SPANISH FLAN CARAMEL
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
For the flan
4 large egg yolks, (or 5 medium)
1 ⅓ cup evaporated milk
1 ⅓ cup sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
Making caramel for flan: Mix sugar and water and cook in a heavy saucepan over low heat until thick dark caramel forms. Make sure it does not burn! A simpler way, if your mold allows for it, just heat the sugar directly in the mold, and once it melts and turns a dark color, remove from the heat and spread on the bottom and sides of the pan.
Making the flan mixture: Mix together egg yolks, sweetened condensed milk, vanilla, and evaporated milk, stir to combine. Sieve to get rid of undissolved egg parts. Pour carefully into the baking pan, trying not to disturb the caramel layer.
Cooking: In a double boiler pot with water in the lower level cook in medium high for over one hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Serving: Remove from the oven and the water bath and cool to room temperature.
Chill in the fridge. Loosen the edges of the flan with a toothpick. Place a serving plate on top of the mold (one which will retain the syrup) and invert. Serve still chilled
Be very careful with hot caramel, it can cause serious injuries.
The color of your caramel is a matter of taste, I fall on the darker side, which will impart the flan the faintest hint of bitterness which I love, but it should not burn. You have to remove it from the heat just before it reaches the color you want because it will take just a second or two to get darker or burn.
After cooking, the flan is inverted onto a plate, and the caramel-colored base becomes the top.