Friday, April 10, 2009

The Best Darn Flan



Flaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaannnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn...in all its creamy, caramelly goodness just melts in your mouth and cries for you to sip a cup of strong coffee.
Well, in my world it does.
But, some flan is just...meh.
Rather tasteless and bland, not really crying for anything other than maybe a brownie chaser.

This flan, however, is in a league of it's own. If you've been disappointed with other flan, give this one a chance.
"Give flan a chaaaaance..." sorry, couldn't resist.

Preheat oven to 350*

In small saucepan and medium low heat, cook and stir 3/4 cup sugar until it liquifies and turns a golden brown. If you've got it, stir in 1/2 tsp. ground vanilla bean really quickly. Immediately pour this into a 9" cake pan, rolling it around til it coats the whole bottom. It will harden like a lollipop.

In large mixing bowl combine:

8 oz. cream cheese, softened or room temp. (blend, blend, blend)
4 large eggs (mix in one at a time with electric mixer, we want this smooth, smooth like a baby's bum!)
14 oz. sweetened condensed milk
10 oz. heavy cream, half and half or evaporated milk
2 tsp. vanilla

MIX MIX MIX - smoooooooooth people!

Place your caramelized cake pan into a larger oven-proof dish (one that it sits flat and level in) and pour enough hot water til the water level reaches halfway up the sides of the pan. Pull out your oven rack and set this in the oven.
Next, pour your flan batter into the caramelized cake pan and carefully slide the oven rack back into place.
Bake for 50 minutes.
The flan should be jiggling as a whole mass (like my bum) and won't have a liquidy center.
Carefully remove your flan and let it sit at room temp. for an hour or so to cool off, then chill in frig overnight.
(The flan needs this time to chill so that the hard caramel on the bottom liquifies into a gooey topping...mmmm...)

The next day, or at least 6-8 hrs. later, run a knife around the flan, releasing it from the sides of the pan, invert the pan onto a larger plate with a lip around the edge to catch the caramel.
It should plop out without much effort.

Slice, eat, it's a flantastic flantasm!

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