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Bergamot Caramel Flan – my aromatherapy obsession has seeped into my kitchen

I’ve been in the lab blending some perfumes with citrus flowers, and Bergamot has been a stand out favorite.  It’s funny how we go through phases with particular aromas. The essence of the Bergamot (Citrus aurantium subsp. bergamia) which is a small, somewhat pear-shaped orange lifts the spirits and is a great oil for Seasonal Affect Disorder (SAD) and the occasional blues.

I feel so cheerful and sunshiny amidst the foggy San Francisco weather. Learn more about the healing benefits of bergamot here.
I’ve adapted a recipe to create Bergamot flavored caramel Flan. The recipe has been one of my favorites, I hope you enjoy it!

Bergamot Caramel Flan

(Bergamot is said to be a cross between a pear lemon and Seville orange and grapefruit. I think it is a cross between neroli and heaven. You probably know it as the delicious orangy scent in your Earl Grey tea.)

  • 1 cup organic evaporated cane sugar, divided
  • 1/4 cup water + 1 Tbsp water
  • 2 decaffeinated Earl Grey Tea Bags
  • 2 cups whole organic milk
  • 4 large organic eggs
  • 1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
  • Pinch of pink Himalayan salt


Preheat oven to 350°F. Boil water. Seep tea bags for 45 seconds and remove. Add 1/2 cup sugar to tea. Stir in heavy small saucepan over low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat; boil without stirring until syrup is deep amber color, brushing down sides of pan with wet pastry brush and swirling pan occasionally, about 10 minutes. Divide caramel among six 3/4-cup custard cups. Working quickly, tilt cups, coating bottoms and part of sides. (Be careful, the sugar is hot!)

Stir milk and 1/2 cup sugar in medium saucepan over low heat just until sugar dissolves (milk will be lukewarm). Whisk eggs in medium bowl until blended. Slowly whisk in milk mixture. Whisk in vanilla and salt. Strain custard into prepared cups.

Arrange cups in 13x9x2-inch metal baking pan. Pour enough hot water into baking pan to come halfway up sides of cups. Bake flans until just set in center, about 50 minutes. Remove cups from water and let stand 30 minutes. Chill until cold, at least 4 hours and up to 1 day. Cut around sides of each cup to loosen flan; turn out onto plate.

Recipe adapted from’s classic flan recipe.

Categories: essential oils mood and food recipes

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Jenny Pao, Founder

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