Feb 24

Spiced Vanilla Flan & Brandied Sultanas





It is no secret … I like all custard-based desserts. E’clares. Panna cottas. Flan. Custard pies. Ice cream. You name it, I love ’em.

As a kid I used to hover around my mother at the stove as she whipped up fresh custard to pour into the trifle bowl. Mmmm … TRIFLE! She would lay down a bed of fruit cocktail and set them in strawberry jelly. Next she would pour the custard over the top followed by a thick layer of cream. Omg, the best dessert ever, even tho it’s so retro and simple. The moment I was waiting for always came after the custard was poured out and I got to lick the pot and the wooden spoon.


Another favourite of mine is Flan Parisien. Everytime I am in France I make a beeline to a local bakery and scour the shelves for flan (baked custard slice). Sigh, the French do such good food which is why we like to hang out there a lot. Any excuse to return to France and we are there in a heartbeat.


This dessert is called flan in some countries but I know it as Creme Caramel. Sugar is melted to form an ooey-gooey caramel syrup then it is baked with the custard filing and flipped out onto a serving platter causing the syrup to drip over the now solid custard. It is a traditional recipe but I spiced mine up with ground up chai spice mix and some brandy soaked raisins for extra oomph.



Spiced  Vanilla Flan with Brandied Sultanas



caramel sauce

150 g granulated sugar

brandied raisins
100 g dried raisins
50 mls brandy
50 mls golden syrup
2 tsp granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract.

5 whole eggs
1 can condensed milk
1 can fresh milk
100 mls fresh cream
1 vanilla pod + beans
1 tsp ground chai spices


I started with the raisin / sultanas a week in advance. Chucked some raisins in a mug, topped it up with brandy and golden syrup, vanilla extract and some sugar. Cover tightly with foil and leave in a corner to steep. Every day I would stir the raisins and then recover. After a week they are ready for use.


For the caramel, simply add granulated sugar to a dry pan and heat over medium heat until fully melted and turns golden brown. While the caramel is still hot pour into the bottom of a mould of your choice. Tip the pan from side to side to coat evenly.


For the custard you wanna crack in 5 whole eggs and beat lightly to break up the yolks but don’t add in air. Add all the other ingredients like condensed milk, whole milk, cream, vanilla and chai spices. Whisk again and then strain through a fine mesh seive into the mould. Shake the mould and prick any air bubbles on the surface (or just blowtorch).


Bake in a water bath at 150°C for an hour. I find that the slower you cook this, the silkier the end product. If you bake it too hot and too quick the sides get overcooked and there is potential for the surface to crack.


After the hour is up, turn off the oven and leave the door slightly ajar but leave the pudding inside to cool gradually. The pudding should still be jiggly in the middle but set around the sides.


Once the pudding has cooled cover with foil and chill in the fridge for 6 hours or over night. The next day flip it out onto a serving plate and top with the brandied raisins.





The chai spice mix I used comes in a box which I picked up from my local Indian store. I use chai spice mix in my tea usually but as you can see it can be added to a whole host of things. If you can’t get a hold of the pre-mix you can always use a medley of ground up spices and make your own. Reading off the back of the box, it says the mix contains fennel seeds, cardamom seeds, green cardamom, cinnamon, ground ginger, black pepper corns, cloves and star anise.





This recipe yields a rather dense flan due to the use of sweetened consdensed milk. Still delicious tho and very creamy. Best enjoyed on a hot summers day. Actually, best enjoyed any day of they year; who needs an excuse to eat custard anyway. Hah!


If you want the traditional version which is less dense and with no Indian spices then hop on over to Creme Caramel.

~ Enjoy ~




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