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Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Egg-free Flan or Flop?

Designing the Mexican dinner as a 'MEAT' meal, I need a parve dessert. I want to do a flan and happen across this recipe online by Mark Bittman. Look at it ~ such promise for being free of gluten, dairy and eggs. Taste it ~ whoa; surprisingly horrible. I thought about not posting it but, hey, why not share the flops and disappointments? How else are we going to put our heads together and make good food happen?

There is a very strange after taste with each spoonful. Tasting the individual ingredients, the culprit must be the kosher unflavored and unsweetened gelatin. Possibly xanthan gum might work better. I haven't had time to experiment. The texture of this imitation flan is quite lovely; too bad it tastes awful!

Kosher Status: Parve
Number of servings: 4 x 6 ounce ramekins
Main Ingredient(s): Tofu
Preparation Time: 00:10
Cooking Time: 01:00
Skill Level: 1 - Easy (1 Easy - 5 Hard)
Estimated POINT value:


  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 14 ounce can coconut milk (we used unsweetened)
  • 1 package kosher gelatin
  • 1/2 cup soft silken tofu
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt


Put 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water into a small saucepan. Turn the heat to medium low and cook, shakin gthe pan occasionally until the sugar liquefies, turns clear, then turns a golden brown, about 20 minutes. Do not stir. Immediately pour the caramel into the bottom of the ramekins. Set aside.

Put the coconut into a medium saucepan and add the gelatin. Let it sit for 5 minutes. Turn the heat to low and cook, stirring, until the gelatin dissolves entirely.

Put the tofu, vanilla, salt, and remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar into the blender or food processor. Puree. Add the coconut mixture and blend until smooth.

Pour the custard into the prepared ramekins and refrigerate. Chill until set, about 2 hours and up to about 24 hours. After that, the custard will shrink and the caramel will bleed (yep, unappetizing as it sounds!).

To serve, dip the bottom of the ramekin in hot water for about 10 seconds. Invert onto plate. If necessary, run a small knife around the flan to loosen from the side of the ramekin. Mine came free on its own.

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Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Egg-free Flan or Flop?

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Hi! Thank you for stopping by to watch me, Leah, cook kosher. I've been the owner operator of my boutique catering firm in Seattle, Leah's Catering, for the past 14 years.

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