July 15, 2009

Crème Caramel aka Flan

Crème caramel, flan, or caramel custard is a rich custard dessert with a layer of sof caramel on top, as opposed to crème brûlée, which is custard with a hard caramel top.

I've NEVER had flan before. I would always see it on the dessert menu at restaurants but never ordered it because i usually go for something chocolaty or fruity. So last Friday night, I decided to make it -- JUST BECAUSE!

For the caramel:
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water

4 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a small sauce pan, prepare the caramel by blending the sugar and water in medium heat. Keep stirring it until it thickens and the syrup turns deep amber in color. This took me about 15-20 minutes, alternating between high-medium heat to medium-low heat because i was afraid i would burn it. Turn off heat.

Arrange 6 ramekins and add the caramel (in equal portion) into the ramekins. Tilt the ramekins and make sure that the caramel is coated evenly at the bottom of the ramekins. No one warned me how quickly caramel hardens! I had droplets on my counter, my wooden spoon, and eventually at the bottom of the pot. It took me a while to figure out how to get it all off but i did! To get it off my pot & spoon, i reheated it.

Preheat the oven to 350 degree F.

Clean the sauce pan and heat it up (use low heat). Add in the milk and 1/2 cup of sugar. As soon as the sugar dissolves, turn off the heat. In a big bowl, whisk the eggs until blended, and add in the warm milk slowly. Add the vanilla extract and do a quick whisk. Strain the custard mixture into the 6 ramekins and set aside.

Arrange the 6 ramekins in a baking pan big enough to fit them. Pour hot water in the baking pan about halfway up the ramekins.

Transfer the baking pan into the oven and bake for about 50-60 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the ramekins from the baking pan and let cool. Once they turn cool, transfer them to the fridge and chill them for a few hours. When they are ready to serve, slide a knife around the side of each ramekin to loosen the flan. Turn it out on a dessert plate and top it with extra caramel, if you want.

This was my first time making & eating this -- i thought it was ok.
Two taste tasters thought the taste was there but the texture was not. They claimed it wasn't "silky" enough? I dunno..... o well.... i'll try another recipe soon.


pink said...

Very nice!

The creme caramel recipe I have on my blog is pretty rich. Maybe try that one out if your tasters want a richer creme caramel?

curly chub said...

looks great!

Eliana said...

Well, the look of your flan is on point. Check out my blog for a fail proof recipe (www.achicabakes.com).

Tracey said...

I am so jealous of your caramel! It's just perfect - a really golden, pretty color. I've tried to make caramel quite a few times and I always seem to screw it up :)

Snooky doodle said...

wow these are perfect. I ve never tried making creme caramel since I m not a big fan of it but surely these look delicious!

pinkstripes said...

Gorgeous! I love creme caramel. YUM.

sassyspot said...

this looks really good! this is like my creme brulee recipe.. u can try with half and half or heavy cream instead of milk for richer texture :)

Karine said...

Can I have some? Because they look ssssooo great!

Megan said...

I love creme caramel - I made Dorie's version last year, and it was amazing. Now I'm thinking about making it again.

Stephanie said...

Wow! Looks good. Sorry they didn't love the texture. I've never had flan before either! I'm so impressed with your caramel - I've never had success making it before! Nice job, it looks like a pro!

Hanaâ said...

Hmmm... it really looks nice though. You know what's funny? I just watched an episode of America's Test Kitchen on Sat morning and that's what they made. I made a mental note to try their recipe (I'm big ATK fan and find their recipes very reliable). I've never made Creme Caramel before either but if I were to make it, I'd definitely try their recipe.

From looking at your recipe quickly, I'm thinking that the texture issue could be caused by the whole eggs. Egg yolks give the custard a creamy texture while the egg whites' protein provide structure (so it doesn't just "flop" flat on your plate after unmolding). The ATK recipe had something like 3 eggs and 2 yolks. You can go to www.americastestkitchen.com (but you have to register using your name and email address in order to get access to their recipes). If you would like to skip that, I can email you the recipe since I'm already a registered user. Let me know :o)

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