TWD #5: Flan-tastic Four…err… Five

March 25, 2008 at 9:02 am 35 comments

My subject line would be more clever if this were my fourth TWD challenge but just like there were really 4 Musketeers (Aramis, Athos, Dartagnan and Porthos) not three… things aren’t always what they should be. That’s my story and I am sticking to my subject line! haha.

If you are like me than everything is better with caramel.

Since fellow TWDers who made it earlier than me recommended doubling the caramel thats what I did. It didn’t take much convincing since I love caramel. See…? It does pay to procrastinate sometimes. haha.

What I learned this week:
I need to learn not to be deceived that a recipe “looks” easy. Next time slow down, read the recipe more than one time and enjoy every minute of baking for the tastiest results.

EDIT: To elaborate on my “what I learned this week” per Nikki‘s request… I learned how to speed read when I was young but its something automatic which is great for reading a college textbook, cramming for exams or reading for pleasure but with recipes its a little different and I really have to force myself to slow down or I miss steps like boiling water in a teakettle. Instead of saving me time, it costs me more time while I complete a step that I should have done earlier.

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Caramel-Topped Flan

Click image to enlarge
(Recipe from DG’s Baking: From my home to yours pages 395-397 | photos fro me!)


For the caramel
1/3 cup sugar (2/3 cup)
3 tbsp water (6 tbsp)
squirt of fresh lemon juice (2 squirts)

For the flan
1-1/2 cups heavy cream
1-1/4 cups whole milk
3 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract


Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a roasting pan or a 9-x-13-inch baking pan with a double thickness of paper towels. Fill a teakettle with water and put it on to boil; when the water boils, turn off the heat.

Put a metal 8-x-2-inch round cake pan-not a nonstick one-in the oven to heat while you prepare the caramel.

Variation: You can also make 6-8 individual servings using ramekins, pudding cups, coffee cups or foil containers. Skip warming the containers before pouring the caramel and bake around 25 minutes.

[NOTES: I used cupcake foil liners.]

To make the caramel—
Stir the sugar, water and lemon juice together in a small heavy-bottomed saucepan. Put the pan over medium-high heat and cook until the sugar becomes an amber-colored caramel, about 5 minutes-remove the pan from the heat at the first whiff of smoke.

Remove the cake pan from the oven and, working with oven mitts, pour the caramel into the pan and immediately tilt the pan to spread the caramel evenly over the bottom; set the pan aside.

To make the flan—
Bring the cream and milk just to a boil.

Meanwhile, in a 2-quart glass measuring cup or in a bowl, whisk together the eggs, yolks and sugar. Whisk vigorously for a minute or two, and then stir in the vanilla. Still whisking, drizzle in about one quarter of the hot liquid-this will temper, or warm, the eggs so they won’t curdle. Whisking all the while, slowly pour in the remainder of the hot cream and milk. Using a large spoon, skim off the bubbles and foam that you worked up.

Put the caramel-lined cake pan in the roasting pan. Pour the custard into the cake pan and slide the setup into the oven. Very carefully pour enough hot water from the kettle into the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the cake pan. (Don’t worry if this sets the cake pan afloat.) Bake the flan for about 35 minutes, or until the top puffs a bit and is golden here and there. A knife inserted into the center of the flan should come out clean.

Remove the roasting pan from the oven, transfer the cake pan to a cooking rack and run a knife between the flan and the sides of the pan to loosen it. Let the flan cool to room temperature on the rack, then loosely cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. (I refrigerated overnight.)

When ready to serve, once more, run a knife between the flan and the pan. Choose a rimmed serving platter, place the platter over the cake pan, quickly flip the platter and pan over and remove the cake pan-the flan will shimmy out and the caramel sauce will coat the custard.


Husband rating: A
He made himself sick on a “dessert” during Easter so he wasn’t up for another sweet flan taste so soon but he did take a little bite and liked it.

Wifey rating: A
I like flan but I think its an acquired taste. This version was very good and not as hard to make as I thought flan would be.

Next week: Gooey Chocolate Cakes

Entry filed under: dessert, Tuesdays With Dorie.

NFR: Peep this! NFR: Ten years strong…

35 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Caitlin  |  March 25, 2008 at 9:08 am

    It looks tasty with just the right amount of caramel! Good job!

  • 2. Piggy  |  March 25, 2008 at 9:25 am

    wow, your flan looks really smooth, great job!

  • 3. Ulrike aka ostwestwind  |  March 25, 2008 at 9:38 am

    Great idea to double the caramel! This looks great!

  • 4. nikki57  |  March 25, 2008 at 10:08 am

    WTF you can’t add a what you learned without explaining why you learned it damn you

  • 5. noskos  |  March 25, 2008 at 10:38 am

    Very nice looking flan! I like the cupcake liner idea!

  • 6. Dianne  |  March 25, 2008 at 11:19 am

    What a great idea to use cupcake liners! They look great!

  • 7. April  |  March 25, 2008 at 12:05 pm

    It looks great! I like the idea of using the cupcake liners!

  • 8. CB  |  March 25, 2008 at 12:52 pm

    CAITLIN, thanky! I think I could have done with more caramel but I am a caramel freak so its never enough. haha.

