Don’t you love having your own dessert that you don’t have to share? These Mini Vanilla Flans are creamy vanilla custards coated with homemade caramel.
A delicious way to end a Tex-Mex, Spanish or Cinco de Mayo themed meal!
Mini Vanilla Flans
Our oldest pops by most Sunday nights to have dinner with the family. A month or so ago, he raved about a flan he had tasted at a nearby bistro.
He may have been in college the last time I made one, so I added flan to the list of must make recipes. I had my excuse to whip up Spain’s version of crème caramel, these mini vanilla flans.
Tips for Making These Mini Flans AKA Spanish Custard
- It took me a few times to get this recipe just right. The first caramel I used was just plain sugar and water and got too hard for my liking, so I went back to a tried and true version with a touch of corn syrup. I know many folks despise the use of this product, but it does serve a purpose.
- This addition prevents the recrystallization of the sugar once the caramel cools. I also use corn syrup in my Classic English Toffee for the same reason.
- I also thought these custards could benefit by being baked in a water bath like my favorite creme brulee. Yes, perfection! The custard was tender and creamy.
- Releasing the vanilla custard from the molds can be a bit daunting. I dipped the ramekins in a bit of hot water just to allow the caramel to soften, then ran a knife around the perimeter of the custards before inverting them onto a serving plate.
- I placed the plate on top of the ramekin, held the combo together then flipped them over. A little gentle shaking released the custard onto the plate and allowed the caramel to cascade over the surface. Heavenly.
Below are a few more fabulous recipes for your next tapas party! Whether you’re having a Spanish themed party or just love small plates. check out these terrific recipes from some of my favorite bloggers. These dishes would also be lovely for Cinco de Mayo.
What are Tapas?
The word tapas refers to an appetizer or snack featuring Spanish dishes. About a decade ago, tapas restaurants started popping up in the US, serving only small plates which combined form a meal. Tapas can be served hot or cold and the word tapas actually translates to “lid” in Spanish. One thought of the origin of tapas involved placing a slice of bread or charcuterie over a glass of wine or beer (the lid) to prevent flies from getting into the alcohol. From there, the patrons expected a little something to nosh on while they sipped their beverages.
Para Empezar, Las Tapas (Appetizers/tapas)
- Chorizo and Sweet Potato Spanish Tortilla Bites by Cupcakes & Kale Chips
- Gambas al Ajillo (Garlic Shrimp) by Pook’s Pantry
- Garlicky Shrimp with Pancetta Olive Oil by Grumpy’s Honeybunch
- Gazpacho Cucumber Bites by A Mind Full Mom
- Margarita Ceviche by The Crumby Cupcake
- Shrimp Romesco Bites by Cooking On The Ranch
- Spanish Garlic Shrimp by Life Tastes Good
- Mini Dulce de Leche Cheesecakes by The Redhead Baker
The classic Spanish custard and caramel dessert made in individual ramekins.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 50 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
- Yield: 6 servings 1x
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Boiling, Mixing, Baking
- Cuisine: Spanish
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
- 3 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
- 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk (1 can)
- 12 ounces evaporated milk
- 1 tablespoon vanilla paste (may substitute vanilla extract or the seeds of 3 vanilla beans)
- Fresh sliced strawberries
- Preheat oven to 325º. Set 6 ramekins into a roaster or large baking pan and set aside.
- Make the caramel by combining sugar, water, and corn syrup in a heavy saucepan. Heat over low heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Increase heat to medium-high and cook, without stirring, only swirling on occasion, till caramel turns amber, about 10 minutes. Watch carefully so the caramel does not burn. When amber, divide caramel between the ramekins to coat the bottoms.
- In a large bowl, whisk eggs. Beat in condensed milk, evaporated milk and vanilla bean paste until smooth. Divide egg mixture between ramekins. Pour hot water into pan avoiding splashing any into ramekins. Water should come up about halfway up sides of ramekins.Cover with aluminum foil.
- Bake in preheated oven about 40 minutes. Uncover and check to see if the custard is set by jiggling (middles can wiggle just a bit). If needed bake 10 more minutes uncovered. Let cool completely on wire rack then refrigerate a few hours or overnight.
- To serve, carefully invert on serving plates with edges when completely cool.I dipped the bottoms into a bowl of very hot water for a few seconds and also ran a knife around the perimeter to help release before flipping. Garnish with berries if desired.