A good flan is a beautiful thing but eating it every day would probably give you diabetes. So, I recreated all those sweet + creamy flavors with my flan de “leche” (almond milk with date caramel)!
It’s a cold and decadent drink with a lot less of the bad stuff…I’m talking to you, sweetened condensed milk.
Traditional flan is amazing and absolutely needs sweetened condensed milk to be perfectly thick and jiggly.
I’ve been traumatized by plenty of bad flans in my life. Lawd! Burned caramel, spongy custard, overly sweet, or worse, gritty flan. Curdled nastiness…
The fact that some restaurants don’t even notice when their flans curdle is beyond me. And after one inedible flan too many, I decided to work out my own recipe.
It took countless tries to perfect my flan until I realized that the trick is – as with any dessert really – to heavily counter-salt the sweetness.
I guess you could say I make a salted caramel flan (before salted caramel was a thing) because I aggressively salt my desserts. However, my desserts don’t register as salty, they taste balanced and not overly sweet.
Salt merely punches up the flavor. I keep tasting it along the way until it’s perfect.
This flan-flavored milk is no different. I added just enough salt to get the date caramel right.
A word of caution though when making the milk/leche part: don’t overdo it with the sweetener!
Leave it on the bland side since you will eventually mix it with the date caramel. Plus, you can always add more date caramel if you prefer your drink on the sweeter side.
This delicious drink also happens to be dairy-free and gluten-free, which may sound like it wouldn’t taste like flan at all – which is all the dairy in the world in one dessert – but it does! It really does!
Easy to whip up, this flan de “leche” may become your frequent companion.
- For the date caramel:
- • 1 cup juicy Medjool dates, pitted
- • ¼ cup hot water (almost boiling)
- • Between ⅛ – ¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
- • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- For the "leche":
- • 4 cups unsweetened almond milk
- • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- • 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
- • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- Place the dates in a food processor and pulse to break them up. Then add the hot water, maple syrup, and salt and blend for 2-3 minutes (scraping down the sides every so often). Add more hot water if needed, so it becomes the consistency of liquid caramel.
- Add the almond milk, vanilla extract, coconut sugar and cinnamon to a large pitcher and whisk to combine.
- Spoon heaping tablespoons of the date caramel into your glass of choice and top with the flavored "milk."
- Stir vigorously for optimal deliciousness.