Flan (Crème Caramel/Caramel Custard) Recipe
February 24th, 2008 38 Comments

Flan (Crème Caramel/Caramel Custard) Recipe

Flan (Caramel Custard)
Flan (Caramel Custard) pictures (1 of 5)

I will be honest with you…I didn’t make these flans. I wanted to, but paying $2.50 for both flans is definitely cheaper than buying all the specialty flan cook ware and ramekins–not mentioning the time I would spend pottering in my kitchen preparing flan and making sure they come out right. I have no doubt that making flans is a fulfilling experience–a skill I would love to acquire eventually–but with my busy schedules lately, I simply can’t afford to attempt them at home.

I first tasted flans in the late 1990’s–I had just graduated from college and started working in the US. (I had never seen or tasted flans when I was in Malaysia.) My then co-worker invited me for dinner and his wife made flans for dessert. I remember vividly the first taste; it was a dessert so delicate, beautiful, and sublime–egg custard served in a bath of amber-hued caramel–it was smooth and melted in my mouth. It was the taste of heaven…(get flan recipe after the jump)

Since then, I have had many flans in a lot of interesting places–in Texas on my road trip down to Florida; in a traditional Mexican restaurant on a side street in Cabo San Lucas; at a food store in Calistoga; most recently, in Cannes where the flan was rather different in taste, shape, and form; and countless more. None of them beats the flans prepared by my ex co-worker’s wife.

Flan/Crème Caramel/Caramel CustardThis weekend, when I was shopping in Little Saigon here in Orange County, I chanced upon these flans at Lee’s Sandwiches. I was overjoyed.

They turned out to be very good flans; almost as good as the first ones I had in my friend’s house. I got the flan recipe and have kept it with me for years. I will make these flans one day, but for now, please find the secret recipe that introduces me to the world of flans.

(Flans are also known as crème caramel or caramel custard.)

Looking for an entree to pair with flans? Try these recipes on Rasa Malaysia:

  1. NOBU Black Cod with Miso
  2. Panko-crusted Soft Shell Crab with Ginger Ponzu Sauce
  3. Baked Scallops with Creamy Spicy Sauce
  4. Baked Sea Bass
  5. Seared Scallops with Spicy Cream Sauce with Buna Shimeji Mushrooms
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38 comments... read them below or add one

  1. Andaliman says:

    I remember one of my friend posted another version of Flan which is the Filipino version, it’s called Leche Flan and I found the difference in milk. It’s more South-East Asian style, with sweetened condensed milk.

  2. kennymah says:

    It’d be the perfect dessert for a hot, sunny day (like the ones we’re getting right now in M’sia) … oooh, I wish I could just whisk into a shop here somewhere and carry away with me some of these smooth, chilled wonders… :)

  3. katie says:

    flan is my favorite desert to make. so easy and very impressive looking.

  4. Dhanggit says:

    the photo is so beautiful that its good enough to eat!!! yummmy!!

  5. Claude-Olivier says:

    Amazing pictures…Flan are very easy to prepare but are so good!

  6. Farina says:

    Iv been meaning to make these myself for a long time. This sounds easy enough for a dessert-challenged like me. hehe. Will def try it out.

  7. suesse-mahlzeit says:

    so easy and so looks so delicious!

  8. mycookinghut says:

    Crème Caramel is my favourite! Fantastic dessert.

  9. Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) says:

    My husband is a big flan fan, but I’ve never made it for him; like you, I’d rather buy it, especially when there is good flan for sale in the market. Your photo makes it look extra-special.

  10. daphne says:

    Your photo looks fantastic. My creme caramel photo has a reflection on it. I wonder why? =) still, it’s lovely to see this! hmmm..dessert….hmmmm

  11. Nate 2.0 says:

    I’m not a big fan of flan but I can be tempted. Your pics are certainly tempting.

  12. Manggy says:

    Those look so nice and smooth! I’ve yet to make flans, but you should check out a Filipino recipe! It has only sweetened condensed milk! Yowzah!

  13. mimi says:

    My favorite dessert!!!

  14. vkeong says:

    Actually it wasn’t only me who think the mee goreng @ Bangkok Lane was not that great, I have a couple of friends who went there and agreed too..

    I have tried the famous Edgecumbe road mee goreng which has relocated to Gurney Drive too. My opinion is that is even worse than Bangkok Lane’s. Totally tasteless and the noodle smell is too strong..

    Either our tastebuds are really different, or the chef’s skills have deteriorated.. many Penang hawker food’s quality have been dropping recently.. sigh

    Nice custard btw.. it’s perfect @_@
    Anyway I do agree with some comments that the one at Fort Cornwalis is good.

    I don’t know if Indian mee goreng mamak is supposed to taste that way? Because I can list many other stalls that can prepare much better mee goreng..

