CREAM CHEESE FLAN, FLAN DE QUESO CREMA
How to Make Cheese Flan
Flan, in this instance, is a rich, custard-like dessert originating from Spain that is enjoyed all over the world (with different variations). This recipe adds cream cheese, giving the flan a smooth, delicate texture. Make your own delicious flan de queso crema and take it to your next gathering.
1 cup sugar
¼ cup water
1 can evaporated milk (12 oz.)
1 can condensed milk (14 oz.)
1 package cream cheese (8 oz.), softened
5 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
⅛ teaspoon salt
Optional: ½ cup of guava paste, lime zest, orange zest, 2 oz. of semi-sweet chocolate, ¼ cup of coconut flakes, ½ cup of coconut milk, or 1 tablespoon of rum
Making the Caramel
Heat 1/4 cup water and 1 cup sugar over medium-high heat.Use a heavy-bottom saucepan, which will help distribute the heat evenly and prevent burning. Stir constantly until the water boils and the sugar begins to dissolve.
- Before it melts, the sugar may begin to clump in the pan. Just keep stirring and moving it around and it will liquify.
- You can also prepare the caramel in a microwave. Mix the sugar and water in a microwave-safe cup, then microwave on high for five minutes.
- The sugar may caramelize before five minutes, so check on the mixture after four minutes. Open the microwave when the mixture has reached a golden brown shade.
Allow sugar mixture to cook and brown without stirring.At this point, the sugar will begin to caramelize. While you don't want to stir it, you also don't want the sugar to burn. Lift the pan and swish it around occasionally, which will help the sugar caramelize evenly.This will take about 12-15 minutes.
- Scrape any sugar crystals off the side of the pan using a pastry brush dipped in cold water.
- Remove the mixture from heat once it has reached the desired shade. It should be a deep golden brown or amber color.
Coat the bottom of 9-inch round pan with the caramelized sugar.Once the mixture has reached the right shade, you want to immediately transfer it to the pan you plan to use to bake the flan.Pour the caramelized sugar onto the bottom of the pan and swirl it around or tilt the pan so that it coats the entire pan evenly.
- Don't pour the mixture all in one spot--move it around as you pour so it's easier to coat the entire bottom of the baking pan.
- You must pour the caramelized sugar immediately after removing from the heat, otherwise it may harden before you can transfer it.
- If you want to make mini-flan or single serving flan, try using 8 (7- to 8-oz) ramekins.
Allow the caramel to set.The caramel should set fairly quickly, and it may continue to brown a little. Make sure it has hardened and cooled before you add the custard to the pan.
Making the Custard
Blend 8 oz cream cheese and 5 large eggs until smooth.You can mix your ingredients in a blender, food processor, in a bowl with a handheld mixer, or with the paddle attachment of a stand mixer. The most important thing is that the cream cheese is smooth and soft--you don't want any lumps in your flan.
- If you like your flan firm, you may want to add more eggs. Different recipes call for different numbers of eggs--sometimes up to ten. Know that adding eggs will make a larger flan (and therefore will take longer to bake), and may need an additional tablespoon of vanilla.
- Using ingredients that are all at the same temperature will help keep your flan from getting lumpy.
Add condensed milk, evaporated milk, vanilla, and salt.Continue to blend using your chosen method (stand mixer, blender, food processor), mixing until just smooth. If you want to add additional flavoring, mix it in with these ingredients.
- Try not to over-blend or use a whisk attachment to blend the mixture, as this can incorporate air into the custard and result in air pockets.
- Melt 2 oz chocolate and let it cool, then add to the custard mix with orange zest.
- Add ½ cup of guava paste to the mixture for guava and cheese flan.
- Mix in ½ cup of coconut milk and 1 tablespoon of rum for a deliciously boozy dessert.
Pour mixture over the hardened caramel and cover the pan tightly with foil.Once the custard mixture is smooth, pour it into the 9-inch round pan on top of your hardened caramel. You can tap the bottom of the pan to bring any air bubbles to the surface so they can escape your flan.
- The caramel may make a cracking sound when you pour in the custard mixture.This is nothing to worry about.
- If you are concerned about lumps, pour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer before transferring to the pan.
Baking and Serving the Flan
Preheat the oven to 350 °F (177 °C).Make sure there is a rack in the center of the oven to ensure even baking.
Place the 9-inch pan into the larger pan and pour water into the large pan.This is called a bain-marie, or water bath, which allows your custard to bake evenly and not burn.The water should reach about half-way up the side of the smaller pan.
- Pull out the center oven rack and place the two pans on the rack before adding water. This way you won't slosh water out of the pan and onto your custard when you try to put it in the oven.
- The larger pan should have high sides to hold the water. Use a casserole dish or roasting pan, and try to avoid dutch ovens, which hold too much heat.
- Place a paper towel on the bottom of the large dish, then place the 9-inch round on top. The paper towel can keep the round from sliding around in the water.
- Use warm or hot water to speed up the baking process.
Bake 40-45 minutes, or until flan is set.It may take up to an hour to bake, depending on your oven and the number of eggs you use. Test for doneness by inserting a knife into the center of the flan. If it comes out clean, then the flan is done. If the knife has some custard on it, then continue to bake.
- You can also shake the pan a little to check if the flan is done. The custard will wobble or jiggle slightly, but it shouldn't undulate like a wave.
- Don't allow the flan to brown too much, or you can end up with a film on the final product.
Finishing and Presenting the Flan
Allow flan to cool, then move it to the refrigerator.Remove the 9-inch pan from the bain-marie and place it on a wire rack to cool. Once the flan is cool to the touch, transfer the pan to the refrigerator for at least six hours.
- You can also serve the flan warm, which may be preferable for the cream cheese flan. Allow it to cool for at least 15 minutes before attempting to serve warm.
- You can make flan up to two days ahead of your meal. You can serve chilled or allow the flan to sit at room temperature for about an hour.
Invert the flan onto a serving plate with a lip.First run a knife along the edge of the pan, loosening the flan from the sides.Then flip the pan onto a serving dish and carefully lift the pan off the flan.
- Make sure the serving dish has a rim or lip. The caramel will run off the top of the flan and may spill over the sides if you use a cake stand or platter with no rim.
- Garnish with coconut flakes or lemon or lime zest if you wish.
Video: Cheese Flan Step by Step .very easy to make
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