Monday, June 23, 2014

Five Ingredients to Luscious Crème Caramel

This crowd-pleasing, popular restaurant dessert is easier to replicate at home than you think. It will leave your guests amazed and in disbelief with how little effort was required to make such a luscious creamy flan that is often only enjoyed off a menu. Or better yet, let them ooh and aah, soak in the kudos, and keep the simple recipe to yourself... 

Crème Caramel
Makes 8 to 10 servings

1/3 cup granulated sugar
5 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 can (300 mL) condensed milk (I use Eagle brand)
1 can (375 mL) evaporated milk (I use Carnation)

1) Preheat the oven to 300 °F.

2) In a saucepan, cook the sugar until it is a dark golden brown (mahogany). Do not burn or syrup will be bitter. Pour into slightly greased ring pan or individual ramekins (makes about 10). Swirl syrup to cover bottom of pan. Syrup will harden in pan as it cools.

3) In a bowl, beat the eggs with vanilla. Add both cans of milk and, using the condensed milk can to measure, add one can of water. Stir well with a whisk.
 Pour egg mixture into the prepared ring or ramekins.

4) Place the ring or ramekins in a pan of water- fill halfway up with simmering water. Bake for 1-1/2 to 2 hours. The water should never boil or the flan will result in tiny holes from over agitation. Check after 1 hour by inserting a skewer. It is finished when the skewer comes out clean.

5) Remove from the oven and water. Cool. Refrigerate. When ready to serve, run the blade of a knife around the ring or ramekins, set in a pan of warm water, place plate on top, then invert. Allow syrup to drip down before removing the pan. Serve very cold by baking the flan two days in advance. 

Kids and adults alike will line up for this ultra smooth, rich and indulgent dessert! Lighten it up by serving a piece with a few large spoonfuls of mixed fruit. Create a beautiful medley by choosing various colourful fruit such as strawberries, blueberries, green grapes, nectarine and kiwi (my favourite combination or whatever is most fresh and in season). 

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