Hey guys, I am back! + When it comes to flans, it might not be the recipe, it is the technique. a.k.a. Mastering the Art of Making the Perfect Flan

Baking Log 12 – 02.10.2012

Hey everyone. Long time no see!

It’s Rose, and I am back! >D< Please accept my sincere apologies for not returning early in September as promised in the last post. I did finish writing my thesis back then, but had not sent it to my supervisor for checking yet, plus in my university, it is required of thesis writers to present their work in an academic environment and doing a maturity test after that. So many things to finalize this very last project, it made my brain go crazy all the time. Being such a perfectionism freak, I decided to do one thing at a time, finishing thesis and then restarting my blog, for both of their best interests.

Please, *puppy eyes looking up* don’t give up on me.

As a small token to “bribe” you guys :D, I will share my newest discover on the journey of perfecting a seemingly easy recipe – flan (also known as caramel pudding, Crème caramel, or custard pudding, that has many variations in different countries.).

After about 10 attempts on the quest to find the recipe for and to make the perfect flan with both disastrous failures and great victories, I had come to a very surprising conclusion about this tricky dish; when it comes to flan, it might not be about finding the best recipe, but it’s more about perfecting the technique that create the luxurious, baby-butt smooth flan.

My Perfect Flans

I used to make flans that came out like this. 😦 They were imperfect with spotted skin like acne on a pretty girl’s face; it kinda ruined the whole thing, didn’t it? Moreover, it actually tastes a lot worse than it should have. Below image is for reference purpose only, no offense intended.

Imperfect Flans (source: vietditru.com)

Now, I can make flan like this: smooth, flawless skin, and the taste, need not to speak more, a bit of heaven melt on your tongue.

My perfect flan

Anyhow, I also have created a recipe for myself that tailors to my taste, while being economic at the same time, by using whole eggs instead of just egg yolks. The results are still great, as you have seen yourself, with softer feel in the mouth and lighter (less sweet, less rich) flavor that serves well as an after-dinner dessert and palate cleanser. So the choice is totally up to you, either you can try out my recipe, or perfect yours with the technique demonstrated as below.

In the demonstration, I doubled my recipe that make in total four ramekins, one more heart-shaped ramekin and one 15-centimeter cake pan. If you are also a fan of flan, or have a big family/ group of friends to impress, I suggest that you double the recipe for economy purposes.


Ingredients (For four small-sized ramekins as seen below)

Note on ingredients: because this is one recipe that requires so simple ingredients, a small change in quality goes long, long, long way in the final products. Hence, my suggestion is, if you have opportunities to use the best ingredients (free-range eggs, fresh organic whole milk, pure vanilla extract, etc. please do! You will not regret it, period.

Ingredients needed

Caramel for Molding

  • 60g white granulated sugar + enough water to moisten them (about 20ml)
  • 2 tsp. of water (to loosen up the caramel, prevent it from hardening too much at the bottom of the ramekins)

Custard Filling

  • 3 whole eggs (to go extra miles, use 2 whole eggs plus 2 egg yolks)
  • 375ml whole milk (for richer version, use 375ml half and half or replace 150ml milk with 150ml heavy cream, meaning 225ml milk + 150ml heavy cream in total. You can make up your own proportion to taste.)
  • 100g white granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch of salt (believe it or not, a bit of saltiness makes every dessert better)

Extra Caramel Sauce (Optional)

  • 60g white granulated sugar + enough water to moisten them (about 20ml)
  • 2 tbsp. of water to loosen up the caramel into thick syrup (more or less water depend on your preference of thickness)
  • A splash (5ml) of Amaretto/Bourbon/Kahlúa/Grand Marnier/Cognac/Rum or flavored liqueur of your choice for a more mature, adult-like taste (optional, kindly remove this ingredient if there are children)
  • A splash (5ml) of lemon juice for more complex taste (optional, I usually use water or just omit it because I like the simple taste of caramel itself)



Making the Custard filling

Step 1: in a heavy bottom saucepan, measure sugar and milk (or milk-cream mixture). Heat it on a medium-high heat until the milk nearly boils, about 80 degree Celsius. You will start seeing foam forming and steam coming out of the mixture surface.

