This is a great holiday cake. It’s rich, creamy, beautiful and sure to satisfy anyone’s sweet tooth. Best of all it’s so inexpensive to make, costing a wopping 5 dollars or so. Definitely better than anything you can buy at the store. This is my spin on an old family recipe from Cuba. Very yummy and worth a try. It may be difficult the first time, but with a little practice and attention to detail it should come out perfect. It’s a true labor of love; one that you will enjoy eating. Warning: You may not be able to stop at just one piece.
Flan (cuban style)
3 egg yolks
1 bar of cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 can of condensed milk (the ethnic brands tend to be better, more consintrated)
1 can of evaporated milk
a pinch of salt
about 2 cups of sugar
Round glass dish (that can be placed in the oven) or a holiday cookie tin works well too.
a large rectangular (somewhat shallow, about an inch deep) oven pan
Always start by preheating your oven to 350.
In a medium to large bowl add the cans of condensed and evaporated milk. (Tip: with the can of evaporated milk, because it has a heavy cream like consistency, I take a bottle opener that has a pointed edge on one side and poke two holes, opposite of eachother, on the top of the can and let it drain out that way) Add your eggs, vanilla extract, cream cheese (Tip: I put my cream cheese in the microwave for about 10 secs. Just long enough for it to get soft but not burn. This is KEY!), and salt. Mix on med low with a hand mixer until mixture begins to froth. Let it sit to the side for a minute and start on your caramel.
Grab a small sauce pan and on med heat add 1 cup of sugar and a drizzle of water. Mixture will take a bit of time to start to caramelize, but it is well worth the wait. Make sure your keeping your eye on it and stirring it often as you don’t want it to burn. As the mixture starts to melt add your last remaining cup of sugar and turn the heat down to medium low setting. Do not let it boil; it will burn, create a very offensive odor, and can be very dangerous. I do have to caution everyone when working with sugar. Do not add water to already caramalized sugar as it has a tendency to pop and can cause serious injury. From experience… it’s not fun. In either case once your mixture is free of lumps and has completely melted, pour the mixture into your round glass or tin pan.
Make sure that the pan you choose is completely dry and void of water droplets as this will cause the sugar to pop and burn you.
Be sure to coat the sides of the pan with the sugar by tilting it. Do not touch the pan with your bare hand, because sugar gets very hot. Add the previous mixture to the pan with the sugar.
Now, open the oven and place/position the rectangular pan on the rack. Place your round pan with the mixture in the center of the rectangular pan. Add water to the rectangular pan to about a half inch up.
Now is the fun part… put it in the oven and grab your self a seat. Make sure you set your oven timer to about an hour and a half. Fight the urge to peak at your flan, but at about an hour 20 check on it with tooth pick. If it’s still not done give it about another 20 or so minutes.
Once all your baking is done, let the pan cool to room temp and then place in the refrigerator. It will have to set for 24 hours. I make mine the night before a holiday or any kind of celebration so that it’s ready in time. Believe me it is well worth the wait!
Last step is serving it. Just place whatever dish you plan on serving it from (preferably with a lip, because of the caramalized sugar) on top of the glass or tin pan you baked it in and then flip it upside down. It should just come right out, dripping with caramalized sugar.
Very fattening, but if you really cared about that you wouldn’t be on this site. Everything in moderation!