A baked custard coated in caramel is a popular Mexican dessert.
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1/3 cup sugar
2 cups Land O Lakes® Half & Half
1 (3-inch) stick cinnamon
4 large Land O Lakes® Eggs, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 cups boiling water
2 (1-ounce) squares bittersweet baking chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon shortening
1/2 cup Land O Lakes® Heavy Whipping Cream
1 tablespoon sugar
Heat oven to 325°F.
Place 1/3 cup sugar in 8-inch heavy skillet. Cook over medium heat, shaking skillet occasionally (do not stir), 2-3 minutes or until sugar begins to melt. Continue cooking over medium heat 1-2 minutes or until sugar is slightly amber and dissolved, shaking skillet frequently. Pour into 4 (10-ounce) custard cups, tilting cups to spread over bottom. Set aside.
Combine half & half and cinnamon stick in 2-quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat 4-5 minutes or until mixture begins to bubble. Remove from heat. Cover; let stand 10 minutes.
Combine 1/3 cup sugar, eggs, vanilla and salt in bowl. Pour half & half mixture through strainer into egg mixture. Discard cinnamon stick. Whisk egg mixture until just combined, but not frothy. Evenly pour over melted sugar in prepared custard cups. Place cups into 13x9-inch baking pan. Pour boiling water into baking pan around custard cups to depth of 1 1/2-inches. Bake 45-50 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. (Center will still be slightly soft.) Remove from oven.
Remove custard cups from hot water. Place onto cooling rack; let stand 1 hour. Cover; refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.
Combine chocolate and shortening in bowl. Microwave 30-60 seconds or until melted, stirring once or twice. Cool slightly. Line baking sheet with waxed paper. Spoon chocolate into small plastic food bag; cut off 1/8-inch from corner. Squeeze chocolate into star shapes on waxed paper. Refrigerate until firm.
Loosen edges of flans from sides of custard cups using narrow spatula; invert onto individual serving plates.
Beat whipping cream and 1 tablespoon sugar at high speed in bowl until stiff peaks form. Dollop flans with whipped cream. Garnish each with chocolate star.
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