Flan is a famous Mexican desert which is made by pouring melted or caramelized sugar into a pan, topped with an egg mixture and then baked. This dessert is fairly simple to make. When it comes to melting sugar for flan there are 2 major methods. The dry method or the wet method. The dry method simply means melting sugar with no water and the wet method requires you to add some water to the sugar. You can melt the sugar using either method on the stovetop. You can also use a blowtorch to melt the sugar for your flan. Below is brief description on how to melt sugar for flan using the stovetop and blowtorch methods.
The Stove Top Method of Melting Sugar For Flan
You will need
- Sauce Pan
- Water (Optional)
First, you need to determine the amount of sugar you want to melt for your flan. Thus, you should measure the number of cups of sugar you want to melt using a measuring cup. Consider using regular table sugar because the fine granules are much easier to melt. You can use water to caramelise the sugar but you can still melt your sugar without water. If you want to add some water the best ration should be 2 parts sugar one part water. Pour your sugar into a thick pot or saucepan and add some water. It’s important that you pour a bit of water in the pan and not put too much the first time around. Put your stove on low heat for effective results. Make sure that you stir the mixture regularly. Once your sugar has melted you can remove it and add use if for your flan.
If you want to melt your sugar without adding water, you can do so easily over the stove. This method is quick and easy. Simply put your sugar in a saucepan over medium to low heat. Make sure that you stir the sugar frequently as it melts to prevent it from burning. Also, make sure that your sugar doesn’t smoke. If it starts to smoke, quickly remove it from the stove and continue stirring for consistency. When using the saucepan make sure that you do not put a lot of sugar in the pan. Apply thin layers of sugar instead of putting all the sugar at once for effective results. As the sugar starts to melt you can add more. As you add more sugar make sure that it doesn’t smoke. Another important tip is not to overcook the sugar otherwise it will become hard and grainy even if it doesn’t smoke.
The Blow Torch Method of Melting Sugar For Flan
Another effective way to melt sugar for flan in by using s blow torch, You will need;
- A blow torch
A blowtorch is a common tool in restaurants, and home kitchens. It is a practical tool that many people have in their homes. Using a blowtorch can be effective when you want to caramelize your sugar. You must take note that using this method is effective mainly for small quantities. The heat from a blowtorch can easily heat the sugar to high enough temperatures for it to caramelize quickly. Place your sugar in a heat safe bowl, light your blowtorch and hold it a few centimetres away from the sugar. The moment you notice the sugar bubbling and turning golden brown in one area move the flame to a different place. Repeat this process until all of your sugar has melted. Makes sure that your blowtorch is not too close to your sugar to avoid burning. As you melt your sugar, move the torch back and forth across the surface to caramelise the sugar. You can then use your melted sugar in your flan. This dry method is effective if you do not have a lot of time on your hands to melt the sugar however, you must be careful with this method because you can easily burn the sugar. It is best to use the stovetop method when melting sugar for flan for best results.
Tips For Melting Sugar
The process of caramelising or melting sugar is can be intimidating at first but once you master it, you will open the door to a lot of recipes apart from flan. You can use melted sugar for sauces, candies, ice creams, frosting as well in addition to flan. Whether you decide to use the dry method to melt sugar, or the wet method, if done properly both methods can achieve the same results. For best results, consider melting the sugar with water however you can still achieve good results using the dry method, it’s simply a matter of preference. When melting sugar for the first time, you may want to start off with the wet method. This is because the wet method slows down the caramelization process and prevents burning of the sugar. The downside of using the wet method is the risk of re-crystallising the sugar. However, if done well you will get your desired results. When it comes to the dry method, the major advantage is that it is quick and effective. On the other hand, the risk of burning the sugar is much higher with the dry method. The dry method is best if you have a bit of experience melting sugar for your flan.
Since you are working with heat when melting sugar for flan safety is important. It is important to keep in mind that hot melted sugar is a substance that is sticky and can cling to your skin so you must melt your sugar with caution. To prevent accidents when working with bubbly sugar, use a large pan. Consider using a spatula with a long handle especially if you are going to be adding water to your melting sugar. The hot steam and bubbles might burn you if you use a short spatula or wooden spoon. Lastly, you should watch your pot and not get easily distracted to prevent burning the sugar.