Thank you for the amazing 8 years here at A Baked Creation, we can't thank you enough for the memories! But we've decided to move over to a new site - Sincerely, Syl. Please join us there for future posts on all the things you loved here!


Monday, July 30, 2012

Vanilla Flan

We celebrated my parent's 30th wedding anniversary this past weekend. There was a whole dinner and slideshow-viewing party with friends and family. There were lots of laughs and great memories. I can't wait for the 35th party!

Thinking that everyone would be too full after dinner, we didn't serve dessert during the slideshow. I know, that is one mistake we won't be repeating. What were we thinking? No dessert? There will be a cake for my parents to slice next time!

Instead, back at home, I made one of my mom and dad's favourite desserts - flan (crème caramel or caramel custard). A reminiscent dessert from their childhood in Hong Kong and Vietnam.

The first time I tasted flan was when my dad's relatives brought over easy-to-make kits from the States. They weren't even from scratch!

I flexed my (non-existence) muscles and cracked my fingers (I actually don't know how to do that). Let's do this. Let's tackle flan. It can't be hard to make!

And you know what? It wasn't! Yes, timing is key and things got dicey when I was trying to pour hot caramel and snap photos or prepare the water bath (bain-marie). But with a few extra hands helping me, I managed to avoid any accidents.

The Perfect Flan
Recipe adapted from Bon Appétit Desserts
(Makes about 6)

1 3/4 cups of heavy whipping cream
1 cup of whole milk
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 vanilla bean
1 cup + 7 tablespoons of sugar
1/3 cup of water
3 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375 F. Have six ramekins (or cocottes if you need more) ready, make sure they fit in a large metal or glass baking pan (about 13x9x2 inches).
  2. Combine the cream, milk, and salt in a heavy medium saucepan. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean, add to mixture, and include the scraped bean in the saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Remove and let it steep while you make the caramel.
  3. In another heavy medium saucepan, combine 1 cup of sugar and 1/3 cup of water. Increase heat to high and let it boil - do not stir! 
  4. Keep watch as the caramel will go from light to amber to dark to burnt! In about 10 minutes, it should be a nice amber. Remove from heat and immediately pour into the six ramekins. Tilt to coat the bottom entirely. Place ramekins back in baking pan.
  5. Whisk eggs, yolks, and the remaining 7 tablespoons of sugar in a medium bowl. Gradually whisk in the cream mixture, try to avoid creating foam (air bubbles don't create smooth flans!).
  6. Pour the custard through a small sieve into the ramekins equally.
  7. Carry the baking pan with the ramekins to the oven. Pour warm or hot water into the baking pan so that they reach halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Be careful not to spill any into the ramekins!
  8. Bake flans until the center is gently set, about 40 minutes. Carefully take the baking pan out. Remove the water and let the ramekins cool.
  9. Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours, but overnight is best.
  10. To serve, run a sharp knife around the sides of the flan. I tried both flipping it out onto a plate and dipping the bottom of the ramekin in hot water for a few seconds to loosen the caramel. Both methods worked out fine for me!
Mmm, you can see the vanilla beans!

Love the extra caramel sauce that runs out!

Did you ever stop to think that flan and crème brûlée are sort of reversed? Caramelized sugar on the bottom versus caramelized sugar on the top!

My dad has already requested that I make a coffee flavoured flan. True to how he had it as a kid. Stay tuned!


  1. AH flan. My dad loves it, so I make it quite frequently. This looks amazing!

  2. Avanika, thank you! I'm craving for some flan myself now!