Preparation time: 15 mins
Cooking time: 50 mins
Difficulty: Easy - for beginners
Serves: 12 servings
10 large whole eggs
2 (14-ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk
3 cups whole milk
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1 cup sugar
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Use 12 individual ovenproof 1-cup capacity custard cups.
Scald the milk by bringing it quickly to a boil stirring constantly. Remove from heat and let stand for 15 minutes.
Heat the sugar in the bottom of a metallic pan until it begins to melt. Stir constantly to prevent burning. It will turn to a rich brown color.
Quickly remove from heat and pour into the individual custard cups. Tilt back and forth to cover the bottom and sides of each dish, the syrup will harden as it cools to form a thick shell. (This is where it's nice to have Three Guys and three pairs of hands in the kitchen!) During the baking process, this shell turns into delicious caramel syrup.
Beat the eggs until frothy, and blend in the warm milk. Strain the mixture through a sieve. Straining through a sieve will result in a smoother flan. Gradually add two cans sweetened condensed milk, the cream cheese and the vanilla. You should now have a very thick mixture.
Pour into the caramel lined dishes and set into a water bath (baño de Maria) in the oven. Immediately reduce oven tempertaure to 350 degrees F.
Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until firm in the middle and jiggles like Jell-O â€“ a knife inserted into the center should come out clean, but who wants stab wounds in their flan? Let cool in refrigerator.
Dust the top of each cup with a little cinnamon and serve in the cup chilled. Or loosen the sides with a knife and invert each cup onto a dessert plate. Be sure to spoon plenty of the syrup over each serving.