Milk is starting to boil.

Step 2: while waiting for the milk to heat up, crack eggs into a large heatproof bowl. Add a pinch of salt. Use a hand whisk to break the yolks and mix well.

Mix the eggs

Note 1 – I saw many recipes put great emphasis on not mixing the egg too much, leading to too many bubbles. I totally agree that bubble is the greatest enemy of smooth flan. However, I do not come to such great extent where you barely dare to move faster than a snail because you are afraid of bubbles. Of course, whisking eggs will form bubbles in some ways, that’s fact; while great cooking and baking is also about having fun along the way! 🙂  Therefore, I suggest that we should not stress our hands too much, shall we? Just mix with normal speed as you usually do, until the mix is well blended and there are no visible egg white strings. Some minor bubbles are totally fine, as long as they do not come to such extremes where egg whites start to foam up.

Note 2 – Some recipe might call for cool milk mix straight with eggs and sugar with no need to tempering. I think that with a whole egg recipe like my recipe, the tempering actually a very important step, because it will make the egg mix better with the milk, as well as reducing the egg unpleasant smell and the risk of easily overcooking the flan due to large amount of egg whites; ultimately leading to better taste and texture. However, do not boil the milk as it will be too hot and possibly curdle the egg mixture.

Step 3: When the milk just begins to boil (80 degree C), get it out of the stove. Use a ladle on one hand to distribute milk in small amount into the egg mixture, while the other hand constantly stirring the egg mix at medium speed with a hand whisk, like in this picture, until the milk is completely mixed with the eggs. Result of this step is a half-cooked custard or a tempered egg-milk mixture. The thickness of this mix should be a tad thicker than milk, but far thinner than fully cooked egg custard.

Slowly add hot milk to the egg mixture

Step 4: Strain the custard mixture through a fine sieve to remove any lumps or egg curds formed in the process of tempering the eggs.

Strain the tempered egg mixture though a sieve

Let the mixture sit in room temperature for 10-15 minutes until completely cool. If in a hurry, you can let the bowl sit in an ice bath to cool it faster.

Tempered egg-milk mixture

While waiting for the egg mixture to cool down, preheat the oven to 150 degree Celsius. Then proceed with the making of molding caramel.


Making the caramel for molding

Step 1: in a small, heavy bottom saucepan, measure sugar and splash in enough water to moisten the sugar. Heat it on medium high heat for about 2-3 minutes without stirring to caramelize the sugar.

Wet caramelization method

Note 3 – This method is called wet caramelization. It gives you greater control in the process, especially in preventing the crystallization and too fast darkening.

Step 2: When the sugar reach amber color like shown below, get it off the heat because it will cook further to the point of burning really, really fast now. Give it some stirs by moving the pan in circular motion, holding the pan handle(s).

Caramel at the right color

Step 3: Add 2 tsp. of water into the hot caramel. Be careful not to burn yourself! It will splatter and bubble up quite fiercely. Stir with a heatproof spoon until combining as a caramel sauce.

My sacrifice for the perfect flan 😦

Step 4: work quickly and extra carefully (My most sincere advice for you. I sacrificed the tip of my left index finger for this tip :() to distribute spoonful of super hot caramel into each mold. You can either divide the caramel for all, then give each mold a sway to coat the bottom of the ramekins with caramel, or divide the caramel and sway one mold at a time.

Coat the ramekins/pans bottoms with caramel

Let the coated ramekins sit at room temperature for about 5 minutes, the caramel will harden up very quickly. Now, if you interest in making the extra caramel sauce, it is now the time. Let’s go!


Making the extra caramel sauce

The purpose of making extra caramel sauce is to serve those picky eaters like me, who always want to shake things up a little, bring it to a new level. 🙂 As many might notice, the original caramel liquid of the flan is always very thin. Have you ever eat a flan where you saw their caramel sauce was very thick and tasteful, and wondered how that could be possible? I did, and so impressed that I had to do lots of research on where does that thick, heavenly sauce came from. Very fortunate of me when I came across this wonderful post of Chef Pépin about flan, here http://blogs.kqed.org/essentialpepin/2011/09/11/flan-a-la-vanille-with-caramel-cognac-sauce/ and knew that I have tickled the right spot.

