Low Carb Flan

I like trying new things, and making low carb flan definitely falls into trying something new; especially considering I've never even made flan before (I have, however, made creme brulee).

Out of the oven, the top part had developed this slightly burnt protective layer. I peeled it off and ate it.

Unfortunately, both low carb flan recipes I read discussed the difficulty in making the caramel sauce with artificial sweeteners and so I had low expectations coming into the project. Of course, I still had to go ahead and see how the flan would turn out for myself.

Steps I Took:
Low-Carb Sweetened Condensed Milk:
- Heated 1 cup heavy cream and 1/2 cup Erythritol over medium-low heat. It boiled over as I was reading and so there was some spillage. The reason I was reading was because I didn't have any milk. I ended up using water as a substitute: 3/4 cup water.
- Let it simmer on low until it was reduced to about half a cup. With less time to spare, I impatiently ended the reduction process after 1 hour and 10 minutes.
- Added 1 tbsp butter and about 1/8 tsp flax seed (substituted for xanthan gum).
- Let the mixture cool a little.

Low-carb sweetened condensed milk!

- Added 1/2 cup Erythritol and 1 tsp molasses to a pan and heated it on low.
- When it had melted, poured it into a pan. I almost thought it wouldn't be enough, but was able to cover the entirety of the pan by tilting it around.

- Now is a reasonable time to preheat the oven to 325 F as well as boil some water for the bath.

Cream mixture:
- In the same pot as the sweetened condensed milk, add 3/4 cup heavy cream and 1 cup water. I realized I earlier forgot to add vanilla extract and Stevia, so I went ahead and did that as well (1 tsp vanilla extract and 16 drops of Stevia).

Testing how easy or hard it would be to melt the Erythritol

Egg mixture:
- Whisked 5 eggs. I overlooked the fact that (one of) the instructions called to whisk them until foamy; oh well.
- Added a pinch of Himalayan salt. I first tried to crush any large pieces between my palms.
- Stirred in 1 cup of the cream mixture.

- Poured the egg mixture in with the remainder of the cream mixture and mix.
- Pulled the oven door down and placed a deep oven tray on it and put the pan with sugar into the tray.
- Poured the mixture over the sugar (which was now hard).
- Poured boiling water into the deep tray and set the timer for 59 minutes.

*While waiting for the Sweetened Condensed Milk to reduce, I tested melting a small portion of Erythritol and molasses.

The mixture

There were moments when I considered just making the sauce from sugar, but the fun in this particular project was understanding (through experience) how Erythritol behaves.

The flan didn't taste overly eggy, but it lacked the smooth texture associated to traditional flan. Furthermore, the egg part was not too sweet, but the crystallized sugar top was quite sweet.

The crystallization of the sugar on top, while expected, was unfortunate.

But I'm not picky, and I love eggs, so I ended up eating a fourth of it.

Even though the overall project was a failure, I learned how to make low-carb sweetened condensed milk and that's super awesome.

The sauce already crystallized on the bottom, but I was hoping it'd magically transform in the oven... it didn't.

[20161224][20161226 Edit]

I ate more today (an eighth) and today it tasted more eggy than the other day.

[20161226 Edit]

Today I ate what remained (between an eighth and three-sixteen). As before, the failures remained, but I nevertheless enjoyed it.

Low Carb Flan

Relevant Links:
Creamy Low Carb Flan recipe
Coconut Flan - Low Carb and Gluten-Free recipe
Low Carb Sweetened Condensed Milk recipe
Baked Flan recipe (Allrecipes.com)*
*For comparison purposes.

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