I was at home with the girls with no plans to go out, and I wanted to make something cool for them. I never have that many ingredients at home – no chocolate chips for cookies, nothing for a pie, no patience for ice cream – but I had just bought a bunch of eggs, so I thought I’d make this simple recipe for flan, that I’d very successfully made before. I’d double it so there would be plenty for everyone. Or that was the plan.
It wasn’t until I’d beaten the eggs that I realized that I only had one can of condensed milk. The second can had expired in 2004 – and I’m not that adventurous. Yes, I could have just divided the eggs in two, but what would the fun of that have been? Instead I decided to substitute the can of sweetened condensed milk with an equal amount of dulce de leche. The results were just plain weird.
When I took the “flans” (and I do mean the quotation marks) off the oven, they had risen as if they were souffles! They fell as they cooled down. Even weirder was the consistency. I can’t quite describe it. It was denser and nowhere as smooth as a flan – it lacked its bubbles for instance. And yet it was too smooth to be considered chalky or caky or even brownishy. Somewhere in between, I guess. The taste was sweet, not at all like flan and only a bit like dulce de leche. It wasn’t bad, but I felt it was flat.
All in all, it wasn’t an experiment worth repeating.

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