Bánh Flan is a Vietnamese version of a Creme Caramel. In this version, I’ve used a mixture of cream and milk for the flan, whilst some versions sometimes use condensed milk to make it extra sweet and rich. The caramel in Bánh Flan is typically a little darker too, which gives a slightly more bitter taste to contrast the rich flan.
The recipe itself is really simple, the trickiest part is watching the caramel and making sure it doesn't brown too far that it burns. This is also a make ahead dessert, so make it the day before serving to allow for setting time. It lasts up to 5 days in your fridge so it can also be made a few days in advance if needed. It’s a great dinner party dessert because you just simply unmould it before serving.
Makes- 4 small flans, serves 4
Cooking Time- 30 minutes prep, plus 30 minutes baking
Skill Level- Easy
- 1 cup of sugar
- ⅓ cup of water
- 1 cup cream
- 1 cup milk
- 3 eggs plus 2 egg yolks
- Extra ¼ cup of sugar, optional. You can reduce the sugar in the flan by not adding it to the custard mixture.
- Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celsius.
- Place 1 cup of sugar and ⅓ cup of water in a saucepan and cook on high until the sugar has dissolved and begins to brown and turn caramel. This should take approximately 5 minutes. If there is a corner of your pot that is turning brown faster than the rest, you can swirl the pot so that it combines evenly with the rest of the sugar and doesn’t burn.
- As soon as the caramel just turns a shade of golden brown, remove it from the heat as it will continue to cook and brown for another minute or so with the residual heat and you don’t want it to burn, as this results in a bitter tasting caramel.
- Ladle the caramel into small ramekins. Tip and turn the ramekins to make sure the bottom is evenly coated. Set aside.
- Heat 1 cup of cream and 1 cup of milk together in a saucepan on medium until it’s just about to boil and then turn off the heat.
- Meanwhile, beat the eggs in a bowl with the optional 1/4 cup of sugar. Slowly add in a ladle full of the cream and milk mixture and whisk to combine and temper the eggs. Then gradually beat in the remaining mixture until fully combined. If there is any foam or bubbles, gently skim it using a spoon.
- Strain the mixture into the ramekins discarding any additional bubbles or foamy bits. Stand in a tray of hot water (not boiling) filled at least halfway up the ramekins and cook in the oven at 180 degrees celsius for 25-30 minutes or until set. Check at the 25 minute mark and tap the sides of the ramekins. If the flan barely moves, it means it’s set, but if it’s still very wobbly, cook for a further 5 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool before placing into your fridge overnight to fully set. Allow at least 10 hours before serving so that the caramel has enough time to dissolve and soak into the custard.
- To serve, pull the ramekins out of the fridge for 5 minutes. Then run a small sharp knife (I’ve used a pairing knife) around the edge of the flan twice to loosen it. You should see the caramel start to rise to the top of the edges.
- Place a serving plate on top of the ramekin, flip it in one quick movement and pull the ramekin upwards so that the flan falls onto the plate. If your flan does not naturally fall out, use the knife to gently tug at one of the flan edges whilst it's lifted above the plate and it should fall out easily.
Watch the process