Preheat oven to 325F. Add the sugar to a large pan then drizzle the water over it. Place over medium-high heat and use a pastry brush to wash the side down. Leave undisturbed for about 10 minutes or until the sugar takes on a golden color then immediately pour into your round baking pan. Tilt and turn the pan to spread the caramel out to the edge then set aside to cool and harden while you make the custard.
For the Custard
Beat the room temperature cream cheese in a large bowl then add the eggs one at a time while mixing. Scrape the bowl down and beat until smooth with no lumps.
Pour in the evaporated and condensed milks and the vanilla extract then mix to combine and pour into the pan with your caramel.
Place the pan in a large roasting dish and fill with an inch of hot water then place in the center rack of your oven. Bake for about 50 minutes or until the center is just set. It will wobble slightly when you jiggle the pan but continue to set as it cools.
Allow to cool to room temperature before serving. You can chill the custard if preferred as well. Run a small sharp knife around the edge of the pan then place a serving dish upside down on top and invert. Remove the pan and serve. If you chilled the flan, dip the pan halfway into a bowl of hot water to warm the caramel before inverting onto a plate.
If you have some stubborn lumps of unmixed cream cheese in your custard, just pour the mixture through a sieve and the result will be silky smooth.
Gently tap the pan on your counter to help any air bubbles inside the custard escape.
Almost any size and shape or pan will work for flan so go ahead and use a loaf pan, ramekins for individual servings. Check for doneness at the 40 minute mark with the jiggle test.
You can make this in the blender or food process or but be careful not to mix too much air into the mixture.