If you’ve never had flan before, then you might wonder what it tastes like, and if you’re making it for the first time, you would definitely be curious about what overcooked and undercooked flan look like – preparing yourself to know if you mess it up. There are many secrets to making a perfect flan, most of which were discovered by a series of trial and error. You never know until you do.
For the benefit of first-timers with flan, we will be discussing what it tastes like, what overcooked and undercooked flan look like, how to tell when it’s done and some other relevant information to help you on your quest.
What Does Flan Taste Like?
Flan has a sweet, very milky, and eggy body, while its topping has a vivid caramel flavor with a hint of toasted sugar. It is often likened to crème Brulee and panna cotta in taste but they are very different in texture. It is more similar to meringue in texture. Its ingredients include vanilla, evaporated milk, cream cheese, granulated sugar, sweetened condensed milk – and of course, eggs. From this list of ingredients, you can already imagine it’s silky smooth, delicate, fluffy, thick texture, and perfectly milky taste.
Flan can be made in different ways with different flavors. It can be made to be milkier or creamier depending on your preference. You can simply adjust the amount of each ingredient to your taste. If made with just eggs, the flan will have a custard-like taste and when cream cheese is added, it will taste like a creamy cheesecake.
What Does Overcooked Flan Look Like?
Overcooked flan has ugly acne-like bubbles on the surface with an eggy and unbalanced taste. It will also have a curdled, firm, lumpy, and chewy texture. Overcooking flan will cause it to have a rubbery texture and failing to temper your eggs or whipping it too much instead of just stirring will make it lumpy and give it bubbles.
What Happens When You Overcook Flan?
When you overcook flan, it will yield a series of lumpy, acne-like bubbles on the surface and an unpleasant, chewy, and rubbery texture. Chances are, the oven temperature was too high, the water bath wasn’t high enough, it was left to cook for too long, the egg mixture was not tempered properly, or too much air was whipped into it.
How Do You Know When Flan Is Done?
Your flan is done when it has a light or slightly golden color and is firm but still jiggly in the middle and not solid. The eggs will keep cooking while it cools, so if the flan is left to cook until it is solid, the eggs will become overcooked. You can gently shake the pan to see if the center of the flan jiggles. Another way to confirm that it is done is by sticking a toothpick or small knife in the center, if it comes out clean, then the flan is ready. Otherwise, you should let it cook for another 10-15 minutes.
Read also: How to Tell If Chicken Sausage Is Cooked
How To Cool Flan Quickly
To cool flan quickly, you can leave it in the freezer for an hour or two until it cools. After baking it to perfection, remove it from the water bath and leave it on a wire rack to set for about an hour or until it’s lukewarm. Then, transfer it to the freezer, cover it and let it cool for an hour before serving.
Does Flan Rise When Baked?
No, flan does not rise when baked, it simply sets. The structure becomes just a little bit firmer than liquid. The center becomes jiggly like Jell-O and when it cools, it sets even more and becomes a tad bit firmer to achieve that delicate but thick texture.
What Does Undercooked Flan Look Like?
Undercooked flan will be more liquid than cake. Instead of resembling Jell-O, it’ll have more liquid in the center and would not set. You can salvage undercooked flan by baking it again for about 15 minutes. If you have transferred the flan into the fridge to cool and it refuses to set because it is undercooked, you can take it out and bake again with a water bath until it reaches an internal temperature of 83 degrees C.
Read also: Can I Use Pizza Sauce for Pasta?
Can You Eat Undercooked Flan?
No, it is not advisable to eat undercooked flan. You can eat slightly undercooked flan only if it is very close to being fully cooked – if it’s far from it and the mixture is still very much undercooked, then you should not eat it. Eating undercooked flan could cause food poisoning because of the salmonella that could develop from undercooked eggs. You should also not leave flan at room temperature for longer than an hour, or bacteria could develop. It should be stored in the refrigerator instead.
Figuring out how not to overcook or undercook flan could be very difficult because of the many mistakes that one can make. If you undercook it, simply bake it again for a few more minutes, if you overcook it – add some whipping cream to distract from the texture and improve the taste.