My ultimate Flan (caramel custard)

I’ve made flan or caramel custard for thousand times and this is one of my hubby’s favorite dishes. So you can tell why I love making flan, huh? Lol … People usually mention flan as a French dessert, but in this entry I’d like to introduce the way Vietnamese people make flan. It’s simple but still yummy!

I’ve made flan for not only Vietnamese people, but foreigners. Everybody loved it and some of them told me that my flan could have been the most delicious flan that they had ever tried. I couldn’t be happier^^. I told you so not to show off how good my flan is, but to encourage you to try to this below recipe.

My ultimate flan (caramel custard)

Baking in oven is not a very popular cooking method in Vietnamese cooking. Therefore, we usually steam the custard on stovetop. Moreover, instead of using fresh milk, we use condensed milk as the main ingredient. If you want to make flan with fresh milk, please comment below and I’ll post my recipe using fresh milk in another entry.

According to my experience, to be successful in making flan, the key here is knowing how to steam the custard. Making the custard mixture is kind of easy and simple, so let me walk you through the steps.

  1. Ingredients:
  • 1 can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 ½ can of hot water (use the condensed milk can) (You can substitute water with fresh milk to make the flan tastier and softer)
  • 5 large eggs
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar + 2 Tablespoons water
  • You can use any kind of mold that works for steaming. Moreover, I don’t have a steamer so what I do here is setting up a kind of steamer by myself. Please see pictures for illustration.

    Ingredients to make flan

  1. Process:
  • Step 1: Making the custard mixture

o   Put all the eggs, condensed milk in a blender then blend until everything is well combined. Then add the hot water using the condensed milk can to measure and bend the mixture for a few seconds. Divide the hot water into half to add. Don’t add the hot water once at a time, otherwise you will have a scrambled egg. Let it sit to reduce the bubbles. If you are using fresh milk, be sure to heat up the milk.

o   Note: you can use a wire whisk to make the custard mixture. First, whisk the eggs then add the condensed milk, then whisk until everything is incorporated. Second, add the hot water (divide into half to add), then whisk until we have a very well-blended mixture. Using wire whisk is taking more time, but you don’t have to worry about the bubbles, which could make the flan not smooth.

Step 1 – Making custard mixture

  • Step 2: Making caramel

o   Put the sugar in a sauce pan and turn the heat on to med-hi. Stir until the sugar starts to melt and then turns into brown. Turn the heat to med and cook for another minute or until you see the sugar turns dark brown.

o   Add the water in the sauce pan. Please be very careful while making this step because the caramelized sugar tends to be very hot. Don’t get burned! Turn the heat to med-hi and continue cooking for another minute or until you see the caramel mixture starts to thicken up a little bit.

Making caramel from sugar

o   Remove the sauce pan from the heat and pour in right away to the mold. Coat the mold with the caramel and let it sit for at least 15 minutes or until the caramel is set.

o   Pour in the custard mixture to the mold once the caramel has set. Please be gentle because you don’t want to add bubbles to the custard mixture. Note: you can use a strainer to make sure that the custard mixture is smooth.

Coating the mold with caramel and pour in the custard mixture

  • Step 3: Steaming the flan (very important step)

o   Put the flan to your pre-heated steamer or you can use my way to steam by putting a small dish into the bottom of a large pan, then putting your mold right above the dish. Just to make sure that you are not boiling the mold.

o   Bring water to boil, and then simmer for about 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. During the steaming process, check every 7 – 10 minutes to make sure that the water (vapor) does not drop back to the surface of the custard. This is the key to succeed in making flan. In addition, you should check the heat to make sure that the water always simmers and so there would be enough vapor in the pan to cook the custard mixture.

Step 3: Steaming the custard mixture

  • After the flan is done, let it cool for at least 1 hour at room temperature and chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours before serving. I prefer to chill the flan overnight.

When you are ready to serve the flan, just run a small knife around the inside of the mold, cover the flan with your serving dish, and then flip it over. There you have it – a beautiful, smooth flan :D …

How to take the flan out from the mold

It would be a perfect flan when you pour in some fresh cold coffee. Coffee and flan go so well together that my hubby would not have it until we got some coffee. So please try this recipe and see how good the flan could be ^^ Good luck, everyone!

Pour in some fresh cold coffee to enjoy the flan


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