Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Simply Flan / Flan, Tout Simplement
Sugar High Friday returns home to Jennifer at Domestic Goddess and in this month challenge she is asking us to make our favorite dessert. “The one you crave when you are on a diet or when you’ve been away from home for a long time”
It is hard to narrow my favorite desserts to a particular one since I always fall in love with a dessert that makes me forget the others. Sometimes I crave a chocolaty dessert, sometimes a creamy dessert or a fruity dessert. Sometimes I only want a scoop of ice cream or no dessert at all. You see for me dessert is about a mood, an atmosphere. While dessert can only mean for some people a good ending to a meal, for me it is more than that. Dessert is proven, at least at my house, to release tensions, to enchant senses and to transport you home even when you are at 4272 Miles away.
Flan is baked custard that is very popular in Spain. Like crème caramel, both built on a mixture of eggs and milk or cream, they are all about texture-smooth and satiny. Custards owe their legendary silkiness to the slow cooking of eggs and cream or milk until the ideal consistency is achieved. A water bath is used for baking Flan because it insulates the custards from the direct heat of the oven, ensuring the even, gentle cooking that is necessary to baking a successful, silky, creamy custard. Custards are perfectly done if it jiggles slightly when it’s gently shaken. It is very important not to overbake your Flan.
I have been eating Flan since I can remember, battling with my siblings to who get the biggest part and the most of caramel. I love Flan. My family loves flan. Needless to explain then why I choose Flan for this event. This is just the dessert that I crave after a light summer lunch, the dessert that my husband and I craved when we were pregnant and the one that spoiled my so-called healthy diet a few days ago.
I like my Flan to be creamy, soft and light, even though there is nothing light about it. I hate grainy, dense and eggs tasting Flan.
Here are some Troubles you may encounter with your Flan or any baked custard:
- Flan is grainy or watery: it means it was overbaked
- Flan is too wet in center: it means it was underbaked
- When making your caramel, sugar crystals form: You shouldn’t stir your caramel once the sugar has dissolved.
My Flan has no fancy spices and no twist to it. It is a plain vanilla Flan, because when I crave, I crave authentic desserts, mostly from my childhood.
Recipe: Serves 8
- 9 oz granulated sugar
- 1 vanilla pod or 2 tsp vanilla essence
- 1 2/3 cups milk
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 5 extra large eggs
- 2 egg yolks
Put 6 oz of the sugar in a small pan with 4 tsp water. Bring to a boil over a high heat, swirling the pan to dissolve the sugar. Boil, without stirring, until the syrup turns a golden brown caramel.
Pour a little caramel into each mold. Pour the milk and cream into a pan, add the vanilla seeds or vanilla extract and bring the mixture close to a boil. Remove from the heat and let stand for 15-20 min.
In a bowl, whisk the eggs and extra yolks with the remaining sugar for 2-3 min until creamy. Whisk in the warm milk and cream mixture, and then strain it into the caramel-lined moulds.
Put the molds in a water bath. Cover the molds with foil paper and bake in a preheated 325 F oven for about 20-25 min. A toothpick inserted to test should come out clean. Remove from the water, leave to cool and refrigerate overnight.
In francais please: Pour 8 personnes
- 250g de sucre crystalise
- 1 gousse de vanille ou 2c.c d’extrait de vanille
- 400ml de lait
- 250ml de crème liquide
- 5 gros oeufs
- 2 jaunes d’oeufs
Mettre 175g de sucre dans une casserole avec 4c.c d’eau. Porter a ebullition sur grand feu en remuant la casserole jusqu’a ce que le sucre se dissout. Bouillir, sans remuer le sucre jusqu’a le caramel soit d’une belle couleur dore. Verser dans vos ramequins.
Mettre le lait et la crème dans une casserole et ajouter les graines de gousse de vanille ou l’extrait de vanille. Rechauffer a peine jusqu’a ce qu’il arrive a ebullition puis retirer du feu. Laisser infuser 15-20 min.
Dans un bol, melanger les oeufs, les jaunes d’oeufs et le sucre restant pendant 2-3 min ou jusqu’a ce que le mélange soit cremeux. Egouter votre crème et la verser dans lea ramequins de caramel. Couvrir d’une feuille d’aluminium et faire cuire au bain-marie, dans un four prechauffe a 160C pendant 20-25 min. Retirer du bain-marie doucement et laisser refroidir. Puis, mettre au frigo toute la nuit avant de le consomer.