Friday, November 5, 2010

Rosewater flan with burnt orange caramel

 But he that dares not grasp the thorn Shoud never crave the rose.
Anne Bronte 

Custard. You might think them humble in their modest simplicity. Completely un-pretentious; they are sweet, soft and a symbol of all things 'homely'. These are but few of the reasons I adore a bowl of custard, either plain or flavoured, spiked with brandy or poured over a steaming Christmas Pudding. But truth be told, when it comes to making it myself, custard is the thorn in my side. More often than not I end up with a curdled mess, despite my best efforts to coddle it and never let it get too hot, I always seem to leap over 'thickening' and straight into 'curdling'. But if you want the rose, you have to brave the thorn right? So no matter how many disasters, I always try again, because when I get it right, my reward is worth it.

Rosewater flan with burnt orange caramel
from the October 2009 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller
serves 4

500 ml (2 cups) milk
250 ml (1 cup) double cream
1 orange, rind removed with a peeler
3 eggs
2 egg yolks
1 tbsp rosewater
110 gm (½ cup) white sugar
125 ml (½ cup) freshly squeezed orange juice

Preheat oven to 170C. Combine milk, cream and orange rind in a saucepan and stir over low heat until just beginning to boil.

Meanwhile, whisk eggs and yolks in a bowl to combine, add rosewater and half the sugar, then pour milk mixture over egg mixture and whisk to combine. Strain through a fine sieve into a jug and divide among four 250ml-capacity ovenproof dishes. Place dishes in a large roasting pan and fill pan with enough boiling water to come halfway up sides of dishes. Bake until custard is just set but still wobbles slightly in centre (30-35 minutes), remove from pan, cool completely.

Scatter remaining sugar evenly over base of a small saucepan and stir occasionally over medium heat until sugar dissolves (1-2 minutes), then cook until dark caramel (7-8 minutes). Remove from heat, add orange juice (be careful, mixture will spit), stir to combine, then set aside to cool.

Remove pith from orange with a sharp knife and thinly slice flesh crossways. Place an orange slice on top of each custard, spoon over caramel sauce and serve.

ease: 4/5.
prep time: 25mins.
cooking time: 30mins.
total: 55mins.

taste: 2.5/5. Lacklustre.

I was expecting a custard with a little flair and exoticness, unfortunately that's not what I got. The rosewater was merely an echo of an after-taste whilst the custard, whose texture was as smooth as polished marble, tasted like only like an egg-bomb. The caramel sauce did add a nice citrus-y bitterness though.

would I make it again: No.

recipe: Rosewater flan with burnt orange caramel


  1. The flan looks great, I love the burnt orange caramel.

  2. Divine! Those are wonderful flavors.



  3. Oooh.. these look so beautiful!

  4. too bad this recipe didn't work out for you as it sounded so good.
    the styling and pictures are so beautiful!

  5. What a shame it didn't turn out in the taste department. As it's so pretty!

  6. Shame it didnt work out for you as hoped. Looks great though.....

  7. Good on you for being so persistent with custard! I have never made it, but I am sure that I would get some curdling happening. This looks divine, taste aside.
    Heidi xo

  8. Oops! Sorry you didn't like it. Sure LOOKS good, though. And I do love rosewater too. :(

  9. rosewater has such a delicate and lovely flavor, and i think the fruity caramel on top is ideally a great touch. it's pretty, too--sorry it disappointed!

  10. your custard is my macaron!! One day I will conquer it!

    Love the beautiful pieces of orange in the top!