This is one of mine favourite desserts.It is easy to make, with only 4 ingredients, ( 5, if you count the water for the caramel sauce). It is creamy and not too sweet. It is a perfect dessert when you are craving for something sweet but have nothing left in your fridge.
Step 1: Heat the Milk
In a small saucepan, measure 375ml of milk, about 75g of sugar and about a teaspoon of vanilla extract. Heat the sauce pan on medium-low heat till the milk begins to simmer. Leave the milk to cool till lukewarm.
*note: Make sure all the sugar is devolved before you remove the milk from heat
Step 2: Caramel Sauce Yeah
While you are waiting for the milk to cool, take another sauce pan and start making caramel sauce. Add 4Tbs of sugar in a pan alone with 1 Tbs of water. Put the sugar over high heat. Once the water start to boil, turn the heat down to low. The sugar will boil for a while and then slowly change colour. Once the sauce has reached a golden brown, turn off the heat and add in Tbs of water. This will help the mixture to cool down and prevent the caramel from overcooking. Quickly pour the caramel sauce into ramekins and swirl the ramekin slowly to even out the sauce.
* Note: Do not mix the sugar with any spatula or spoon because that will make the sugar crystallize and you will end up with hard rock white sugar bit.
*Note: The sauce will spatter and sizzle when you add in the Tbs of water. The sauce will be burning hot at the point so watch out for the spatter.
Step 3: Whisk the Eggs~
Crack three eggs in a large bowl and whisk them. Keep the bottom of your whisk in contact with the bowl to avoid air bubbles from forming.
Step 4: Temper the Eggs
Slowly, add in the warm milk and whisk at the same time. You want to keep whisking to avoid the heat from overcooking the egg.
*Note: Remember to add the milk slowly, If you pour too much in at once the eggs will overheat and you will end up with scrambled eggs!
Step 5: Sieve the Custard Mixture
After mixing in all the milk, pour the mixture through a sieve to remove air bubbles. repeat this step two to three times.
Step 6: Pour the Custard Over the Caramel
Use a spoon or ladle, pour the custard mixture over the caramel.
Step 7: Cover the Ramekins
Use tin foil to cover the top of the ramekins, this will help the custard cook evenly. Use a toothpick or anything that is small and sharp, poke 3 holes on the tin foil. This will help heat to escape the ramekin and the holes will prevent condensations from forming inside the foil lids.
Step 8: Steam the Custard
In a large, deep pot, pour in 4 cm of water and place a piece of cheesecloth or clean kitchen towel in the pot. Place the ramekins in the water. Make sure the water is about half way up to the ramekins. Cover the pot with a lid and turn heat to medium-high and start a stopwatch. Once the water starts to boil, turn the heat down to medium-low and continue to cook till the stopwatch reads 8 minutes. Take the ramekins out of the pot, remove the tin foil and the cream caramel is ready to serve. Bon Appetite!
You can also steam the custard in small glass bottles like the one I used for the cover-picture and they would be a perfect gift for friends and family!
*Note: If you are worried the custard is not fully cooked, check by poking a toothpick in the center of the ramekin. If the toothpick stands, the cream caramel has been fully cooked.
* Note: This delicious dessert can be serve cold or hot, and it can last 2 days max in the fridge.
* Note: I know 8 minutes seem short and uncooked eggs may cause disease, but you do not want to overcook the flan. Overcooked custard will loose its signature smooth, soft texture. The perfectly cooked flan should be very smooth and there should not be any air bubbles in the custard.