A: Hello, guys. Welcome to VOV 24/7’s Food Delight. We’re A and B. We’re really excited to share with you some cooking tips on today’s program.
B: Hello, guys. Hello, A. Hey, A. I’m going to have a small party this weekend. It’s gonna be fun. I’ve ordered all the main dishes but want to prepare dessert ourselves. I really want to impress my friends with my cooking skills, but I’m not sure which one is most impressive. What do you recommended, A?
B: If you're looking for an impressive dessert to serve that won't take a lot of time to make, my immediate answer would be “Flan cake”. With simple ingredients, it’s one of the easiest and yummiest desserts you can make in your own kitchen.
A: Flan is my favorite, too. I even tried baking one once or twice. To be honest, though, when I first made flan, I was super anxious about whether it would turn out or not. And you know what? I failed. It’s not an easy task, especially for a newbie cook like me.
B: Don’t worry, dear. Making a soft, flavorful, tasty flan cake is easy, but calls for some special tips. And to avoid any confusion, I’ve invited Chef Phan Văn Thực from Old Hanoi Restaurant, 4, Tôn Thất Thiệp st, Hanoi. Thực, who has 10 years of experiences, will answer any questions you have about this dessert.
|Chef Phan Văn Thực from Old Hanoi Restaurant, 4, Tôn Thất Thiệp St, Hanoi (Photo provided by Chef Thuc)
A: I’m ready. Let’s start. “Flan is a very light dessert using simple ingredients, including chicken eggs, milk, sugar, and vanilla. To make this dish, we use egg yolks only. In a large bowl, you gently whisk the eggs yolks until they are combined and lightly frothy. Then, you add the warm milk, sugar, and vanilla to the bowl and blend until the mixture is smooth. You shouldn’t beat the mixture as beating creates air bubbles which show as tiny holes on the cake when it is cooked. The mixture is then strained to remove any impurities. This is the ultimate secret to achieving the smoothest flan.”
A: I told you, B. It’s not that easy, is it?
B: Come on, A. You just need to pay close attention and the cake will be fine. You know what, I saw many recipes on the internet that put great emphasis on not mixing the egg too much, leading to too many bubbles. I totally agree that bubble is the greatest enemy of smooth flan. Instead of beating the eggs crazily, we should relax our hands when mixing.
A: I got it. Just mix with normal speed as you usually do, until the mixture is well blended.
B: Right. Some recipes suggest mixing cool milk with the eggs and sugar but I think slowly warming the milk a very important step, because it will make the egg mix better with the milk and eliminate any unpleasant egg smell.
A: But don’t boil the milk. If it’s too hot it will curdle your egg mixture.
| Flan is a very light dessert using simple ingredients, including chicken eggs, milk, sugar, and vanilla (Photo: Pinterest)
While we wait for the egg mixture to cool down, let’s proceed with making the caramel. “Now we make the topping for the flan by caramelizing the sugar in a pan over low heat. Gently swirl the pan and cook until the sugar turns light brown in color. The sugar will continue to darken into a deep amber color quickly, so you should keep an eye on this process to make sure the sugar won’t be burned. A small tip to improve the caramel flavor is adding a tiny amount of lemon juice to the sugar water mix right at the moment it begins to dissolve. When the caramel is done, gently pour it into the ramekin. You should rotate each ramekin to ensure that the caramel covers the entire bottom. When the caramel is hardened, pour the egg mixture that you prepared beforehand onto the ramekins and put them all in the oven.”
B: Making caramel does not require any special equipment, but the saucepan you use to make caramel should be perfectly clean. I suggest using a light-colored pan so you can monitor the caramelization process.
A: Because a stove does not always distribute heat evenly, it is important that you stand over the caramel during the entire process.
B: Agreed. Browning occurs quickly and caramel can burn quickly if left unattended.
A: B, I have a question. Can I just steam the cake instead of baking it in the oven? Actually my oven hasn’t been working well recently.
B: Thuc will surely know the answer. Let’s listen. “Baking is easier than steaming. The steam method is a little bit risky, especially when you cannot control the precise steaming temperature. However, you can cook the flan using a steamer if you do not have an oven. The steaming method may produce a soft smooth flan in a shorter time if done correctly.”
|Eating flan creates a burst of heavenly flavor on your tongue, yet the texture is so soft and delicate (Source: Wikilamdep.net)
A: The flan cake is now ready, right? Eating flan creates a burst of heavenly flavor on your tongue, yet the texture is so soft and delicate, it just flies away to your stomach. One spoon of flan and you just can’t stop until it’s all gone.
B: If you guys try this recipe and love the way it turns out, please let us know. Take a picture and email us at email@example.com or tag us at FB VOV5 English Section. We always love to see what you guys come up with. Join us next week for more tips on how to diversify your menu. And now, good bye.