Ten dollars says you don’t know where Flan originated. Spain? Mexico? WRONG! The history of flan is said to originate all the way back to Roman times. Crazy, huh? Back then however, flan was a savory food, not the sweet and delectable dessert we have come to know and love today.
During the fall of the Roman empire, the recipe somehow found it’s way to Spain where it not only turned into a sweet treat, but also spread to the Americas and to the Latin Countries which have come to claim it as their own (and perfected it, might I add).
Typical flan is comprised of 5 simple ingredients (sugar, eggs, condensed milk, evaporated milk, vanilla extract) and it is really rather easy to make…however…and this is a BIG however, not all flan comes out great. Why???? C-O-N-S-I-S-T-E-N-C-Y. Yes, the consistency and texture of the flan is KEY.
Too runny? and you feel like you are eating snotty boogers.
Too hard? then you feel like you are biting down on rubber.
The key is to always cook your flan in a water bath. Now, when the human told me about a water bath, I got excited because I thought I was going to bathe (and for those of you that know me, know that I LOVEEEEE me some bath time). In this particular example however, a water bath does not mean Hami’s bath time. A water bath in cooking terms is when you place what you want to bake in a pan of hot water (see below). The water adds moisture to the oven which stops foods like cheesecake and flan from cracking and becoming rubbery, and dry.
Speaking of cheesecake…That is one of my favorite desserts. So the human and I decided that for this flan recipe, we would try our hardest to make it a FLAN CHEESECAKE. Can you even handle those two words together? Me neither. The secret to turning your flan into a cheesecake, is one additional ingredient: Cream Cheese. That’s it! You are going to HAVE to try this at home.
The result was an indulgent piece of heaven. Creamy. Smooth. Fluffy. Rich. Too bad I was only allowed to have just a little lick. Not being able to eat all of these human foods in one sitting, is really is the only downside of being a dog.
CREAMY CHEESECAKE FLAN PREPARATION:
3/4 cup white sugar
1 Can sweetened condensed milk (14 ounces)
1 Can evaporated milk (12 ounces)
Teaspoon vanilla extract
Package of cream cheese, softened (8 ounces)
- Ask your human to preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
- In a small saucepan, over medium-low heat, cook sugar until golden brown. Make sure o stir frequently. When the consistency looks like liquid gold, pour it into a 10 inch round baking dish, tilting to coat bottom and sides. Set aside. **NOTE: the human taught me a trick here. If you warm the baking dish right before you pour the liquid-sugar in, it makes it MUCH easier to coat the dish. If not, the sugar will harden too fast and you will not get a nice coat all around.
- Add all of the other ingredients into a blender: cream cheese, eggs, condensed & evaporated milk and the vanilla. After about 2 minutes on the highest setting, you will notice a rich, creamy consistency. Pour the mix into the caramel coated pan.
- Fill a roasting pan with water, about half way up (this will serve as the water bath mentioned above) and place the baking dish inside the water-filled roasting pan. Carefully place the roasting pan on an oven rack.
- Bake in preheated oven 50-to-60 minutes, until center is just set. Cool one hour on wire rack, then chill in refrigerator 8 hours or overnight.
- To unmold, run a knife around edges of pan and invert on a rimmed serving platter.