Updated: Mar 1
Flan, also called crème caramel and known as custard pudding in Asia, is a creamy classic sweet treat made with eggs, milk, vanilla extract and topped with a layer of caramel sauce. It is a popular dessert in French, Mexican, Spanish cuisines and was spread to Vietnam in the 1850’s when the country was still under French control. This Vietnamese dessert is a marriage of two cultures and is silky and rich in flavor. Most importantly, it is easy to make at home and perfect for any occasion!
1/2 cup white sugar
3 large eggs
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk (can be substituted with whole milk)
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
1-2 cups of Vietnamese Coffee (made up to your personal preference)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. Make the caramel – In a saucepan over medium-low heat, melt sugar until liquefied and golden in color. Pour the hot syrup into a 9-inch round or square baking dish and coat the bottom with caramel. Set the dish aside to let the caramel solidify.
3. In a large bowl, combine eggs, condensed milk, evaporated milk, and vanilla extract until smooth. Pour the mixture into the baking dish with the caramel already solidified on the bottom
4. Water Bath Baking – In a baking pan that is large enough to hold and allow for water to surround the filled baking dish, put the filled baking dish in the bigger empty pan and add boiling-hot water to reach halfway up the side of the filled baking dish. (this is done so that the water doesn’t evaporate during the baking process)
5. Carefully transfer the pans to the preheated oven and bake for 40 minutes.
6. Let the flan cool completely and refrigerate it overnight for the best taste.
7. Serve the flan with a drizzle of cold/warm (your preference) Vietnamese coffee on top. Enjoy!
Tips for making caramel:
1. Choose your pan wisely – use a flat pan to melt your sugar because it’s very important that all sugar are heated up evenly in the caramelization.
2. A baking pan can also be replaced with ramekins, as long as there is a larger baking pan that is big enough to fit all the ramekins in one pan for the water bath baking process.
3.Do NOT stir the sugar while it is melting, just swirl in the pan occasionally.
4. Melting the sugar over low heat is the safest bet.
5. To prevent your caramel from crystallization, add a drop or two of lemon juice to the sugar. This causes some of the sucrose molecules to break down into different sugar molecules (fructose and glucose), which interferes with the sugar crystallization.