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5 from 9 votes

Bear-Shaped Leche Flan

Course Dessert
Cuisine Filipino
Keyword bear cookies, character food, Filipino, Filipino dessert, flan, leche flan
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Cooling time 3 hours
Total Time 4 hours 30 minutes
Cost $4.78

Equipment

  • Two 5-inch circular ramekins, or one 9-inch cake pan see notes below!
  • One 4-inch and one 1.5-inch circular cookie cutter

Ingredients

Caramel:

  • 1 cup sugar

Flan:

  • 1 can 14 oz sweetened condensed milk ($1.50)
  • 1 can 12 oz evaporated milk ($1.50)
  • 8 egg yolks ($1.36)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract ($0.42)

Decorations:

  • melted white and milk/dark chocolate

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F/177°C.

For the caramel:

  • **Tip: The caramel hardens quite fast, so make sure you have your baking dish near you so you can immediately pour the caramel into them!
    In a saucepan, add 1 cup of sugar and cook over low-medium heat. Do not stir the sugar, but do occasionally swirl the pan while cooking until all of the sugar dissolves. Once fully dissolved and the liquid is golden, pour caramel into the baking dishes, evenly covering the bottom. You can tilt the baking dishes to distribute the caramel around. Try to not make the layer too thick.

For the flan:

  • While the caramel hardens, work on the flan. In a medium mixing bowl, add egg yolks, condensed milk, and vanilla. Whisk together until fully combined.
  • Slowly add evaporated milk while whisking.
  • To make extra smooth flan, strain the mixture by pouring it into another container through a fine mesh sieve. I like to strain mine into my 4 cup liquid measuring cup, since this recipe makes about 3 cups of liquid and the measuring cup has a spout for easy handling!
    Pour flan mixture into baking dishes with the hardened caramel. Place baking dishes into a larger roasting pan. Pour water into roasting pan so that the baking dishes are sitting in at least 2 inches of water. Cover the baking dishes with aluminum foil.
  • Place roasting pan with covered flan into the preheated oven. Depending on the size of your baking dish, baking time may vary from 30-60 minutes. At the 30 minute mark, check if the flan is done: the center should still jiggle slightly, but the top should feel a bit firm to the touch. Stick a cake tester or toothpick in the middle of the flan. If it comes out clean, it can be removed from the oven. If not, check flan every 5-10 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and take baking dishes out of the roasting pan, placing them on a cooling rack. Allow to cool until room temperature, then cover and refrigerate until completely chilled, at least 3 hours.
  • Run knife around the edges of the flan to loosen it, then invert the dish onto a rimmed tray (to catch the extra caramel) lined with parchment paper.
    Some hard caramel will stick to the baking dish—it's completely normal and happens to most people. For easier clean up, soak the dish in hot water, changing the water whenever it cools down.
  • Use 4-inch cookie cutter to cut out the bear's head, then use the 1.5-inch cookie cutter to cut out two ears. Place the head and ears onto your serving dish.

To decorate:

  • Melt white and milk/dark chocolate and pour into their own piping bags. Snip a small opening off the piping bags and use the white to make the snout, then the inner ears. Use the milk/dark chocolate to add the nose, mouth, and eyes.
    **Tip: If needed, use a scribe or toothpick to help move the milk/dark chocolate around for the mouth.

Notes

*You can really make this in any baking dish that will fit the flan mixture, which is about 3 cups of liquid. Just make sure you are able to cut out one large circle and two smaller circles to be able to make the bear.
 
You can eat the scraps or blend them to make a leche flan cream for other desserts!