Anyone who knows my friend Tony, knows she makes the BEST flan! It’s incredibly smooth, creamy and not overly sweet. Whenever she brings it to any event, you have to be one of the first in line or you won’t get a piece. It’s that good. I knew I just had to have her recipe. Here’s the problem…she doesn’t have a recipe. She is one of those cooks that doesn’t measure or use a recipe and somehow gets it perfect every time. I am not one of those cooks. Any recipe I create, I have to write down or I will completely forget how to do it. I begged Tony to show me how to make this amazing flan, and she agreed. I watched her carefully and was able to figure out her recipe. Now, you can also make Tony’s delicious flan and I’ll also show you how to make an elegant caramel garnish to really impress!
STEP ONE: MAKE THE CARAMEL
Many recipes will call for store bought caramel sauce, but I find that the caramel sauce found in stores is too sweet for this dish. Making your own caramel will only take about 10 minutes.
The most important thing to remember is DO NOT STIR THIS MIXTURE. Don’t even pull out a spoon just in case…leave it in the drawer. The caramel will just stick to the spoon and create a mess. Just swirl the pan to evenly cook, but again, DO NOT STIR.
Add sugar and water to a small sauce pan and cook over medium heat, just until the sugar has dissolved (about five minutes). Then, turn heat up to high and cook until mixture reaches an amber/caramel color (about five minutes). The mixture should be the same color as the picture above.
Immediately pour into a bread pan.
STEP TWO: BLEND
Pour the condensed milk, evaporated milk, cream cheese, eggs, and vanilla into blender and blend until mixed well (about 30 seconds). Pour over caramel mixture in your bread pan.
STEP THREE: BAKE
Place bread pan into a larger baking pan, and fill larger baking pan half way with water. Bake at 350 degrees for about an hour and twenty to an hour and thirty minutes or until the flan is the consistency of well set jello. Carefully take bread pan out of larger pan and allow to cool to room temperature. Cover bread pan with plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator at least 3 hours.
Invert onto a serving plate.
STEP FOUR: OPTIONAL CARAMEL GARNISH
This garnish looks impressive, but isn’t too difficult to make and will make quite a visual impact. Start by adding the sugar and water to a small sauce pan. Swirl pan occasionally but DO NOT STIR. Cook over medium high heat until golden in color. Like this:
Take off heat and allow to cool about 1 minute or until the mixture is the consistency of pancake syrup.
Spoon mixture into random swirls and designs onto parchment paper and allow to set until hardened (about 30 minutes to an hour)
STEP FIVE: ENJOY!