Friday, December 5, 2008

Mom's Recipes: Bánh Flan

My mom and my sister love, love bánh flan. Flan, or crème caramel, is a remnant from French colonialism and it's funny how it's common in different cultures including Spain and Latin America. I enjoy it, but not enough to bother making it. I would bother requesting my mom to make it though! While I was in Vietnam, I had never had so much bánh flan in a seven month period. Mind you, the bánh flan in Vietnam are usually very small, compared to the ones my mom makes in ramekins.

Do you like my mom's efforts at being artsy?

Bánh Flan - makes 5

Making the caramel
* 8 tsp sugar
* 2 tsp water

Place water and sugar in a little pot.
Bring water to a boil and let it bubble for 5 minutes, while swirling the whole pot – do not insert any utensil into the caramel or the sugar will crystallize.
Turn the heat down to Medium for another 2-3 minutes until you obtain a golden brown colour – the darker the colour, the more bitter it will be.
Add another ½ tbsp of water. (Sugar can also be added if there is insufficient caramel.)
Pour caramel in a ramekin (my mom even used coffee cups).

Initial water and sugar mixture.

Caramel is starting to colour.

This is a bit too dark and will be a bit bitter.

Pour into containers that will hold the flan.

This is a nice colour for the caramel.

For the custard
* 2 egg yolks
* 1 egg
* 1-⅞ cup (about 470 mL, or a bit less than 2 cups) milk
* 2 tbsp sugar
* ½ tsp vanilla extract, or lime zest instead

Mix milk with sugar.
Heat up milk until it is warm - not too hot or the eggs will curdle when you add them.
Beat the eggs yolks and egg together, and add to the warm milk.
You can add any flavouring you want to the mixture, vanilla or lime zest.
Pour the mixture through a strainer into individual containers on top of the caramel.
Meanwhile, set up a bain marie (My mom uses a deep pan with a lid and with about an inch of water) and turn on the heat.
Place the containers in the bain marie (the water should be barely simmering). Put the lid on but do not completely cover to allow some air out (my mom puts a chopstick in between the pot and the lid).
The heat should be set at Low. Cooking slowly at a low temperature ensures a smooth consistency.
Cook for 30 minutes or until it is no longer jiggly. (You could also bake this but the top will not be as smooth.)
Cool down.
Run a knife around the edge to loosen and flip the custard onto a plate.
Or you can eat it in the container.

Pouring the eggs into the milk mixture.

Pouring the mixture through a strainer.

Ready to dig in!


Thuy said...

Thank you for this recipe, I tried it last weekend and it turn out really well. Do you know if there is another name for this banh in Vietnamese? My dad say there's another name for it but he can't seem to remember.

Miss.Adventure said...

Thuy, I'm glad it worked out! I don't know of any other name for this. Even in Vietnam, they called it banh flan (flan is also used in French and Spanish). I would ask my mom, but she's in VN!

Anonymous said...

Nguoi Bac con goi la banh "Caramen", co le tai lam duong thanh caramel.

carolbearle said...

My grandmother , god rest her sole, used to call it Bahn Sua (milk cake). She would also add golden raisins to her caramel sauce. That's how I grew up eating flan! Thanks for the memories!!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the recipe! I haven't try making it yet, but I can't wait to try ;-) I just have to confirm one last thing with you -- On the very first and last images of the flan, it looks like there is a sauce beneath/around the flan and I just wanted to confirm if that brown sauce is actually the caramelized sugar and water? If not, what is it?

Another question: I love the coffee flavor. What can I do to achieve that "coffee" flavor flan?

Thanks so much!!


Miss.Adventure said...

Thanks for stopping in! Yes, the brown sauce is the caramel sauce. For a coffee flavour, you could add a few grains of instant espresso to the warm milk, make sure it's dissolved and use that coffee flavoured milk for the custard. Let me know how it turns out!

Menina said...

There's an easier way to do this...

Just mix together equal liquid amounts of condensed milk, eggs, and water, then steam until solid. Make sure to use a mixer so the egg white doesn't separate. :)

Oh, it's more material-consuming than your recipe, but you don't need to eat a lot! yumm.. :)

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

@ Tác giả : Cám ơn bạn, công thức đơn giản và dễ hiểu lắm.

@Thuy : Có lẽ ba của bạn muốn nói đến "Bánh Gan" chăng ??? Tuy nhiên đây là hai loại bánh khác nhau dù rất giống !!!


Anonymous said...

bánh lăn~~ >XXXXD ~~

Trish said...

Hey Miss ADVENTURE IM PLANING TO MAKE THIS IN AN OVEN DO you know what would be the great temperature and minutes it need to be baked in the oven thank you and please kindly respond :)

Anonymous said...

Yes, it is called kem "op lang"