Therefore, in case you are the same perfectionist as I am, or want to “wow” those special some ones with a surprising touch, double the amount of sugar you used to make molding caramel, proceed to step 4 of the previous instruction. You will end up with the extra half of caramel in the saucepan.

Step 1: Now, put the caramel pan back to the still hot stove (do not need to turn it on again), give it quick sways until the caramel is hot and melted into liquid again (careful not to burn it into charcoal) and pour in 2 tbsp. of water to thin the super hot caramel. Stir well till combined. The mixture will be a bit thin that you might think there is a problem somewhere. I assure you, there is none. 🙂

Pour the water into the hot caramel. Be careful!

Step 2: Get the saucepan off the stove; pour the thinned caramel into a heatproof bowl. You can see it is very thin, almost liquid-like, here in the picture below.

The caramel sauce at first are very thin

Step 3: Let cool in room temperature or in an ice bath to reduce waiting time.

Let the caramel sauce rest in an ice bath

After about 10 minutes or so later, you will see that the sauce is cooled and thickening very much, almost malt-like.

See how they thicken up nicely

Step 4: Now mixing in the flavored liqueur of your choice, I used a coffee liqueur this time, and lemon juice.

Sheridan Coffee liqueur I used for the caramel sauce

Step 5: After that, the sauce is ready to serve on flan, or on other dishes. 🙂

Finished caramel sauce

It store well in an airtight container in the fridge for at least 1-2 weeks. When serve, use a warm spoon to give it a little stir if too thick, then drizzle over chilled flan dish after reducing the original caramel liquid from the baked flans.

Pour this goody on your perfect flan


Technique to the perfectly smooth flan

As I said as the very beginning of this post, when it comes to flan, it is not about the recipe, but more about the technique to create this perfect dessert.

The method I use for flan is Water-Bath baking, known as the Bain-Marie method. It simply means baking the flan while placing the ramekins in a roasting pan filled with hot water until it is 1/2 to 2/3 of the way up the sides of the ramekins, used in delicate dishes where heat has to be transferred gently, prevent the dish from curdling or burning. The bain-marie method requires lower heat with longer baking times than normal baking; however, the results are so great, it’s worth waiting!

Step 1: Boil about 1 liter of water (more or less depend on the size of the deep baking pan/dish mentioned in the next step, it should fill up to ½ of the pan), leave aside and proceed immediately with the next step. You can skip this step if you want to, and use normal water instead. Using boiled water tremendously reduces the baking time; however, increasing the risk of over-cooking the custard, especially when you have not discovered the “golden” temperature in your oven. You call?

Step 2: So, what I do now is to line a deep baking dish/pan that can hold the flan dishes with TWO layers of kitchen towels, place the ramekins into it, like shown below.

Line the deep baking pan with towels

Note 4 – I use the black, thin baking pan that comes with the oven, so it gets hot very quickly; therefore, I have to line 2 layers of towels to lessen the heat fierceness. If you use aluminum thick, higher-quality baking pan, you can line only one layer of towel. Kindly experiment many times to have better results. 🙂 Put the caramel coated ramekin into the lined baking pan.

Step 2: Now that the oven has been well heated at 150 degree Celsius; the boiling water is ready; the caramel coat is completely harden; and the half-cooked custard is cooled to room temperature; it’s time to perform the magic trick. Gently fill the coated ramekins with custard filling. Do not pour too fast, or too high; to prevent the filling to bubble up (you waited this long to let the bubbles settle for itself, didn’t you?).

Gently pour the egg mixture into the coated ramekins

You should fill the cups to about ¾ of its size for better-looking-and-tasting flans.

Note 5 – If you want a smooth flan surface, you might want to cover the ramekins with aluminum foil, like this. I kinda like a little dry skin on top of the flans; therefore, I omit this step.

Cover the ramekins with aluminum foils (source: lanvaobep.org)

Note 6 – Don’t pour water in yet like I did below. Big mistake! A hot pan filled with boiling-hot water and almost full ramekins are definitely not your hands’ best friends.