  15. YOYO Cooking says:

    so cute

    yummy,love creme caramel~

  16. mumuchi says:

    I am a bit surprised to note that you claim you have never seen nor tasted creme caramels in Malaysia when it is so common that it is even sold in small cups during the Ramadhan Bazaars. See

    Even though the versions available nowadays may be far off that what the Brits would call as creme caramels, they are still delicious and the most sinful are usually made by our very own sweettoothed Kelantanese who does not stinge on the eggs. Cheers!

  17. Rasa Malaysia says:

    All – thanks again for your kind comments. :)

    Vkeong – the last time I had Bangkok Lane mee goreng was 1 year ago, it was still good. For Edgecumb Road, the last time I had it was in late 80’s unfortunately. I am sure a lot has changed since.

    Mumuchi – I grew up in Penang and Ramadhan Bazaars are not something common there. Yeah, I have never had flans before until I came to the US.

  18. Ling says:

    I have never officially eaten Flans yet, though I must admit, that looks very tasty.
    Might be going to Chicago in a month’s time. Anywhere I should look out for for good food?

  19. Cindy. Lo. says:

    Lee sandwich?!
    I’m on my way to grab one of those yummy flans now!

  20. Kate / Kajal says:

    bee the first pic of the flan is absolutely gorgeous. Love the reflection of the window on it and the tones ….lovely.

  21. Lori Lynn says:

    Hi! I was shopping and eating in Little Saigon, too, this weekend. Enjoyed Pho bo and bought some very pretty plates and bowls. Your flan pics are stunning.

  22. Syrie says:

    This is hands down my favourite dessert. Gorgeous photo!

    Have a fantastic time cruising and looking forward to hearing all about the binge!

  23. Wandering Chopsticks says:

    Umm, sweetie. You do know this is from a mix right? Comes together as quickly as Jello. Personally, I don’t much care for it b/c I can taste the difference. Flan is so easy to make! You should try it.

  24. Dayana says:

    Fasting month is just around the corner and creme caramel is my favourite. They sell these at the ramadhan bazaar but not all are good. Thank you fro sharing the cremem caramel recipe. they look easy!

  25. Zaphia says:

    Hi Rasa!

    I used your fried rice recipe and loved it :-)

    My Creme caramel is cooking in the oven. Hope it turns out well. I have never made it before.

  26. Zaphia says:

    ^it turned out really well! I boiled the milk with powdered cinnamon, a clove and a whole green cardamom. I strained it before pouring it into the egg mixture. Thanks!

  27. sawhster says:

    I never knew flan could be so easy! I’ve made this 3 times now and my husband is addicted.

    This flan is a lighter rendition of my parent’s which I think involved condensed milk. But, I don’t miss the condensed milk at all!

    This is the second recipe I’ve tried of yours and I ain’t stopping.

    A tip for those using ramekins – I find that using a knife to skim the sides/circumference will entice the caramel to spread their goodness all over. I had a problem that some caramel would stick to the bottom of the ramekin because I refrigerated mine for later consumption – but the trick above solved that problem.

  28. socal says:

    The great thing about Orange County is that due to how close it is to the border, we have authentic flan at high end place such as Javiers.

  29. aayyeennaa says:

    we have like that back home (philippines) called “leche flan” more often they cooked it in steamer and some in oven. Even paired in in “halayang ubi” sweetened yam “yummy! :) thank you for sharing….. since here in malaysia tons of eggs and milk we often do the flan every month :)

  30. Mel says:

    Made this yesterday and it turned out great. As usual your recipe is simple to follow. Will definitely make it again! Thanks for such a good recipe.

  31. chris says:

    Great site ! Recipes are very tasty…
    Nevertheless I have eaten a lot of flans and the best one was a french one…
    By the way you also have to make the difference between a flan, a flan patissier, a creme caramel and a creme brulee (with accents : flan, flan pâtissier, crème caramel, crème brûlée).
    And as my friend said it : “never talk to me of custard powder nor custard powder taste, it’s awful…”


  32. pexiu says:

    can i steam it instead of baking it? thanks

  33. Mei says:

    Hi, i will try your recipe, my own version is the steam one instead of baking it. It is very simple and easy.

  34. Pingback:Into the Kitchen: Flan | Consult the Couple

  35. magenie says:

    Hi! I’m surprised you have not seen/had caramel custards in Malaysia! I’m from Ipoh and as a kid my favourite part of eating out on a casual weekend was having one of these puddings after a yummny chicken rice meal. Many coffee shops and hawker centers have signs on the walls indicating “Caramel custard available”. It’s so good, I have learnt to make it at home in case the craving hits.

    Love your blog!

  36. j says:

    did not turn out guess the caramel part was harder than thought

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