For the caramel: Line 3" x 1.5" mini flan molds with pan spray. Add sugar to a non-reactive saucepan (without a non-stick coating). Any amount of sugar is fine, just make sure it is no more than ½ inch thick on bottom of pan. Give the pan a shake to spread the sugar in an even layer, then place over medium high heat to melt. The sugar will start to melt and caramelize at the edges of the pan first. Once the edges of the sugar are caramelizing, use a wooden spoon and start bringing the caramelized parts into the middle of the pan, to where the sugar hasn't melted or caramelized yet. Keep stirring until all the sugar has melted and caramelized. Squash stubborn sugar lumps against the sides of the pan if necessary. Cook the caramel until it turns a rich brown color. Once the caramel has turned a deep amber color, stop the caramelization process by dunking the bottom of the pan in an ice water bath. Do this quickly as leaving the pan in the cold water bath will harden the caramel. Gently pour caramel into molds to coat the bottom.
For the cake: In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, place 2 pounds 10.4 oz water, 7.6 oz oil, and 4 pounds cake mix. Mix on low speed for one minute, scrape the bowl. Mix for 2 minutes second speed. Reserve.
For the custard: Place 8 oz cream cheese, 15 oz whole eggs, and 1 pound 8 oz coconut milk in a blender, blend until smooth. Place mixture in a bowl and whisk in 1 pound 12 oz sweetened condensed milk, 0.50 oz vanilla extract, and 0.10 oz salt. Reserve.
To bake: Pipe 0.50 oz cake batter into each mold. Gently pour in 0.75 oz prepared custard. Place pan in a water bath and bake at 350°F until cake springs back lightly when touched or a knife inserted into the cake comes out clean. Let cake cool in water bath until both are room temperature. Remove cake from water bath and place in cooler overnight. Unmold the next day, sprinkle with shredded coconut, and serve or place in bakery case.
To clean the caramel pan after using, simply fill with warm water, place over low heat, and allow the water to come to a simmer. The caramel will melt.
Coconut, Dairy, Cream Cheese, Custard, Caramelized
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