Creme Caramel!Posted: July 12, 2015
Made four minis and a big guy!
What I Changed:
- Instead of heating the cream/milk, I just brought them to room temperature and mixed all the ingredients together. Next time I’ll go ahead and do the heating step to see whether it prevents the curdling (see below)…but my understanding was that the heating mostly helped infuse flavors into the milk from, say, a cinnamon stick or some other spice aaaand I didn’t have any of that (just vanilla) so I didn’t really see the point
- Read this trick where you heat the pans before adding in the caramel to give yourself a bit more working time with it!
- I didn’t feel like the bake times were accurate based on other recipes I was looking at AND the fact that my pans were such strange sizes haha. Kind of just played it by ear and tested it with a knife! The little ones took at least half an hour, the big one at least one hour.
- Didn’t bother straining after I searched for the big strainer for 20 minutes and couldn’t find it lol
What I Liked:
- The mini ones were ready to eat in almost no time! Didn’t really need to sit and chill for as long as the big one did in order to firm up.
- After running a knife around the edge, they were actually all really easy to separate from the pans, which was a pleasant surprise! A trick for separating the minis that I caught at Abe Fisher–poke a hole into the foil!!
- Super smooth inside!
- There are so, so many variations in the ratio of milk:cream:egg. It sounds like you can really just wing it based on personal preference haha. I do like the flexibility of this recipe!
What I Would Change:
- If I make a big one, it needs to be thicker next time. The center of my big one tore a little bit 😦
- See the little holes on the side? That’s a sign that it was baked too quickly/the edge curdled 😦 I saw this mostly with the minis and not the big one…plus it happened much more on the edge than in the center so I’m not sure what to do about this…I guess I’ll try baking at a lower temperature?
- Apparently the recipes that call for cream cheese require less time to set? I hesitate to add cream cheese because I feel like it would change the flavor so much…
- I also need to try one of the recipes that call for a combination of sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk…I want to see whether that makes a difference in texture and/or curdling!
- My brother said it was really sweet, but I thought the amount of sugar was pretty spot on…I guess I could reduce it slightly?
- It’s so tricky working with caramel! My goal was to line 8 mini-pans but I got to four and then I realized I was running out of time so I just switch to the big pan haha. I started to make a stringy mess of caramel strands halfway through.
- My mom actually learned how to make this dessert in Bangladesh (my parents just call it “pudding” lol), but I don’t really feel like it fits in with other Bengali desserts so I can’t help but wonder how folks in Bangladesh picked up on it. I know this dessert has various Spanish (flan) and French (creme caramel) origins but they seem to overlap a lot so I kind of just lump them all together as being the same dessert. I also know that my dad has mentioned old myths about the Portuguese in Bangladesh that he encountered when he was a kid. I wonder if that has something to do with it? Just sort of speculating…
- I wish my flan were prettier 😦 😦