We celebrate National Flan Day every year on August 21. This sweet-tart is known in Roman cuisine, more specifically during the Medieval Period. In the Middle Ages flans made of almonds, cinnamon, and sugar or the savory version made of cheese, curd, spinach, and fish were very popular in Europe -- especially during Lent.

For Hispanics and the Latinx community, flan has a special place. In every casual family gathering, wedding, birthdays or celebrations -- or for no special reason -- is common to eat flan. 

Every family has a secret recipe. A unique twist that makes this tart different from the rest but equally delicious. Like the Cao, a Cuban-American family famous for their pastries and sweets in Miami.

CAO Bakery Every family has a secret recipe. A unique twist that makes this tart different from the rest but equally delicious. CAO Bakery

Antonio V. Cao built a family-owned business using recipes he brought to Miami from Cuba nearly 50 years ago. Mr. Cao passed along those recipes to his family, including his grandchild, Tony Cao, a third-generation baker and pastry chef that began working directly under his grandfather's supervision at the age of 13.

Years later, Tony built upon his grandfather’s legacy by ushering in the next generation of neighborhood bakeries which he named CAO Bakery and Cafe, as both an homage to his family and an acronym for Cuban American Original, the very essence of the cuisine and concept.

As a way to help families to create beautiful memories, especially during the pandemic, Tony Cao and CAO Bakery and Cafe shared with Latin Times the recipe of their famous flan. Find below a list with all the ingredients and the step by step. 

Enjoy!

CAO Bakery & Café Flan

YIELDS 2 pans (1.5lb loaf baking molds are recommended)

CARAMELO SAUCE

INGREDIENTS

½ cup of water
1 cup of sugar
¼ cup of corn syrup

Mix water and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. When the mixture turns a light amber color, remove from heat and carefully stir in corn syrup. Let cool for 2 mins and let settle. Avoid overcooling the caramel as it will harden. Pour the caramel while still warm covering the bottom of the 2 aluminum loaf pans (a thin even layer to cover the entire bottom surface of the molds). After pouring the caramel into the molds let them cool down for 10 mins.

FLAN

INGREDIENTS

2 cups of milk
2 cups condense milk
1.5cups eggs, beat with whisk, pour through a strainer
3/4 cups sugar
3/4 teaspoon of clear vanilla extract
small pinch of salt
2 Disposable aluminum pans 1.5lbs (loaf baking pan)

DIRECTIONS

Pour milk into a large mixing bowl and add sugar. Mix with whisk or set in a small mixer at low speed. Mix in condensed milk. Add eggs, vanilla, and salt. Mix until combined. Pour batter into aluminum pans (bottom of pans should be already covered with caramel). Preheat oven to 325F. Using a large baking pan 2” deep, fill with water 1/3 of the way. Place both prepared aluminum pans inside baking pan with water (water should reach about halfway up the sides of the aluminum pans).
Bake in the oven for 40 mins. The tops of the flan should have a light cream color when done.
Remove from oven and allow to completely cool. Refrigerate for at least 12 hours

TO SERVE

Use a toothpick or thin spatula to scrape the sides of the aluminum pans to carefully detach flan.
Cover the top of the pan with a serving plate and flip the pans upside down.
The flan should release from the pans onto the serving plate with the caramel sauce on top.