Saturday, March 15, 2014
The Absolute Best Flan Ever!
A well made flan is like tasting heaven.Unfortunately most store bought ones have a pallid flavor.They're basically just vanilla pudding marinating in some over gooey caramel sauce.Take heart.There's a brand new flan on the mArket, an artesanal one that will make the dessert as trendy as bespoke macarons or the much wanted cronut. the creator of this is Claudia Berroa who has launched Claudy's Gourmet in the Bronx.(and let's hear it for this borough who stands in the shadow of trendy food places like Chelsea and Brooklyn)She has taken her Peruvian grandmother's time honored recipe and turned it into something for both hip foodies and traditional flan lovers alike.Each flan is handcrafted, not poured into molds and laced with preservatives and artificial flavorings.The chocolate is made from dark Belgian chocolate while the vanilla has Madagascar vanilla bean extract,made by her and her husband!Rich.The flan comes in five flavors, the traditional such as vanilla but also coffee and lychee.The idea to create artesanal flan came from her love of cooking,along with being inspired by The Food Channel's The Iron Chef.She studied business administration but her heart , it seems, belongs to creating wonderful Peruvian dishes and desserts. Ms. Berroa is a true genius when it comes to creating flans.Hers is the most perfect ,with the right combinations of egg, milk and sugar.Their lightness is reminiscent of Italian zabaglione,ethereal and airy.I sampled the coffee, passionfruit and vanilla.I love the coffee,it's flavor wasn't overpowering and the light caramel sauce worked well with it.The passionfruit was also amazing with real bits of fruit and just a slight,barely perceivable tartness.For flan purists,I'd recommend the vanilla.Unlike the store-bought and homemade kinds, this is not cloying with no eggy aftertaste.It was like a creamy puff of tradition and exoticism blended together.I will probably be heading to Gourmet Garage in NYC(it's also sold in the Union Market in Brooklyn) for more and to try the chocolate.She has definitely made me a flan fan for life. Claudia Berroa has redefined flan and has raised this simple dessert to gourmet status.It is one of the best out there and one that has to be tasted.To be honest it will be Manhattan's and then the world's go to sweet.