My favorite recipe for flan! You receive a rich, creamy dessert in the custard type that is drizzled with intensely flavored caramel sauce. And to truly top it off, this variation also incorporates delicious cream cheese!
Flan is a delicacy popular in Europe and Latin America that consists of a custard base made with milk, eggs, and sugar with a caramel topping (which may already be included in the milk).
For the best texture, it is typically baked in a water bath. After baking, it is chilled before being flipped onto a dish.
It is flan de queso, or cream cheese flan, in this variation. It’s without a doubt my favorite! Traditional Spanish flan is delicious, but it gets much better when you add some thick, sour cream cheese.
I’ve included step-by-step pictures here. This is especially useful for the phase involving the caramel; take care not to burn it. also that you work quickly and meticulously.
Other than that, making this homemade flan is simple. Furthermore, who doesn’t enjoy a dish that just calls for six ingredients?
What Flavor Does It Have?
The topping of flan has a rich, toasted sugar caramel flavor, while the foundation has a very milky, wonderfully sweet, and faintly eggy flavor.
Its flavor is comparable to crème Brulee or panna cotta, but the three desserts have quite different textures.
Ingredients In Flan
Milk condensed with sugar:
Creamy, sweetened milk is a crucial component of this dish.
Although it has a similar condensed milk flavor, this one is unsweetened.
This is needed to make the caramel topping, and since there is already a lot added to the sweetened condensed milk, you only need a small amount to make the flan custard.
Although it’s not a staple in the most traditional flan, in my opinion, this component makes the tastiest flan.
These impart the traditional custard flavor and texture to the dessert. They keep everything in place.
an ingredient that is used to boost flavor. An excellent alternative would be a vanilla bean.
How Is Flan Prepared?
- Heat the oven and bring the water to a boil for a water bath. Then, have a 9-inch cake pan ready and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- To prepare caramel sauce, combine 1/4 cup water and 3/4 cup granulated sugar in a saucepan. Stirring continuously, cook over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture starts to boil.
- Once boiling, stop stirring and allow the mixture to simmer until it is almost entirely amber in color. Remove from heat, let sit for five seconds, then whisk in the remaining 1 Tbsp warm water (it may slightly splutter and steam as it is added).
- Pour caramelized sugar into a cake pan or a 2-quart baking dish, then slowly tilt the pan in a circular motion to cover the bottom of the pan (be careful, the pan will be hot!). Place aside.
- Cream cheese and sugar are combined to make flan custard: Cream cheese and 2 tablespoons of sugar should be combined in a mixing dish and blended just until creamy.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, and then the milk. Then combine evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and vanilla essence.
- Pour the milk mixture over the caramel layer in the pan and top with custard. Place the pan in a roasting pan that fits snugly and has ample room around it. Fill the cake pan with hot water until it is approximately halfway up the sides.
- Bake in a water bath for 50 to 70 minutes, or until almost set (it should still jiggle somewhat).
- Remove from the water bath (a roasting pan filled with water) and let cool for an hour on a wire rack. Place in refrigerator and refrigerate for four hours.
- Run a sharp knife around the flan just above the pan, then set a big-rimmed serving dish over the pan to invert it onto a platter. Flip the flan to the other side and let it fall into the platter while maintaining control of the plate.
- Slice, then dish.
How to Keep?
It should be kept in the refrigerator in an airtight container due to the amount of dairy it contains. It should last up to three days in the refrigerator.
Can you freeze it?
Although flan can generally be frozen, I don’t recommend it because the texture won’t be as delicious.
The Best Caramel Flan Recipe: Tips
- Take it easy on the eggs. In my opinion, some recipes use far too many eggs and their taste starts to overwhelm the dessert. Here I found that four is plenty. With other recipes using more eggs, I may consider swapping a whole egg for 2 egg yolks because the whites have that pronounced egg flavor.
- Soften cream cheese well. I just do this in the microwave so it’s extra soft. It blends better this way, with no lumps.
- Be sure to mix ingredients long enough to fully incorporate them.
- Don’t grease the pan. It’s not necessary for flan.
- Use a water bath for the best texture.
- Careful not to over-bake or it can become rubbery from over-cooked eggs.
- Don’t skip chill time! The flan must hold up to inverting, and the texture is best when chilled through.
- Run a knife as close to the edge of the pan as possible before inverting for the best appearance.
- The cream cheese can be omitted from this recipe. If you do this, you can skip the 2 Tbsp of sugar in the filling because it will still be very sweet.
- Try adding additional cinnamon, coconut extract, citrus zest, or a tablespoon of bourbon to boost the flavor.
- Add 1 cup of canned pumpkin and 2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice to make pumpkin flan (add along with milk). It can take a little longer to bake.
Additional Delectable Latin Desserts
- Deep-fried ice cream
- Cookies for Mexican weddings
- Torte de Leche
- 3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp warm water
Flan custard mixture
- 1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, well softened (see notes)
- 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 (14 oz) can sweeten condensed milk
- 1 (12 oz) can evaporate milk
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- To use as a water bath, bring a large amount of water to a boil in a saucepan or kettle (the flan will be baked in a dish set in a roasting pan surrounded by boiling water). turn the oven on to 350 degrees.
- Prepare a 2-quart round baking dish, souffle pan, or a 9-inch by 2-inch cake pan without any grease for the caramel coating.
- Mix 3/4 cup granulated sugar and 1/4 cup water in a small pot. When the sugar has dissolved and the mixture starts to boil, place the pan over medium heat and simmer, stirring constantly.
- When it starts to boil, stop stirring and let it cook until the color is almost exactly amber. Remove from heat, let sit for five seconds, then whisk in the remaining 1 Tbsp warm water (it may slightly splutter and steam as it is added).
- Pour the caramelized sugar into a cake pan or a 2-quart baking dish right away, then slowly tilt the pan in a circular motion to cover the entire bottom (be careful, the pan will be hot!). Place aside.
- To make the flan custard, combine the cream cheese and 2 tablespoons sugar in a large mixing bowl and stir with an electric hand mixer just until combined.
- Add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition just until incorporated. Then combine evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and vanilla essence.
- Over the caramel layer on the cake pan, pour the milk mixture. Place the pan in a roasting pan that fits snugly and has ample room around it. Fill the cake pan with hot water until it is approximately halfway up the sides.
- Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until almost set (it should still jiggle somewhat).
- Remove carefully from the water bath (water-filled roasting pan) and place on a wire rack to cool for an hour. Place in refrigerator and refrigerate for four hours.
- Place a big-rimmed serving dish over the pan after running a sharp knife around the flan right up next to the pan. Flip the flan to the other side and let it fall into the platter while maintaining control of the plate.
- Slice, then dish. Keep it in the fridge.
- *You can eliminate the cream cheese and the additional 2 Tbsp sugar if you want to make a more classic flan.
- **Take note that it could take up to 15 minutes longer if you left the oven door open for a long time in the beginning when adding the flan and a lot of heat escaped. I discovered this once during testing when I placed the roasting pan in the oven and then added the boiling water from there.