Don’t pour the water in just yet

Step 3:  Carefully transfer the EMPTY pan that lined with towels together with the filled ramekins into the heated oven. Now, pour the prepared hot water into the deep, lined baking pan (not into the ramekins :P).

Inside the preheated oven

Step 4: Close the oven door and let it bake for approximately 30-35 minutes until the custard is “just set”. Check the oven every 15 minutes.

Note 7 – Definition of “just set”: This is a very vague, yet a very important concept in perfect flan baking. “Just set” is the moment when you tap the edge of the ramekins/pans; the flans feel firm at the outer part near the edge, but somewhat wobbly in the center (WOBBLY, not at all liquid-like felt). The surfaces of the flans are completely flat. You may be tempted to cook the finished flan a little more because it seems a bit strange to have call a jiggling dish fully cooked, but please don’t. Overcooking is what causes that “acne-like” look of the imperfect flans and gives it a too eggy taste plus a bit rubbery, unpleasant texture. I did not feel this moment the first time I made flan, either, so don’t worry too much. I hope that once you’ve baked for once or twice more (and you will want to make them often after trying it, for sure), you’ll get the feel of when it is done.

I wish you see how wobbly they are

Note 8 – If you use normal water for water bath solution, you might experience longer baking time, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Note 9 – If you bake in different mold size, the baking time will change accordingly. For instance, my 15cm diameter flan pan needs about 45 minutes to reach “just set” stage.

Note 10 – You might want to increase the baking temperature with hope to decrease the baking time. Worst mistake that you will forever regret, believe me, I did! One time, I tried to bake flan in 175 degree C oven within 30 minutes, the flan surface started to inflate when the water solution in the bain-marie pan underneath started boiling. It did not completely ruin the flan to the extreme of inedible, however, it is so much worse than it should have been if I was a bit more patient with the dish. So, my advice to you, bake at low (but not too low, otherwise, flans won’t set at all) temperature for longer time, your patience shall be rewarded.

Note 11 – There is other way to cook the flans that is very common in Vietnam, steaming it. This method produces softer, smoother flans in shorter time if done correctly. However, I think that this method is very risky, especially when you do not in control of the precise steaming temperature. Furthermore, I feel that the flan produced by the water-bath method seems a bit firmer, more yellowish, and intensified in taste. If you want to try it out, set up a steaming pot, pour enough water in, heat to shimmering point then reduce the heat to low to keep the water at that level, place the flan ramekins inside, close the lid covered the inside with a clean kitchen tower to prevent the steaming water to drop on the flan surface. Steam it for about 20-30 minutes until the flan is “just set”; check every 15 minutes.

Note 12 – If you do some research on the Internet, you will be interested in how the temperature for water-bath baking flan varies from 150 to 170 degree C, to some extreme of 185 degree C. Why this happened? Actually, there is no exact temperature for flan, just a range of possibilities. For instance, my oven is a bit hotter than normal oven with higher heat from the upper side. Therefore, I have to arrange my baking pan to the lowest rack of the oven and baking at 150 degree C. If you have more accurate oven, you can try the middle rack and 160 degree C. It really depends on each oven; I have to tell the truth. Therefore, if you find 150 degree C too low or require too long baking time for your case, next time, you might want to do some other experiments in the oven. They always say: Practice makes Perfect, don’t they? 🙂

Step 5: Now that the flans is ready. Take the baking pan together with all in it out of the oven and leave the flan to cool in the water for at least an hour.

Let cool completely then chill them in the fridge

Once cooled, cover with cling film and transfer to the fridge. Chill for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Step 6: To serve the chilled flans, run a thin knife all the way around the edge of the ramekins to break the seal; some caramel liquid oozing out is completely normal.

Run the knife around the edge

Step 7: Place a fairly deep serving plate on top of the ramekin; flip them over. Holding both the plate and flan ramekin tightly together, give a small shake. The custard should then drop down on to the plate. Pour any caramel in the dish over the custard. If the flan refuses to leave the tin, dip the ramekin bottom very quickly into a bowl of just-boiled water and try this process again. Here we have, perfectly smooth and super tasty flans.

