If you like silky smooth sweet treats, you really can’t go wrong with flan. It’s an incredibly delicious delicacy!
You can make it at home, you might find it in fancy restaurants, or maybe at a dinner party. Of course, you can really enjoy it anytime that you want to but it does take a little bit of work to make.
Flan is one of those desserts that you don’t necessarily see every day. It’s not your average cake or dessert but it is super yummy and it is well worth trying out!
For some people, it can be an acquired taste but for others, it’s love at first bite.
What exactly does flan taste like? Ultimately, flan is both creamy and sweet with hints of vanilla and caramel in the flavors. It’s a unique flavor that you really don’t find in just any other dessert. The texture is absolutely creamy, although sometimes it can get milky or eggy if you are not careful when making it.
In this guide, we will walk you through exactly what flan tastes like.
We will talk about the ingredients and how it’s made so we can discover the flavors that you can enjoy in detail. We will also discuss the textures so you know exactly what you’re working with if you decide to give it a try.
Keep reading to learn what flan tastes like and more!
What Is Flan?
You may not have heard the name “flan” before, but this dessert is also sometimes referred to as crème caramel or even caramel pudding! It’s very much like a custard in texture but it is baked and has a sweet caramel topping that covers it.
What you should know is that there is a second type of flan out there that is actually a pastry with fruity flan filling.
For the purposes of this article, we are simply talking about dessert flan, which is what most people mean when they use the term flan.
Flan is delicate to make. It requires multiple dairy ingredients mixed together and then you have to use a water bath in the oven to really get it to set up properly. Flan comes from areas like Latin America and Spain.
Some people think that flan is the same thing as crème brulee but these two desserts are actually very different.
The best way to officially describe flan is that it is a custard cooked with care and topped with a caramel glaze.
What Ingredients Are In Flan?
To really understand the flavors, you need to know what ingredients you will find in the dish.
You will find a variety of recipes but most of them at least have the same primary ingredients, although amounts and specifics may change depending on who is making it.
Here is a list of the basic ingredients.
- Whole eggs
- Granulated sugar
- Egg yolks
- Sweetened condensed milk
- Evaporated milk
- Kosher salt
In most cases, you will make your own caramel using some of these ingredients listed here. You will find there are people who will purchase caramel instead so this is just a matter of preference.
The caramel layer over the custard base of flan is very thin and meant to be a glaze, which is where making it on your own might come in handy.
The custard base is made with eggs and whole eggs first. Whole eggs help to thicken the custard mixture while egg yolks help to make the custard rich. However, if you use too many eggs, the flavor can sometimes get a bit eggy.
Salt is used to balance out the sweetness of the dish. Of course, condensed milk and evaporated milk are both an important part of the custard as well, as is the vanilla. All of this comes together to make a sweet, caramel, creamy dish.
What Does Flan Taste Like?
When you put all of these things together you get something very sweet. If you’ve ever had custard this is the best way to describe the main flavors of this dish.
Ultimately, the dish will taste creamy with some vanilla and caramel flavors included.
Eggs are also a major part of the dish but according to some flan lovers out there, if there is too much egg then the flavor might become eggy.
However, when made right, the end result typically produces something along the lines of a creamy dish that is truly sweet with hints of vanilla and caramel to bring it all together.
This dish is high in dairy so you will expect the bold and sweet flavors of all of that dairy mixed together.
What Is The Texture Of Flan?
Flan is a type of custard so the best way to describe the flan is to compare it to custard. Of course, not everyone is familiar with custard.
The dish is creamy and has a texture comparable to meringue as well. It’s made with whipped eggs that are combined together with the other details of the dish.
The texture will be light and fluffy but also thick and creamy at the same time. Flan is incredibly unique in this way!
Are Flan And Crème Brulee The Same?
You will often see flan compared to crème brulee. This is because flan is also referred to as crème caramel. It’s is also referred to as caramel pudding so these both give you an idea of what to expect.
However, what you should know is that crème brulee and flan are not the same. Flan has almost a jelly-like texture. It jiggles thanks to the eggs and other ingredients all mixed together and given a water bath.
Crème brulee also has a custard base as well as a caramel topping. However, the caramel topping of crème brulee is hardened and meant to contrast against the custard rather than blend as a glaze over it.
While these dishes are similar as far as ingredients, the end result is pretty different which even affects the difference of the flavors.
How Is Flan Made?
Another important step in understanding the flavors and textures of flan is to understand just how it is made.
Flan can be challenging to make because you have to make your custard, you have to use the water bath, and you have to make your caramel glaze.
You can’t skip parts of the process or you will be disappointed with the results. Skipping the water bath might leave you with a custard that simply doesn’t set up well and becomes mushy or runny instead of jiggly and set.
The best place to start is making the caramel. The caramel part moves pretty quickly so be prepared to stay close and move fast.
Most recipes will recommend that you have everything else ready and nearby so you can be right there watching your flan process and not mess anything up.
Once you’ve got your caramel made, go ahead and pour some in your pan. Move it around to create an even layer in the bottom of the pan.
Then you need to prepare your milk mixture. This will include the eggs, evaporated milk, and condensed milk. You can whisk it together or you can use something like a blender as well to get things nicely mixed and blended.
You can pour that mixture over your hardened caramel. The hard part here will probably be getting it smooth. Some people use a blow torch to help smooth out bubbles in the mixture. You can also just leave the bubbles there if you want to.
Then comes the water bath and the baking process. These will go hand in hand. Bake your flan in the water bath slowly at about 325°F.
Then, you will cool your dish completely. This step is what helps to set the flan but it also makes the flavor really awesome as well. Once it cools, you will invert it so that the caramel glaze is on the top.
That’s pretty much it! Obviously, it does take some effort and time but this gives you a general idea of how the process works.