Chef's Recipes

El Público's holy trinity flans with candied chilli and chocolate crumb

Try these sweet and creamy chocolate-coated flans made Mexican-style with a slight chilli spice from Perth's El Público restaurant.

  • 35 mins preparation
  • 1 hr cooking (plus infusing, drying, resting, chilling)
  • Serves 6
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El Público's holy trinity flans with candied chilli and chocolate crumb
"I adore this divine flan from El Público and would love to recreate it at my next dinner party."
Helen Carruthers, Subiaco, WA
To request a recipe, email or send us a message via Facebook. Please include the restaurant's name and address, as well as your name and address. Please note that because of the volume of requests we receive, we can only publish a selection in the magazine.
Start this recipe a day ahead to dry the candied chilli and allow the flan to set.


  • 450 ml full cream milk
  • 250 ml evaporated milk (1 cup)
  • 200 ml condensed milk
  • 4 eggs
  • scraped seeds from ½ vanilla bean
  • finely grated rind of ¼ orange
  • 200 gm caster sugar
Candied chilli
  • 100 gm caster sugar
  • 1 long red chilli, seeds removed, thinly sliced
Chocolate crumb
  • 35 gm masa flour (see note) (¼ cup)
  • 1¼ tbsp Dutch-process cocoa powder, sieved
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 30 gm unsalted butter, softened


  • 1
    Combine milks in a large bowl. Add eggs, vanilla seeds and rind and whisk together. Cover and leave to infuse at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  • 2
    Lightly butter six 220ml metal pudding moulds. Scatter sugar evenly in a large frying pan and cook over high heat, swirling pan occasionally, until melted, then stir with a spatula until deep caramel (4-6 minutes). Divide caramel among moulds and set aside to harden (20-30 minutes).
  • 3
    Preheat oven to 160C. Divide custard mixture among moulds and place moulds in a deep roasting pan lined with a tea towel. Fill pan with boiling water to three-quarters up the sides of moulds, cover with foil and bake until set with a slight wobble (40-45 minutes). Remove from pan, cool completely, then refrigerate overnight to set.
  • 4
    For candied chilli, bring half the sugar and 100ml water to the boil in a small saucepan. Add chilli and boil until starting to become translucent (4-5 minutes). Strain, reserve chilli and discard the syrup, and repeat with remaining sugar and 100ml water, boiling until chilli is translucent (4-5 minutes). Strain chilli (discard syrup) and spread on a tray lined with baking paper. Leave in a warm place to dry (8-12 hours). Store in an airtight container.
  • 5
    For chocolate crumb, combine flour, cocoa and sugar in a bowl. Rub in butter, then roll dough between 2 pieces of baking paper to 3mm thick. Remove top sheet of baking paper and bake dough, mixing with a fork occasionally, until crumbly and cooked (15-20 minutes).
  • 6
    To serve, turn flans out onto plates and top with chocolate crumb and candied chilli.


Masa flour is available from Mexican food suppliers (such as Monterey Mexican Foods and Herbies Spices) and The Essential Ingredient.