My Perfect Flans

Serve well as it is. If you want to try a bit of Vietnamese-styled caramel flans, drizzle a bit of espresso and thick coconut milk on top, serve cool with small-crushed ice. I love flan so much; I eat it straight. 🙂 Each time is a burst of heavenly flavor on the tongue,yet the texture is so soft and delicate, it just flies its way to your stomach, uhmm. A spoonful of this, and you just cannot stop until the whole is up. 🙂

See how smooth it is, from the outside to the inside >D<


Two common problems and solutions

Problem 1 – Flans do not set.

This can be caused by too low baking/steaming temperature or too short baking time. Alternatively, the recipe proportion of egg and milk is not adequate (too much milk for instance).

To fix this, try increasing either baking time to about 10-15 minutes more, or increase the baking temperature about 10 degree C more than the current. If you try these solutions and the flan is still not set, it might be time to try another recipe. 😛

Problem 2 – Flans have ugly bubbles all around it; also the inside is not smooth.

This is caused by too high baking/steaming temperature or too long baking time that makes the milk start boiling in the mixture, lead to overcooked flan.

To prevent (no fixing possible at this stage, unfortunately :() Carefully reread the 12 notes that I have mentioned in this post. Through my own experiments, these are the best that I can give you. 🙂


Some variations of dessert flan you might want to try out

1)   Replace the milk with alternative liquid, such as:

  • Leche Flan – Replace the amount of whole milk and sugar mixture with the same amount of condensed milk or cooked duche de leche diluted in water or evaporated milk with proportion of 1 part condensed milk (or duche de leche) – 1 part water (or evaporated milk).
  • Coconut Flan – Replace half the amount of milk or all of it by thick coconut milk. I usually replace only half of it for lighter taste.

2)   Flavor the flan with additional ingredients

  • Liqueur-flavored Flan – Replace about 2-3 tbsp. of milk by flavored liqueur of your choice, such as Amaretto/ Bourbon/ Kahlúa/ Grand Marnier/ Cognac/ Rum or for a more mature, adult-like taste. Intense espresso that makes coffee flan is also included in this type (Not suitable for children)
  • Flavored Flan with flowers, extracts, or spices – For instance, using of lavender rose, or chamomile, pandan/mint almond extract, or cinnamon/nutmeg, etc.
  • Cream Cheese Flan (Flan de Queso) – replace up to 1/3 amount of milk by soft cream cheese. Beat the cream cheese first with eggs and sugar, and then cooperate with milk or evaporated milk using a spatula. The mixture will be thicker than of normal flan.
  • Pumpkin Flan (or Flan with Fruit puree) – Replace up to 1/3 amount of milk by fruit/pumpkin puree. The procedure is the same as cream cheese flan.
  • Chocolate Flan – Replace ¼ amount of milk by melted chocolate diluted slowly in the remaining amount of milk.


Wheww, best workout ever! (For both my hands and brain) I miss blogging so much that this time, I think I have (once again) overdone a post. I hope you guys keep up with me till now (as you are always very kind to me). Now, I might need a little rest from the computer or my brain might go numb (yet again), haha. 😉

See ya, this time, real soon.


89 thoughts on “Hey guys, I am back! + When it comes to flans, it might not be the recipe, it is the technique. a.k.a. Mastering the Art of Making the Perfect Flan

  1. Pingback: Shocking Transformation Student Reveals 8 Ingredient Dessert Recipe – Saturday Strategy | CookingBook.xyz

  2. That was such a generous and detailed review… Thank you for sharing… 😇plan to make one today following your tips… Just wondered.. Any thoughts on cornflour… And using a heated knife for loosning the flan?


  3. Pingback: Shocking Transformation Student Reveals 8 Ingredient Dessert Recipe – Saturday Strategy – Cooking Hit

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  5. Pingback: Shocking Transformation Student Reveals 8 Ingredient Dessert Recipe – Saturday Strategy - Easy Ethnic Recipes

  6. Hi Rose, I am on my third flan!! Each time I bake them they seem to shrink instead of staying about the two inches they were after I poured the liquid in! They bake and end result is good flan but not thick. They bake and shrink and are only about an inch in depth! What am I doing wrong?? I wanted to bring my flan to a friends house tomorrow and I’m at a loss. Hoping you will answer before it’s to late!! Thanks and btw, your site is very nice and fulfilling!!
    Kind regards


    • Hi Francesca, so sorry I haven’t replied in time!

