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RECIPE: Calle Dão Coconut Rum Flan

Coconut Pineapple Flan
[1] Un bonito postre (a beautiful dessert): coconut rum flan at at Calle Dão| NYC.

Gosling's Rum Bottles
[2] When you’re done with the flan, treat yourself to a Dark ‘N’ Stormy, mix dark rum with ginger beer. Fill a tall glass with ice, add the juice of half a lime, and your desired proportions of rum and ginger beer. The Dark ‘N’ Stomy recipe is copyrighted by Gosling’s (photo courtesy Gosling Brothers Limited).

Whole Pineapple

[3] Did you know that you can boil the skin/rind of the pineapple into a healthy drink? Here’s the recipe (photo courtesy Produce Marketing Guide).


Calle Dão is a Cuban-Chinese fusion restaurant, with two locations in New York City.

Why Cuban-Chinese fusion?

In this town, there are plenty of restaurants serving “comidas chinas y criollas,” which commemorate Havana’s once-thriving El Barrio Chino (Chinatown). There, as the Cuban and Chinese cultures mixed, a fusion cuisine emerged.

One of our favorite dishes at Calle Dão is this coconut rum flan with two special accents: pineapple jam and passionfruit caramel.

A blend of coconut milk, sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk and cream cheese create the silky flan. It is accessorized with the homage to Chinese cuisine: fried rice vermicelli noodles.

This is a restaurant-sized recipe, but it is easy to cut it in half. Or better yet, make it along with a friend or two, and divide the tasty results.

The recipe takes a bit of work, but goes quickly when you share the labors.

Ingredients For 20 Servings

For The Flan

  • 2 cups + 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup
  • 2 cans sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 cans evaporated milk
  • 1.5 cups coconut milk
  • 4 tablespoons dark rum
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 24 ounces cream cheese
  • 18 egg yolks
  • 12 egg whites
    For The Pineapple Jam

  • 2 pineapples
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons dark rum
    For The Passionfruit Caramel

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup passionfruit purée (make or buy)
    Optional Garnish

  • Rice vermicelli noodles


    If you want to top your creation with the fried rice vermicelli shown in the photo, you can make them in advance and keep them in an airtight container. See step 7.

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 325°F. Make the flan: Place 2 cups sugar, the corn syrup and water in a medium sauce pan. Place over medium-high heat. Cook until the sugar begins to melt, swirling the pan. Continue cooking until it is melted and medium-dark brown, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and pour the caramelized sugar into individual aluminum molds. Let cool.


    2. WHISK together remaining 1 cup sugar, salt, egg yolks, rum, sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk in a large bowl, until combined. In a blender, combine the cream cheese, coconut milk and egg whites on low until smooth and combined. Add into egg yolk mixture. Pour into the metal ramekins with the cooled sugar in them.

    3. TRANSFER to a deep pan (roasting pan, hotel pan). Pour water around the ramekins about halfway up their sides. Bake in a 325°F oven until flan is almost set (it will appear loose in center but continue cooking as it cools), about 20 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack until water cools, then transfer the ramekins to a wire rack to cool.

    4. MAKE the pineapple jam. Cut the pineapple by removing the skins and tops. Grate the flesh with a box grater. Place the grated pineapple in a large sauce pan with the sugar, salt, water and cinnamon. Cook over medium heat until the liquid has reduced by half and the pineapple has softened and become translucent. Add the rum and lemon juice; cool and store.

    5. COMBINE the passionfruit caramel ingredients in a medium sauce pan and heat over medium heat. You are looking to thicken this mixture, not caramelize it. This will take about 10-15 minutes.

    6. TEST the thickness of the sauce by dropping a small amount on a plate and placing it in the fridge for a few minutes. Based on how it drips down the plate, you can tell the thickness of the sauce. You want it to only drip slightly when completely cooled. Cool and store until ready to serve.

    7. FRY the vermicelli noodles at 350°F until they puff up. Place on paper towels and sprinkle with sugar and a dash of salt. If you don’t want to use the noodles, consider adding a garnish in a contrasting color, e.g., a sprig of herbs or a strawberry half.

    8. ASSEMBLE: Place each flan on a plate or in a serving bowl. Add one or two tablespoons of pineapple jam. Drizzle with the passionfruit caramel.

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