Like so many other commodities Jews have been involved in the coffee trade from its very beginning. The first coffee house opened in Turkey in 1475 where it became a national craze, not just a meeting place but the government suspected the coffee to be a ruse to undermine the sultan.

In 1651 an immigrant from Lebanon called ‘Jacob the Jew’ opened the first coffee house in England, in Oxford, and I think we can all agree that Jacob the Jew was a food hero!

Flan or Creme Caramel is one of my favorite desserts, I love the texture and the ease of making it ahead of time. This dairy-free version is great, but you will have some bubbles in the mixture when it cooks, not as creamy as the dairy version, but nonetheless super delicious.

For Caramel:

  • 200g (1 cup) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 120ml (½ cup) water

For Custard:

  • 1 tablespoon green cardamom pods
  • 360ml (1 ½ cups) well-shaken coconut cream from a can
  • 120ml (½ cup) unsweetened soya milk
  • 40g (3 tablespoons) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee granules
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 egg yolks
  • Pinch of salt

For the caramel:
Set 6 ramekins in a deep-sided roasting tin (pan).

Heat the sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Increase heat and without stirring, boil the sugar mixture until it is a golden brown caramel color, gently swirl the pan as it starts to color.

Quickly distribute the caramel evenly between the six ramekins to coat the bottom, set aside while you make the custard.

Preheat oven to 150℃ (300℉)

For the custard:
In a small pan toast, the cardamom pods until fragrant, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat. Using a pestle and mortar or a rolling pin on a cutting board, crack the pods open.
In a medium saucepan, Combine the pods with the coconut cream, soy milk, and sugar and bring just to a boil. Remove from heat, stir in the coffee and whisk until dissolved. Let the mixture steep for 10 minutes.

Strain the coffee mixture into a large measuring cup or bowl.

In a large bowl beat together the egg and egg yolks. Slowly stream in the coffee mixture whisking as you go, add the pinch of salt.

Strain the mixture back into the measuring cup, and distribute evenly between the caramel covered ramekins.

With the ramekins full and in the tin, add enough hot water to the tin to come halfway up the ramekins, cover the dish with aluminum foil, make a few slits in the foil. Bake until the custard is set, about 45-55 minutes.

Remove from the water bath and chill completely before serving, can be made up to 2 days before serving.