      Anyways, how was your flan? I want some more details before I could pinpoint your problems because I haven’t faced any shrinkage in my flan baking before, like ever…

      So please let me know:
      – Kind of eggs, milks used
      – Baking temperature, time, method

      Usually eggs shrinks when cooked because of high temperature in short timing… Have you check you oven’s temperature if it’s really what it showed on screen? Better test it with an oven thermometer.

      Keep me updated! We can and we will make your flan perfecto!



  7. Hi, thanks for the great post!! Looks delicious 😊 Just a quick question, I tried this at home, and I’m facing a problem, after I took my custard out of the mould, it tasted perfect but the caramel layer on top was hard and could not be eaten. Can you explain, why? That’s a lot! 🙂


    • Hi Mukti, if the caramel is too hard, it means that you haven’t soften it enough during the caramelization process. Add about 1 more tbsp. of water into the caramel once it reaches the color you want to loosen it. (Step 3 – Making the caramel for molding)

      Hope it helps,



  8. Absolutely loved the recipe and your tips! I was wondering if instead of the caramel in the bottom layer, I could use caramel sauce. I have some caramel sauces left over and was thinking of a good use for that.


  9. I just had a rather weird result with my own flan. The outside had that overcooked, bubbled appearance, but just inside it was perfect, smooth and creamy. The whole house didn’t know any better and the picky eaters were asking for seconds!

    Trying to figure out exactly what went wrong – overcooked just slightly? Water bath not high enough?


    • Hi Cody,

      I think it’s because the water bath is a tad too high on the contrary. 🙂 Try lowering it down 5degreeC next time and maybe increasing the “bathing time” 5 more mins.

      Let me know if it helps,



  10. I just want to thank you,I made your recipe ,It is hot at the moment and I can not say anything about texture but I hope it is right and thank you for exact recipe. I had problem with bubble and acne like surface.


    • Hi Sally,

      I think it’s because the water bath is a bit too high. 🙂 Try lowering it down 5-10 degreeC next time and maybe increasing the “bathing time” 5 more mins if it doesn’t “jiggle” in the center yet.

      Keep me updated,



  11. Hi, I made these and they turned out pretty good but when I turned the flan out I still had hard toffee caramel in the bottom of my ramekins! Please help!


    • Hi Shay,

      If there is hard caramel at the bottom, it means your caramel is too hard, you need to add more water in to delude the caramelisation. I suggest add about 1 to 2 tbsp. more next time.

      Hope it help and let me know,



  12. Hi! Thank you for providing this helpful step by step caramel flan making. This is really helpful especially when you tell everthing not only the good part but the part when you failed (because we all experienced that) and explained how. The extra sauce is really a good idea, would really love to try adding the liquor to my caramel sauce next time.
    Do you have any recommendation for rum liquor for baking?
    Thank you so much 😀


  13. Ran into your blog today. My kids love but lactose intolerance. Made it right away with lactose whole milk, the neat thing is I don’t have to use the sweetened condensed milk. The best flan ever!!! Thanks for the recipe :).


  14. Hey thank you for your recipe it looks amazing. I was wondering though if you have ever tried ChocoFlan? I tried it before and I completely failed lol. Im sure i just undercooked the entire thing. Any troubleshooting tips for the perfect Chocoflan?


    • Hi Luis,

      Thank you for your kind words.

      I have heard about Chocoflan and successfully tamed it once (first try), guess we can all get lucky sometimes. 😀

      My experience with flan (of any kind) is that temperature and patience always pays off. For chocoflan, because the choco cake part supposes to “float” on top of the flan part –> make sure that your oven is not too hot on the top, or if it does, put your chocoflan on the lowest rack, lower the temperature about 10 degree C, and be more patient until the choco cake part cooked completely (aka. the top can be a bit dry to the touch). Don’t worry about the dryness because the caramel liquid in the flan will handle that just fine. And because you cook the chocoflan in water bath, the steam from the bath will help prevent this dryness.

