|Espresso Caramel Flan|
My family used to run a coffee house when we were still in Vietnam. One of the specialty desserts we served was Flan which is a delicious custard dessert inherited from French colonialism. I was under 10 years old at that time but i still remember how the flan was served; perhaps it was one of my favorite desserts or perhaps it was just anything culinary related that captured my selective memory.
I love the delicate, beautiful amber color and its smooth, velvety texture. The cold of shaved ice reduces the sweetness of the flan's caramel, maintains it's texture and keeps it nice and cool.
I remembered each flan was made in a very small round, 2/3 inch thick tin cup, about the size of a condense milk can. After it was done, the flan was flipped into a plate, and topped with shaved ice. Flan was made of eggs, milk and condense milk and these ingredients were expensive; therefore, flan was one of those expensive desserts in the 80's.
A couple weeks ago it was my husband's birthday so I decided to make flan as one of the desserts. Instead of eating plain flan, I garnished fruits on top of the flan to enhance its taste and beauty.
RECIPE: Kem Flan
1/2 cup Sugar
1 tablespoon Espresso, optional
5 egg yolks
1 can 14oz sweet condensed milk
1 can boiling hot water (use the condensed milk can to measure)
1 can whole milk
1 bag of vanilla or 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
Caramelizing the Sugar
Cook sugar in a sauce pan over a moderate heat. Watch the sugar closely as it heats. As the sugar begins to melt and turn from a clear liquid to a golden brown color around the edges, use a spatula move the liquefied sugar from the edges of the saucepan to the center. Be careful not to over stir the caramel- the sugar may start to clump up before it has a chance to melt. Caramel is done when it is just past the smoking point, and it has a deep amber color. At this point, turn off the heat and add the espresso if you like the taste of it.
Immediately pour the caramel into a baking pan and tilt the pan to make sure that the caramel is coated evenly at the bottom of the baking pan.
At this point, preheat oven at 350 degree. Make a water bath for flan by placing a baking tray in the middle rack of the oven and add hot water to 2/3 of the tray.
Whisk eggs until blended. In a separate mixing bowl, stir boiling hot water and condensed milk until dissolved. Add whole milk and mix well. Pour the mixture into the eggs bowl and do a quick whisk. Add 1 bag of vanilla or vanilla extract. Strain it.
Pour flan mixture in a baking pan, place baking pan in the hot water bath. Place a piece of foil loosely on top of the baking pan to prevent flan from burning.
Bake for about 45 minutes to 50 minutes depend on the type and size of your baking pan. The flan is ready to be removed from the oven when the edges are set. Gently shake the baking pan, the center of the custard should jiggle slightly. You can also insert the tip of a toothpick into the custard near the center. If the flan is still liquid, it needs more time in the oven. Remove from the water bath and let them cool down.
|disposable foil cake pans make a convenient carrier for flan to-go|
Transfer flan to the fridge and chill it for a few hours. Refrigerating the flan overnight is best. When it's ready to serve, loosen it from the pan with a knife and transfer onto a dessert plate and top with your choice of fruits or just eat it plain.