The Ardent Epicure

An Ode to the Pleasures of Food

Flan with Homemade Caramel ~
A Trial with Three Tales

I had decided to try a Spanish Flan that differs from a flan popular in the Philippines. This flan differs primarily in the use of whole eggs versus egg yolks only. This recipe is adapted from a "Traditional Spanish Flan" recipe found on the internet. As this is a dessert that is popular in many areas over the globe, we will not be critiquing the recipe solely on it's own basis, as we do not know if the validity of the term "Traditional Spanish Flan" is accurate. The Ardent Epicure as a team will be critiquing this final dessert at the end of this post. (Really just for fun).
This recipe is for a traditional Spanish-style flan with caramel. Please note that the adaption portions are as follows. 1. The recipe called for adding water to the caramel process, this did not work, so was adjusted and reflected below. 2. The recipe did not call for a water bath during the baking process, and this was adjusted.

1 1/2 cups of sugar
8 eggs
1 can of condensed milk
1 can of evaporated milk
2 tsp. of vanilla extract
A pinch of salt (fine sea salt was used here)

Set five mini ramekins near your stove  (you will want them close at hand).
To create the caramel is a very simple task.  Just place a medium-sized sauce pan over medium heat. Next, pour one cup of the sugar into the pan.  Stir the sugar constantly (this is very important), making sure nothing sticks to the bottom or sides of the pan.
After a short time, the sugar will begin to melt, becoming clumpy.  After this, the clumps will begin to melt.  Continue stirring until all of the clumps have melted, and the sugar is entirely in liquid form.  At this point, the sugar should be light brown (caramel) in color, and entirely transparent.
Immediately pour the sugar equally into the ramekins, then use a spoon or other utensil to spread some up the sides.  The caramel will begin to harden extremely quickly, so you have to be fast.  Don't worry, though: it won't stay hard.

This simple caramel can be used for many desserts.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Blend the remaining ingredients (including the remaining half cup of sugar) in a mixing bowl, using an electric mixer.
Take a metal strainer, and strain the mixture into the ramekins equally, on top of the caramel, ensuring that you don't overfill them.
Set the ramekins into a deep baking pan or dish large enough to hold them all, filling the baking dish with enough water to reach 1/4th or more of the ramekins. Thencover the entire dish with foil.
Bake the flan for approximately one hour.  Test the flan by sticking something into the middle; the utensil should come out clean.  If so, the flan is done.
Place the flans into the refrigerator, and let them chill for several hours.
Place the ramekins upside-down onto serving plates (place the plate onto the top of the ramekin, then turn the whole thing over) and let them sit for a minute, then pull off the ramekin, leaving the flan on the plate, with the now-liquid caramel flowing over it.

Notes: With the adjustments to the caramel preparation this came out perfectly.
The water bath adjustment allowed for the flan to cook uniformly.

Now on to our tasters:

Truffle Shuffle: Did not care for the texture, and thought the flavor was a bit eggy.
Sugar and Spice: Not rich enough, and texture was not as smooth but overall flavor was nice.
Magic of Spice: Thought the texture was off, but tasted good. And that it was photogenic, so she did her thing.
Now we are in search of the perfect Traditional Spanish Flan. Any suggestions are welcome, just email us:)

Serve and enjoy!

Add To Facebook Share with Twitter Stumble This Digg This Add To Add To Reddit Post to Google Buzz Share on Myspace Share with Windows Live Pin It

blog comments powered by Disqus