      Could you feed me more details on your unsuccessful attempt, perhaps with more details, I could give more thorough instruction.

      Hope this help,



  15. Firstly, thank you so much for sharing such valuable tips and your personal experiences with us!
    I have been making flan as it is my mother’s favourite dessert.
    I have been facing some problem with them.
    I bake the flan in small glass bottles.
    My flan are often overcooked on the top part but just nice texture in the middle and bottom but when my flan is just nice at the top layer (means “just set”) the middle and bottom part is not cooked 😦
    How do i ensure even heating?
    Hope you can share some useful tips with me!
    Thank you for your time!


    • Hi Vivian,

      On top of my mind, I think this phenomena was caused by uneven temperature between top and bottom of your oven. You can try:

      1) Lower the rack to the lowest in your oven.
      2) Cover the top with baking aluminium tin foil for 15-20 mins at the beginning of the baking process.
      3) Both and alter to your actual observation of how it works on your own oven.

      Personally, I think making the perfect flan is all about practice, practice, practice, and getting familiar with your oven, since this is such a delicate little babe. It took me quite a few sweats and tears to set it straight with my oven. So take heart!

      Keep me updated and all the good lucks.



    • Hi Melovestobinge,

      The reason for heating the milk is to temper the raw egg used in the recipe. Once tempered, the egg milk mixture is more stable than usual raw egg milk mixture, resulting in more stable flan.

      The water is added to the caramelizing in 2 phases. First time is at the very beginning of the process, water with sugar, they call it “wet” caramelizing. Second time is when the caramel is ready and has the color of amber, water addition is to loosen up the caramel, which would otherwise be rock hard when cooled.

      Kindly reread my post, they are all in there, hopefully you might find some interesting tips. 🙂



  16. Pingback: I Didn’t Know “Flan” Was A Health Food – Saturday Strategy | UBT

  17. Cam on cong thu banh flan, banh minh lam rat min ben trong, chi co dieu surface hoi bi ro tam????’du minh nuong 140°C trong 45′, banh hoi kho lay ra khoi khuon su du minh da trang 1 lop caramel day o day khuon (banh hoi dang do nhieu caramel). Bat benh dum minh voi?? Cam on nhieu.


    • Hi Fiona,

      Nếu mặt bánh bị rỗ mà bên trong mịn màng thì có thể do thành khuôn vẫn bị quá nóng, bạn dùng khuôn nhôm hay kim loại thì nên để khuôn ngập trong nước nhiều hơn xem sao. Còn nếu bạn đã dùng khuôn ramekin thì bạn có thể hạ nhiệt thêm tầm 5 độ và make sure khuôn ngập trong nước 1/2.

      Nếu bánh khó lấy ra khỏi khuôn, có thể do caramel của bạn bị hơi “cứng”, giai đoạn cuối của việc nấu caramel, bạn cho thêm khoảng 1 tbsp. nước cho caramel mềm ra nhé.

      Hope it helps,



  18. Pingback: 5 Delicious Blender Bottle Recipes | Well Wisdom BlogWell Wisdom Blog

  19. Hi. I just tried this recipe since i couldn’t find condensed milk here in Norway, which is needed for leche flans that we make in the Philippines. I doubled the recipe and used a 1.5 liter bread pan. I baked it at the low part of the oven for the first 30 min. then at the middle of the oven for another hour at about 160C. The result was fabulous! It truly melts in the mouth. In the Philippines we use steaming method and it’s difficult to determine the temperature. So i think baking plus water bath is best.


  20. So the eggy taste has to do with the overheating? I double the recipe and use a pie dish. The original recipe says 40 minutes but i do 80, but i have notived that it might be ready in 40, and i dont use all of the cream mixture when i double it.


  21. Thanks for this post Rose! I attempted to make my first ‘Leche Flan’ and it came out looking just like your older version i.e. weird, acne, bumpy like surface and I had no idea why that happened. After going through your notes I now know that I had clearly over baked it and that too at too high a temperature. Will keep the tips you’ve mentioned in mind the next time I try the recipe. Thank you once again 🙂


  22. Quick question…..

    I need to get this flan cooled and onto a plate in 15 mins…it can be warm when when served but need to cool it quick and still be able to set and hold……



    • Hi Wee,

      Very interesting question.