    PIGGY, thanks! It wasn’t as easy to slide out for me as the book suggested so its got bits and pieces around the outside but I call it rustic ;)

    ULRIKE, The caramel was the best part. So yum!

    NIKKI, what are you beeching about? I will go edit just for you… sheesh. hehe

    NOSKOS, DIANNE, APRIL, thank you! I thought the cupcake liner was pretty ingenious but I am sure it has to be the foil one. A regular liner would get soaked through.

  • 9. Gretchen Noelle  |  March 25, 2008 at 1:07 pm

    Very nice flans. I love the cupcake liner idea, so simple but so great!

  • 10. CB  |  March 25, 2008 at 1:13 pm

    GRETCHEN, thanks! I am a cupcake freak so anyway I can “cupcake” anything I’ll try! lol.

  • 11. Rebecca  |  March 25, 2008 at 2:22 pm

    Cupcake liners! Aaaaaah. Genius.

  • 12. Judy  |  March 25, 2008 at 2:59 pm

    Looks great! I’m puzzled by the amount of caramel sauce, though. I know that some people doubled the recipe, but I had plenty with the original one, so I don’t know what I did differently.

  • 13. Melissa  |  March 25, 2008 at 3:07 pm

    Love the cupcake idea!

  • 14. Mari  |  March 25, 2008 at 3:13 pm

    I love the mini-flans!

  • 15. Heather  |  March 25, 2008 at 3:22 pm

    I’m the same with reading through a recipe quickly. I’ve started forcing myself to have everything ready so I won’t miss anything. Your flan looks delicious! Great job!

  • 16. CB  |  March 25, 2008 at 3:50 pm

    REBECCA, haha. I could get use to that… being called genius.

    JUDY, Not sure. Maybe I let it go longer in the saucepan than you? *shrugs. I tend to like that dark brown color for my caramel.

    MELISSA, Seems the cupcake liners are a hit! :)

    MARI, thanky! I tend to be a mini dessert person so these worked out great!

    HEATHER, I definitely want to get better at mis en place. I am sure we’ll get better as we bake more. ::high five for speed readers::

  • 17. Shari  |  March 25, 2008 at 4:02 pm

    I like the cupcake liners you used. Great idea. And your flan is so thick. Looks great!

  • 18. CB  |  March 25, 2008 at 4:16 pm

    SHARI, thanks! I am really happy with the way they turned out. Gotta love thick custard drizzling with caramel. Mmmm…

  • 19. nikki57  |  March 25, 2008 at 7:23 pm

    TY for the editage I appreciate

  • 20. Donna  |  March 25, 2008 at 10:18 pm

    Great idea using the cupcake liners! But then again, you live for cupcakes!
    I’m gonna procrastinate next time and learn from everyone else’s little tricks!

  • 21. CB  |  March 26, 2008 at 5:45 am

    DONNA, so true. I live for cupcakes. haha. and yes… procrastination is how I roll. It works for me. ;)

  • 22. kimberleyblue  |  March 26, 2008 at 6:08 am

    Very nice! Wish I would’ve doubled the caramel as well.

  • 23. CB  |  March 26, 2008 at 6:20 am

    KIMBERLY, Actually I could have even tripled the caramel! haha.

  • 24. carrie  |  March 26, 2008 at 6:24 am

    Great idea to use the foil liners!
    *files into memory*

  • 25. CB  |  March 26, 2008 at 7:52 am

    CARRIE, thanks! I admit that Dorie did give me the hint and I just ran with it. :)

  • 26. Zakia  |  March 26, 2008 at 9:29 am

    your flan looks great. i scan recipes too. bad habit i need to break.

  • 27. CB  |  March 26, 2008 at 9:30 am

    ZAKIA, thanky! I am trying very hard to slow down but bad habits are hard to break…

  • 28. Rachel  |  March 26, 2008 at 9:45 am

    I should call you Ned FLAN-ders. I crack myself up.

  • 29. CB  |  March 26, 2008 at 10:17 am

    RACHEL, bahahaha. Ned has parts that I don’t have. I prefer maud tyvm.

  • 30. Natalie  |  March 26, 2008 at 9:03 pm

    They look great! Cupcake liners, genius!

  • 31. smellslikehome  |  March 27, 2008 at 6:51 am

    your flan’s looking great! i double the caramel too but still didn’t think it was enough. lol

  • 32. CB  |  March 27, 2008 at 7:59 am

    NATALIE, ty ty ::bowing::

    SMELLS, same here! I could have tripled it with no complaints. ;)

  • 33. Cecilia  |  March 27, 2008 at 10:55 am

    I loved how you included your prep pictures. Nicely done! I agree that flan is an acquired taste, but I can quickly become accustomed to it with this recipe!

  • 34. loree  |  March 27, 2008 at 12:18 pm

    Nice photos! I am glad you liked the flan…I wish I could have sent you my leftovers:)

  • 35. CB  |  March 27, 2008 at 5:14 pm

    CECILIA, I agree! I was surprised how much easy it was. I am sure I’ll make it again!

    LOREE, haha… leftovers are definitely welcome to send to me!


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