Cream Cheese Flan: Whip cream cheese, eggs and condensed milk in a blender
or food processor. Add milk, sugar and vanilla extract; process until smooth.
Caramelized Sugar: Cook sugar in a small heavy saucepan or a copper caramelizing
pot over medium heat. Stir constantly until the sugar turns a honey color. As
the sugar begins to dissolve, stir only occasionally. Once dissolved, continue
cooking without stirring until it is a deep amber color. The color will change
rapidly, so closely monitor the saucepan. Immediately after removing caramelized
sugar from the burner, pour it into a 2-quart souffle dish. Quickly tilt the
dish in various directions so that the caramelized sugar coats the bottom and
Pour the cream cheese mixture into the souffle dish, and then place it in
a water bath — any shallow pan large enough to hold the dish with room
to spare and filled with 1 inch of hot water.
Bake the flan on the middle rack in a preheated 350 degree F oven for 1
hour and 20 minutes, or until a knife inserted off center comes out clean. The
flan will puff completely, like a pumpkin pie, when it has finished baking.
Remove the flan from the oven and carefully lift the dish from the water
Allow the flan to cool while you prepare the cookie crumb crust.
Cookie Crumb Crust: Grind half of the cookies in a food processor to make
fine crumbs. Add remaining cookies to the crumbs and grind those. Pour in the
melted butter and process for a few seconds to blend. Spread the cookie-crumb
mixture evenly over the flan (which will have deflated a bit by now). Press
very gently on the crumb mixture to pack it down. Allow the flan to cool to
room temperature, then chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours so that
the crust sets.
Unmold the flan by running a sharp, non-serrated knife around the inside
of the souffle dish. Invert the flan onto a serving platter.
Cut it into 8 wedges to serve.
Vanilla wafers, gingersnaps or Graham crackers may be substituted for the
chocolate wafer cookies.