      And for the answer. It will stay pourable, just like sugar syrup, thanks to the additional liquid (water, citrus juice, or liqueur). If you store it in the fridge, it will thicken quite a bit, malt-like. So warm it in the microwave for a few second to make it thinner.

      Hope this help,



  23. Hello Rose. I was reading your blog earlier. I have tried cooking the caramel flan several times. The problem is that sometimes the caramel underneath mixes with the custard, causing it to crack and have a caramel swirling design. Do you know why this happens and what I can do to achieve a perfect flan like yours? Thanks.


    • Hi Shara,

      I have encounter your kind of problem before. The caramel layer cracking or mixing with the egg mix can be caused by 1) not allowing enough time for it to set, 2) the egg mix is too hot or 3) adding too much water in the caramel when making it.

      Here I offer 4 solutions for this: 1) let your caramel layer rest some more, until it firm to the touch, about 5-10 mins 2) Add a little less water when making the caramel, adding too little, however, will cause the caramel to be rock hard and stick to the bottom after baked, so give my recipe ratio a try. 3) don’t add the egg mixture into the mold if it is too hot, high temperature might causes the melting of caramel. or 4) in case you have this problem again, don’t worry if the caramel is swirling with the egg, process carefully with the water-bath setup, them let the mold rest outside the oven for about 15 mins before baking it, because the caramel is heavier than the egg mix, you can see it gradually sinked to the bottom, all thanks to gravity!

      Hope this help and keep me updated,



  24. Thank you so much for posting all of your tips! I am looking forward to trying out some of the alternative recipes you shared…I.e. cream cheese, pumpkin & coconut milk flan recipes. Thanks again.


  25. Pingback: Flan! | wakeupthecake

  26. Hello,

    I just tried this (literally, like made it an hour ago and just tasted it! lol I tripled your recipe, btw), and oh. my. gosh! It looks and tastes perfect!! Thank you so much for the incredibly thorough instructions. It was amazing!


    • Hi Shep,

      Thank you for trying out my recipe. 🙂 And I am very glad that you enjoy it. This fact really encourages me to continue writing long, (but hopefully thorough ;)) instructions.

      I hope to hear more from your kitchen, and if possible, some pictures for the eyes as well.



  27. So nice to see you back! I hope your thesis is well-received after all the work you put into it!
    I enjoyed the recipe, too! You really did create perfect flans! Still no oven for me yet, but I really like that you explained the process so well with all the tips (I’m sorry for your burnt finger, though!).


    • Hi Grenouille,

      Thank you for your welcome. 🙂 My thesis was very well-received by my supervisor and the commissioning company.

      My finger is OK now, just a few not very visible scars left. 😛 I came by your blog earlier. Great jobs on the ring bearer’s suit, he is so cute. 😉

      Let’s keep in touch,



  28. it’s good to see you here, Rose, and also reading your all-the-time super long post ^^ Because of my laziness, I skipped some parts but after all, this is such a useful post for someone who’s scared to make flans like me 😦


    • Uh, thu recipe cua tui xem the nao e yeu. Ma nhu tui noi trong post ah, recipe that ra cung k quan trong lam dau, chu yeu la technique y. Binh thuong e lam co bi ro k, hay cung lam min sach min? 😀


  29. Wow Rose, welcome back! No wonder you have been away for so long. You’ve written a Flan thesis here! The result looks irresistible. I must pluck up the courage to try it one day – thanks for sharing! Hope you have also enjoyed a well-earned rest since handing in your uni work 🙂


    • Hi Lemonade,

      Thank you so much for your kind words. I feel very welcomed. ❤ Flan was once one of my (many) nightmare in baking. But don't worry much, if I can do it (please remember that I am quite a sloppy girl :P), you sure can too.

      Good luck and keep me updated with your kitchen, 'kay? 🙂



  30. Welcome back Rose!! Congratulations on finishing your thesis. I’ve missed your super-informative posts and I’m looking forward to reading them again 🙂 The flan looks absolutely perfect – smooth and creamy and caramely!


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