Flan is a sweet custard dessert, in Vietnamese, we call it bánh flan or kem flan. The dish is eaten throughout the world. After chilling the flans, make sure to serve them within 24 hours while the flans are still fresh and have a crunch in them, otherwise the caramel will liquify. The recipe below has a coffee flavor, you can skip the coffee if you don’t have it handy or don’t like it.
1/2 cup sugar + 3 tbsp water
6 egg yorks
1 14-oz can condensed milk
1 can hot water (use the condensed milk can)
1 can whole milk
1/2 tsp vanilla powder
2 tbsp of instant coffee dissolved in 1 tbsp water
1 stick of cinnamon
Make the caramel:
Place the sugar in hot pan on medium high heat and add 3 tbsp of water. Allow the mixture to slowly brown in a few minutes, stir occasionally with a wooden spoon. As soon as it begins caramelizing, keep stiring to help prevent burning. When it becomes rich golden color, remove it from the heat.
Transfer the caramel to the ramekins, aluminum or metal cups: pour 1 tbsp of caramel sugar into each cup to cover the bottom.
Make the coffee sauce:
Add condensed milk, hot water, whole milk to a warm pan over a medium high heat. Add vanilla powder, dissolved coffee, and a cinnamon stick. Allow it to come to a boil then turn off the heat. Let it sit for a few minutes to infuse the flavors.
Whisk the eggs and egg yorks in a large bowl, then slowly add a small amount of the coffee sauce and whisk it well. Add the remaining coffee sauce and mix it in well.
When the sauce is well combined, pour it through a strainer into another bowl to remove any lumps.
Place the cups in a roasting tray, then pour in the hot coffee sauce to fill the cups.
Preheat the oven to 350F. Place the roasting tray into the oven. Pour hot water into the roasting tray about 1/2 the height of the tray. Bake for 45′ to 1 hour until it is set. Give it a little shake to see if it has set and remove it from the oven.
Remove the cups from the tray and allow them to cool for a couple minutes. Then transfer them into the refrigerator to allow them to chill for couple hours before serving.
When the flans are chilled, use a small sharp knife to loosen flans from the cups. Work it around the edge of the cup and carefully turn it over and place it on a serving plate.