|Toffee Caramel Flan
1 and one quarter lb granulated sugar
1 cup water
3 cups milk
3 cups heavy cream
2 cinnamon sticks
1 vanilla bean, split
4 egg yolks
3 and a quarter cups brown sugar
1 TBS molasses
2 TBS amaretto liqueur
Combine the granulated sugar with the water in a small heavy saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook until the sugar reaches a deep golden brown. Immediately pour about 2 tablespoons of the sugar into each of the ramekins. Tilt each ramekins to spread the caramel evenly along the bottom. Arrange the ramekins in a 2-inch deep hotel pan and set aside.
Combine the milk, cream, cinnamon sticks and vanilla bean in a large saucepan. Bring just to a boil, cover and remove from the heat. Allow this mixture to steep for about 30 minutes.
Whisk the eggs, egg yolks, brown sugar, molasses and amaretto together in a large bowl.
Uncover the milk mixture and return it to the stove top. Bring just to a boil. Temper the egg-and-sugar mixture with approximately one-third of the hot milk. Whisk in the remaining hot milk.
Strain the custard through a fine mesh strainer. Pour into the caramel-lined ramekins, filling to just below the rim.
Pour enough warm water into the hotel pan to reach halfway up the side of the ramekins. Bake at 325 degrees for approximately 30 to 40 minutes. The custards should be almost set, but still slightly soft in the center.
Completely chill the baked custards before serving. To unmold, run a small knife around the edge of the custard, invert onto the serving plate and give the ramekin a firm sideways shake. Garnish with fresh fruit or caramelized almonds.
Prepared by Chef DeJohn