Birthday flan.


After two weeks without new posts, here am I again. Already in São Paulo, already
working (and very glad about it! Self employed people out there know how it is), already
getting to see the friends from here I've been missing, already missing too much my 
family and friends from Santa Catarina.
I hope you had great vacation, and have plenty of ideas for the year that's beginning.
It won't be easy, it never is. But it will be very productive, and will be fun, for sure.

I always thought that making flan was complicated and had everything it takes to go wrong.
I have tried it before, and it didn't work out.
But it was my brother's birthday, so I thought I should try again.
The recipe is the classic 1, 2, 3: 1 can condensed milk, 2 measures equal to the can of milk, 3 eggs, process it in the blender. Any mother around would that you that and think you'd be able to make the flan all by yourself. What about the details?
The details I got at Technicolor Kitchen.
Results: my first flan that goes right!
Now, don't you start thinking you'll just follow the recipe, because in my case I had to resort to my instincts. I'll explain while showing the recipe...

For the flan
1 can (395g) condensed milk 
2 measures equal to the can, of milk
3 eggs

For the syrup
14 tablespoons (160g) demerara or granulated sugar
1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons (100ml) room temperature water
(Cup measure: 240ml)

I started preparing the syrup: in a large bottom pan, I melted the sugar over low heat, until light brown colored. I added the water, without stirring, and kept the heat low, until all the sugar pieces were melted and the syrup got to thicken a bit.
I poured the hot syrup in a ring pan, 20cm diameter, coating all sides well.

I blended the flan's ingredients in the blender until smooth, and poured the mixture into the pan. Now, careful: Patricia recommends baking the flan in a water bath for 1 and a half hour, in preheated oven at 180oC.
I don't know if the problem was that the oven didn't reach the appropriate temperature, all I know is that after 2 hours in the oven, the flan was still completely liquid. What I did was raise the temperature and let it bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes more. Then I inserted a skewer and it came out clean, meaning it was done. Phew!

I let the flan cool down completely inside the pan, over the table. Then I stored it in the fridge and only took it out of the pan on the next day. As far as I know, you should let it sit in the fridge for at least 6 hours before taking it out of the pan.
I learned from a nice lady that before taking a flan out of the pan, you should run a bit of cold water on the outside of the pan. Then move it a bit to check if it's loose, and turn it into a serving plate, which should not be too shallow (because of the syrup).
There you go. Milk flan!

Serves 10 people.

I remember someone told me a trick to make the flan come out with little bubbles or without them. It's a shame I didn't write it down, so now I can't remember how was that. Does anyone know?
Also, I know some people covers the flan with foil before baking. I didn't do that. Does anyone know what's the purpose in doing it? 
Please, comment to let me know!

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