How to Make Flan or Cream Caramel

How to Make Flan

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I’m gonna share with you 2 different recipes of flan the first one follows French style and the 2nd one is a Vietnamese version and in addition to these recipes I will also share my tips to help you to make a perfect flan, which not only tastes good but also looks good with a soft smooth and silky texture we start with preparing the moulds you can use any kinds of moulds of any sizes but ceramic moulds are better than metal ones grease the moulds with butter but only the side and not the bottom of the moulds when finished with the moulds, we’re gonna prepare the caramel sauce and into a small sauce pan the sugar and enough water to cover this sugar then cook this sugar water on medium heat we will see that after some minutes the sauce starts boiling.

And gradually changes its color from light golden to golden and then golden brown remember that in the whole process don’t stir as it will make the sugar crystalised when the sugar has a light golden brown color like in the video quickly add lemon juice into the pan and gently shake the pan for the lemon juice to combine with the sugar sauce lemon juice is optional but I highly recommend using it because it slows down the caramelising process and prevent the caramel sauce from getting darker and bitter too fast then quickly pour this caramel sauce into the ramekins as you can see the caramel sauce turns dark very fast so it’s best to remove it from heat when the color is still light don’t wait too long because it can turn very dark and bitter let the caramel sauce cool down and we go to prepare the custard mixture add into a pot sugar cook this milk mixture on medium heat and keep stirring to help the sugar dissolve completely when the milk is quite warm let’s say a bit warmer than the water you use to bath or shower remove the pan from heat don’t let the milk be too hot and never bring it to a boil because it will ruin the protein in the milk and it’s not good for the custard as well in a big bowl add three eggs and two egg yolks then lightly whisk them with a wire whisk or a folk try to do this mixing gently because we don’t want the eggs turn foamy we only need to blend the yolks and egg whites together you may notice that in this recipe I use more yolks than whites more precisely I use 5 egg yolks and 3 egg whites the reason is that less egg whites gives the custard a softer, smoother and more silky texture and also the eggy smell is less gradually add the warm milk mixture into this bowl and keep whisking constantly warm milk is better because it helps to reduce the eggy smell in the pudding but the milk shouldn’t be too hot because it can cook the eggs and make the mixture curdled then add the vanilla extract and mix well sieve this mixture with a fine mesh strainer if there is some egg white left in the strainer lightly whisk to help it go through don’t discard because this egg white is also a part of the recipe we have two ways to cook this pudding the first way is to steam them for this method, first divide the egg mixture into the ramekins note that the caramel sauce should be firm or solid when you pour the egg mixture in otherwise it will be blended with the egg mixture remove any bubbles on the surface of the egg mixture then cover the ramekins with aluminium foil prepare a large pot and put a towel onto the bottom of the pot put the ramekins into the pot and pour boiling water in the level of water should be at least as high as half of the height of the ramekins put the lid on then set the heat at lowest setting and steam in about 25 – 30 minutes there are some important notes in this step first, aluminium foil helps to keep the surface of the flan soft it also prevents water from the lid dripping down and ruining the surface of the flan second the flan should be steamed on very low heat because if the heat is too high then the egg mixture will boil and the custard texture will not be smooth anymore the ideal temperature of the water should be between 90 and 95 deg C which is just below its boiling point third, the steaming time may vary between 25 – 40 minutes.

Depending on the size of the moulds larger and taller moulds will require longer time normally we can check after 20 – 25 minutes and the way to check is to put a skewer into the center of the flan if this skewer comes out slightly moist but not wet and there’s no liquid running out from the hole then the flan is done also the center of the flan should slightly jiggles when we shake the pot if we go further than this point then it’s likely that… the flan will become firmer and will loose its smooth and fine texture when the flan is done, remove the pot from heat open the lid and remove all of the aluminium covers let the ramekins cool in water in about 10 – 15 minutes then take them out let them cool down completely at room temperature then put them in the fridge for at least 3 hours before serving in addition to steaming we can also bake these custard puddings first preheat the oven to 150 deg C and boil a big kettle of water put a towel into a large tray and put all of the moulds into the tray make sure that the caramel sauce in the bottom of the moulds has become solid divide the egg mixture into these moulds and remove the bubbles from the surface when the oven has reached 150 deg C put the tray of custard puddings into the oven then pour into this tray boiling water there should be enough water to cover at least…

Half of the height of the moulds then bake this flan at 150 – 160 deg C in about 30 – 40 minutes similar to the steaming method we want to set the baking temperature… low enough so that the custard pudding is cooked slowly if the baking temperature goes too high then the custard will boil and ruin the smooth texture of the flan baking time depends on the size of the moulds bigger and taller moulds require longer time usually we can check after about 25 – 30 minutes the way to check is similar to steaming method we insert a skewer into the center of the flan and if the skewer comes out clean slightly moist but not wet and no liquid running out from the flan then the flan is ready also if we try to shake the tray like this then the center of the flan should still jiggle when the flan is done then take the tray out of the oven let the flan cool in the water for 10 – 15 minutes then take them out then let them cool completely at room temperature before chilling them in the fridge for at least 3 hours before serving when you want to serve the flan, prepare a bowl with hot water then put the flan mould into hot water for about 15 – 20 seconds at the same time run the tip of a knife around the edge of the mould the side of the ramekin has butter so when we put the ramekin into hot water this butter will melt and the flan will automatically pull away from the side of the ramekin don’t leave flan mould in hot water too long because the flan may be broken next put a plate on the mould and turn it upside down to get the flan so here is our custard pudding ideally it should have a very fine, smooth and silky texture inside out the taste is creamy, rich and not too sweet a very common problem with custard pudding is that it can have many dots or tiny holes like this this is mainly because the flan was baked or steamed on too high heat and too long time to avoid this, make sure that you follow the recipe exactly and particularly these two points always put a towel at the bottom of the pot or baking tray to soften the heat at the bottom and second bake the custard pudding at low temperature and take the pudding out when its center is still jiggling lastly if you don’t have whipping cream then you may want to try the Vietnamese version of this custard pudding instead of using sugar, milk and whipping cream we can use condensed milk and milk put them into a pot and cook them till warm the other steps are the same as the previous recipe this Vietnamese version is slightly less creamy than the French one however it still tastes very very nice just make sure that you use condensed milk instead of milk because it gives the custard a rich taste and silky texture.

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Chad Barney
My name is Chad Barney, people call me Chad. I have been cooking in family-owned and operated restaurants since I was 8 years old. I grew up in California, Los Angeles, and have lived in New York City since 2009. I learned original Thai recipes from my mother, aunts and other relative working in our family kitchens. As a personal chef I focus on healthy cooking less oil, less sugar or no sugar at all but use the sweetness for vegetables and natural sweetener such as palm sugar.

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