Let’s talk about Coquito for second. Flow with me…
What is coquito?
Glad you asked, homie. Coquito is the Latino version of eggnog. We chug it much like eggnog, except it’s not eggnog. It’s coquito. They are two totally different animals.
Two totally different luscious animals who share a common goal. To unite, imbibe, and spread joy during the Christmas season. Americans have eggnog. Latinos have our coquito situation.
So what does it take to make coquito? Again, glad you asked homeslice. You’re full of questions today. I dig that.
Coquito, simply put is a beverage made with coconut milk, condensed milk, evaporated milk, sweetened cream of coconut, spices, and generous amounts of rum.
Some people use eggs, others opt to keep it dairy free.
Can I be real, real with you?
I have NEVER EVER made coquito. Sure, every Christmas season I have at least 2 bottles in my fridge.
But I’ve never made it. Ever. Ever. For real, yo.
You see, when I think of coquito I see it as an unfinished canvas, full of possibility.
For instance, coquito has all the components for making ice cream. So I froze it once.
The components of coquito lend themselves to a samoa like cookie. Naturally I had to go there.
This time, however, I took it up a serious coquito notch and came up with a coquito cheesecake flan.
This coquito cheesecake flan has been in the works for a year. It’s ready. It’s time. I want to share it with you. All of you. Coquito is an all inclusive deal.
So allow me to reiterate. I took all the components of coquito – Coconut milk, condensed and evaporated milk, sweetened cream of coconut, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg and a generous dose of dark rum. There is RUM in here, people!
Then I thought; eggs and a block of cream cheese, ’cause Christmas debauchery. Gotta get widdit. I’m not one to break tradition.
Now, a flan ain’t a flan without caramel. And guess what this caramel has a healthy dose of? Rum.
See, there’s rum in the custard base and rum in the caramel. You see where I’m going with this?!
Are you digging it?!
It’s a boozy situation.
You gotta dig it.
I cooked it low and slow in a water bath for well over an hour.
Once it came out of the oven and reached room temperature I froze it.
Have you EVER had frozen cheesecake flan?
You’re in for a treat, homeslice.
Frozen cheesecake flan is mouth-watering. It’s luxurious. It is delectable. It is scrumptious. It’s cold! Cheesecake flan never freezes completely solid. As such, it is terribly addicting. I made it in 4 ounce ramekins, 15 to be exact.
This is enough to freeze you in your tracks. You can’t handle this level of… of… of… I can’t even speak right now. Coquito. It was a blank canvas. A canvas I turned into a near priceless work of art.
Art you eat.
You feel me?
For the rum caramel
- 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 3-4 tablespoons dark rum
- 2 medium sized cinnamon sticks
For the flan
- 1 14 oz can condensed milk
- 1 14 oz can evaporated milk
- 1 15 oz can coconut milk
- 1 15 oz can sweetened cream of coconut*
- 8 oz. cream cheese
- 5 eggs medium or large
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup dark rum
- Preheat the oven to 300 Fahrenheit. Place 15 4 oz ramekins on a large roasting pan or a cookie sheet. You may need 2 cookie sheets or pans for this. Prepare your custard.
Make the coquito custard:
- Combine the condensed milk, evaporated milk, coconut milk, sweetened cream of coconut, cream cheese, eggs, spices, vanilla extract, and rum in a blender. An immersion blender works very well here too. Blend until completely smooth. Using a fine mesh strainer, strain custard mixture over a large measuring cup with a lip and set aside. Prepare the rum caramel.
- Make the rum caramel -
- Combine the sugar, watter, dark rum, and cinnamon stick in a medium saucepan. Stir until the sugar is completely coated by the liquids and somewhat dissolved.
- Cook over medium/high head and bring to a boil, without stirring, until the caramel turns a copper brown color. This can take anywhere from 8-15 minutes depending on your stove, so please make sure watch it so it doesn't burn.
- Using a very heavy dish towel or oven mitts. grab the saucepan handle and quickly (but carefully) pour the caramel over the bottom of each ramekin. Please be careful as caramel is extremely hot.
- Immediately following the caramel, pour the custard into the ramekins. Do not fill ramekins to the top. Place the roasting pans or cookie sheets in the oven and pour water about halfway up the side of your flan vessel. Bake for about 60 minutes or until knife inserted in the center comes out mostly clean. When nudged the flan should jiggle slightly.
Either or will work:
- A. Run a sharp knife around the rim and gently shake to loosen onto a small plate
- B. Place the bottom of the mold in a couple inces of boiling water for 3-5 seconds and invert onto a small plate.
- * Note: a whole can of sweetened cream of coconut may make this flan too sweet for some. Feel free to reduce the sweetened coconut cream to 10-12 ounces to cut the sweetness. Now, if you like it sweet, go for yours. I won't stop you.