So we have Shredded Hearts of Palm Soft Tacos in place for the main attraction, a Vegan Queso Dip indulged by cashews and salsa as an appetizer, a homemade Roasted Heirloom Tomato Salsa perfect for chip-dipping, and a spicy yet sweet Cucumber Jalapeno Margarita to chase all this good food down. We are done right? Hardly! It wouldn’t be a Cinco de Mayo feast without dessert! And what better dessert to serve for your feast than a Cinnamon Cashew Milk Flan *and the crowd goes wild*
Now before we cut to the chase and start flan-making, we need to discuss a few things first. Let’s start with the mini pie pans that I used to make this. They are approximately 5 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ in size. Can you use something different? Absolutely. Give glass ramekins a try but please understand that when you change the size of the bakeware that you use, the serving size will change. I also found that by filling up the pans I used completely, one flan was enough to serve two people. That is, unless you love flan and want it all for yourself. No judgment.
Okay so that was the easy part, now let’s talk Agar Flakes. Some of you are looking at me with a blank look across your face. I know, I get it. Been there, done that. I’m here to answer your agar questions. Let’s first start with what it is: Found in algae, it is an odorless ingredients that has an incredible gelatin-like capacity. PLEASE READ THIS PART! It comes in two forms: Agar flakes and agar powder (click on each item to see what it looks like). Powder is more concentrated and potent than flakes so if you have one or the other, you will need to adjust accordingly. Typically you use 1 Tbsp. of agar flakes per 1 c. of liquid and for agar powder, use 1 tsp. powder per 1 c. liquid.
It is basically every vegans dream come true. I highly recommend buying it if your kitchen is not already stocked with it. Typically your health food store has it in the Asian Food section or you can buy it online.
- 1/4 c. raw cashews
- 1 1/2 c. water
- 1 Tbsp. coconut oil (can be omitted--this just gives a smoother flavor)
- 1/4 c. brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp. agar flakes (not agar powder)
- 2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
- 3 Tbsp. brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp. water
- Two 5 1/2" x 2 1/2" mini pie pans
- In a high-speed blender, mix the cashews and water until completely smooth.
- Place the cashew milk into a medium saucepan and whisk in the agar flakes and sugar. Bring to a boil on medium heat. Allow the sugar and agar to completely dissolve and boil lightly on simmer for 5 minutes.
- Whisk in the nutritional yeast, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Remove from the heat and allow to cool down in the saucepan for 10 minutes.
- While the flan is cooling down, heat up the sugar and water for the filling in the microwave just for 15-25 seconds, enough to melt it only. Evenly place on the bottom of the mini pie pan.
- Pour the flan filling into both pans over the syrup until evenly distributed.
- Chill in the refrigerator for a good 1-2 hours or until set.
- Gently take a knife to cut along the sides and the bottom to remove. Be patient with this. Good things come to those who wait.
- 2 of these will serve 4 people when they are fully filled to the brim. If you want, you can fill four mini pie pans instead of two and fill them up halfway for 1 serving.
- Serve with coffee spiked with cinnamon.
P.S. Don’t be weirded out by the nutritional yeast in this recipe either. It gives the flan a depth of flavor that took me forever to figure out. Trust, I made several versions of this recipe and the nutritional yeast deeply improved the flavor. Can you omit it? Sure, but if you don’t have to I say use it.
Have a safe and tasty Cinco de Mayo, friends!