Monday, November 9, 2009

Rosie Uses Her Leftover Egg Yolks And Makes Caramel Flans.

After making the almond torte (see last post), I had 4 egg yolks leftover. What to do? What to do? Lately, and this is unusual for me, I've had a bit of a sweet tooth, so a flan sounded like the perfect way to utilize the extra yolks.
Looks pretty good, doesn't it. And no, that's not pepper on the top (which used to be the bottom). It's vanilla bean seeds.
Step 1 ingredients for the flan: 2 cups heavy cream 1 cup milk (I used 1%.) 1 vanilla bean pod pinch salt
I slit the pod open and scraped the seeds into the milk/cream mixture.
I added the pod and a pinch of salt and heated over low heat until the milk came to a boil. Remove from heat and let steep for 30 minutes.
For the caramel, I poured 1/3 cup water onto 1 cup sugar.
Set over medium heat and bring to a boil. I never stir my caramel. I swirl it. Keep cooking and swirling Watch constantly, especially when the sugar dissolves and it clears up. Caramel can go from sweet perfection to bitter disaster in a heartbeat.
You want a nice amber color. Take it off just before you think it's ready since it will keep on cooking.
Pour the caramel into individual ramekins and swirl each one to coat the sides.
You need to work fast here since the caramel sets quickly when it hits the cool ramekins. It's best to have an extra set of hands in the kitchen to help swirl while you pour. Or pour while you swirl. Step 2 for the flan mixture:
I had 3 whole eggs, which I whisked ...
then whisked in the 4 leftover yolks.
And here, I should have the picture of the sugar going in. I didn't put in the picture of the 1/2 cup sugar that goes in here, because I FORGOT TO PUT THE SUGAR IN! Curses. I realized this just as I was taking the flans out of the oven. This is why you do a mise en place. Have all your ingredients at the ready, double-checked off from the recipe.
After steeping the milk/cream/vanilla mixture for 30 minutes, I removed the vanilla bean pod and scraped out more seeds. Then whisked it into the eggs.
I poured the mixture into the ramekins. This filled 9 different-sized ramekins.
Pour water halfway up the cups.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 40 minutes.
Let sit for a few minutes ...
... then I ran a knife around the edges and inverted the flans onto my serving platter. Do this while the flans are still hot so all the caramel comes out.
Flans are ethereal.
Since I forgot to put the sugar in the flan, I could sprinkle sugar on top, take my faithful blow torch, and make like a creme brulee.
There are always ways to correct one's mistakes, although this flan was just fine without the sugar.
I absolutely love the texture of a flan. It's smooth and silky and delightful. And the thing is, if I hadn't told Mr. Hawthorne I'd forgotten the sugar, he never would have known. They were delicious as is, but sugar would have made them even better.

Caramel Flan.

A luscious, silky, smooth delight.

See Caramel Flan. on Key Ingredient.