1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
1 cup coconut milk
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flaked coconut
Makes 8 servings.
Prepare mold with caramel (see instructions below). Heat oven to 325 degrees.
Beat the eggs until frothy, then beat in the milks, salt and vanilla. Stir in the coconut.
Pour mixture into prepared mold, and place it in a larger pan. Add enough hot water to the pan to come halfway up the side of the mold. Bake 75 to 90 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Allow the mold to cool on a wire rack. Refrigerate at least 2 hours. To unmold, dip the mold in hot water for 30 seconds, then invert onto serving plate.
Nutritional information per serving: 714 calories (60 percent from fat), 50 g fat (40 g saturated, 6 g monounsaturated), 195 mg cholesterol, 17 g protein, 56 g carbohydrates, 8 g fiber, 276 mg sodium.
How to caramelize a mold:
Use 1 cup sugar for a 6- to 8-cup mold.
Experienced cooks will be able to make the caramel with the sugar alone: Simply sprinkle it into a pan or the mold itself and cook over low heat, shaking the pan to prevent burning, until the sugar bubbles and turns golden.
To make it easier to avoid scorching the caramel, add 1/4 cup water to the sugar in a nonstick saucepan. Bring it to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until the syrup turns golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes.
For either method, remove the pan from the heat and immediately pour caramel into mold, tilting it to cover bottom and part of the sides. Set aside to cool and harden.
For a fun garnish, use this trick my friend Maria taught me: Lightly spray a metal baking sheet with vegetable oil. Quickly pour on a little of the hot caramel, and tilt the baking sheet to make the layer as thin as possible. When it hardens, shatter into pieces to sprinkle on cold flan.