Recipe: Coconut crème caramel (Banh Gan) – The Cookbook Challenge Week 25 ‘Silky’ theme

by April@MyFoodTrail on July 23, 2010

in Baking, Cookbook Challenge 2010, Other desserts, Recipes

Theme: Silky
Cookbook: Secrets of the Red Lantern by Pauline Nguyen

When I was writing the title for this post, I was quite shocked to realise that I am now more than 10 weeks behind in the Cookbook Challenge!! We are currently in the middle of Week 36. Gee, it gets harder and harder to catch up the more you get behind! I’m learning that with Masterchef episodes as well. If I don’t watch more than one episode a night, how am I ever going to catch up the two weeks I am behind?! It’s unlikely I’ll be able to catch up since the Grand Final of Masterchef is this Sunday and I’ll know who has won! Anyway, I shall try to pull my socks up and post more.

When I found out the divine coconut crème caramel from my recent visit to Red Lantern was a recipe in the Secrets of Red Lantern cookbook, I marked it as one I had to try some time in the Cookbook Challenge. ‘Silky’ theme week seemed like the perfect week as the coconut crème caramel was definitely soft and silky.

Crème caramel ranks pretty low in my dessert choices so I’m glad I got to try the real version at Red Lantern or else I wouldn’t have tried to make it at home. The original recipe makes 6 but because I used Ayam coconut cream which was only a 270ml can (versus a 425ml can called for in the recipe), I adjusted the other ingredients accordingly and made 4. The recipe below is how I made it.

Coconut crème caramel (banh gan)
Makes 4

TCC - Coconut Creme Caramel - Finished 1

160g caster sugar
65ml water
4 eggs
110g caster sugar, extra
270ml coconut cream
125ml milk

1. Put 160g of sugar and the water in a saucepan and do not stir. Bring to the boil over high heat. You can agitate it slightly once or twice if you wish.

TCC - Coconut Creme Caramel - Caramel 1

Sugar & water in the saucepan; Sugar syrup reaches boiling point

2. Cook for 5-8 minutes until the sugar syrup changes into a golden caramel colour. Be careful not to make the syrup too dark or else it will be bitter.

TCC - Coconut Creme Caramel - Caramel 2

Sugar syrup getting darker; Sugar syrup turned into caramel

3. Pour the caramel carefully and evenly to coat the inside of four 250ml (1 cup) moulds or ramekins.

4. Half fill a metal steamer large enough to cook the caramels and bring to the boil.

5. Break the eggs into a bowl, add the extra 110g of sugar and whisk well to combine.

6. Add the coconut cream and milk and mix thoroughly until you have a silky mixture.

TCC - Coconut Creme Caramel - Into ramekins

Pouring caramel into moulds; Coconut mixture ready for steaming

7. Pour the coconut mixture into the moulds and place them in the steamer. Cover and reduce the heat to low and steam for 35-40 minutes or until the mixture sets. To check if the caramel is set, tap the mould with your finger – the surface should be firm and wobble slightly.

8. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. To remove the caramel, gently run a knife around the edge of the mould and turn upside down onto a serving plate.

TCC - Coconut Creme Caramel - Finished 2

Inside the coconut crème caramel

Results: Perhaps I under mixed the batter, but the texture of the crème caramel was grainy, not at all the soft, smooth texture I was expecting. It was definitely better at Red Lantern! The crème caramel was very, very rich and one serve was actually too much for me!

Would I make it again? No, unless the Red Lantern team make it for me!!

Over & Out, April xx

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Iron Chef Shellie July 23, 2010 at 12:25 pm

Still looks yum! Sounds a fantastic combination; coconut and caramel..mmm


Gourmet Getaway July 23, 2010 at 9:36 pm

Ohh, it looks amazing and sounds so nice, I think I will have to try it.


Forager @ The Gourmet Forager July 24, 2010 at 8:34 am

Love the step by step shots of the process – and the creme caramel looks so good to me – shame it was grainy 🙁 All that effort!

Reply July 26, 2010 at 6:37 pm

What a shame it didn't work out the way you hoped. Love the sound of them though – caramel and coconut…mmmmm


Agnes July 28, 2010 at 9:19 am

It's a shame it was grainy – I wonder why that was. Oh well, you'll just have to go back to Red Lantern to eat their version again! 😉


April @ My Food Trail July 28, 2010 at 10:54 am

Hi Iron Chef Shellie: It's definitely one of the food combinations that sound and work well together!

Hi Julie: Hopefully yours don't turn out too grainy!

Hi Forager: Thanks! It looked good, but didn't taste bad… just not as smooth as a creme caramel should be!

Hi Leigh: The combination would have been much better if the texture was smoother!

Hi Agnes: Maybe I didn't mix it together enough? Or maybe the eggs overcooked? Not too sure but I think I would rather have Red Lantern make it for me!


Cherrie Pie July 29, 2010 at 8:31 am

ooh! I love anything with coconut in it.


April @ My Food Trail August 2, 2010 at 9:50 am

Hi Cherrie: The coconut is a great addition to the normal creme caramel!


Kirstine Vergara August 10, 2010 at 3:06 am

This is great. I usually do this with evaporated milk, I guess it's time to reinvent my recipe.

Just a tip, to remove the grainy feel, you should probably mix the ingredients well before putting the mixture in a dish. Trick here is to use your hand until all the lumps and grains are gone. After that, strain the mixture to further ensure a nice, smooth consistency. Hope this helps.


April @ My Food Trail August 12, 2010 at 10:03 am

Hi Kirstine: Evaporated milk sounds much more healthy! 🙂 Thanks heaps for the tip – I suspect I didn't mix the ingredients enough! Straining it sounds like it would have been an excellent idea!


melissa August 16, 2010 at 11:24 pm

this reminds me of our dessert here called leche flan. im not sure though if it coconut based. i'd like to try this recipe you have here. it looks easy and very delicious!


April @ My Food Trail August 25, 2010 at 2:10 pm

Hi Melissa: A normal creme caramel is not coconut based so perhaps it is similar!


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