Black Forest Flan – So Tasty

A lovely variation of that famous Black Forest Gateau, a flan with the same flavours but a different texture and composition. This is simply a wonderful tasting dessert.

I do love a big slice of Black Forest Gateau. A cake with several layers of chocolate sponge filled with cherries and whipped cream.  Often, too, the sponge layers are brushed with a syrup made with some kirsch to give added flavour.  But in these difficult times, when it is not easy to share with others as readily as one might wish, I decided to make a much simplified version in the form of a flan. 

With only one layer and using some cherry jam instead of cherries on top of the sponge, this is easy to make and a very good alternative to the full gateau.

I used a flan tin, which is similar to a tart tin, but there is a raised centre, creating a deeper rim around the edge.  So when the sponge is turned out there is a rim that can contain some of the filling.   But it is entirely possible to make the sponge in a tart tin, or even a pie dish, of at least 23cm(9 inches).

So a layer of chocolate sponge is topped with some cherry jam and then with cream. Then  some grated and shaved dark chocolateis added.  Then some lovely juicy cherries are placed around the edge of the flan(glace cherries could be used too, if you prefer).

I had intended to use much more chocolate on the top, and mentioned 180g in the video, but as i was grating and chopping the chocolate I realised that about 80g would be more than enough for my purposes.  So the amount can be adjusted to personal preference.  So, too, can the jam be adjusted, to ensure the flavour is as rich as you wish.

Although there are quite a few steps to making the flan it is worth making the effort since the resultant dessert is very tasty indeed.  One addition that I didn’t use but is worth considering is to brush some kirsch syrup over the sponge before you put the jam on it.

For the more usual cake check Black Forest Gateau

Black Forest Flan
Black Forest Flan- Video

Ingredients:

for the chocolate sponge:

  • 120g (4 1/4 oz – 2/3 cup) dark chocolate
  • 120g(1 stick + 1/2 tbsp) unsalted butter, cubed
  • 100g(2/3 cup, based on scooping packed flour into a 250ml cup measure) plain flour
  • 3g (3/4 tsp) baking powder
  • 95g(1/2 cup minus 1 tsp) caster sugar
  • 3 medium eggs (large in USA)
  • pinch of salt
For the topping:
  • 300g(1 1/4 cup) double cream(or whipping cream)
  • 80g(3/4 cup) icing sugar
  • up to 180g dark chocolate(depending on preference)
  • 2-3 tbsp cherry jam, or more if you wish
  • 13 (or more if you wish) black cherries(or glace cherries)

Method:

  1. Melt the chocolate in a bain marie(double boiler) or in the microwave.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Grease an lightly flour a 11 inch(28 cm) flan tin or a 24cm tart tin.
  3. Add the butter and stir around until the butter is fully melted and combined with the chocolate, then set aside to cool.
  4. Place the eggs and sugar into a bowl(I used my stand mixer, a hand mixer would work too) and whisk until they are combined and have turned very pale and have thickened well.
  5. Add the chocolate and whisk hard until fully combined and the mixture has thickened more.
  6. Mix the flour, baking powder and salt together  and gradually add to the wet ingredients, mixing until just combined.
  7. Spoon the batter into the flan tin and spread evenly across the entire surface.
  8. Bake in the oven for between 25 and 30 minutes, until the top feels firm but springy.
  9. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool.
  10. Place the cream and icing sugar into a large bowl and whip until the cream has thickened to a stiff consistency, but don’t go too far it just needs to be firm enough to hold the shape when piped.
  11. Put the cream into a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle.
  12. Place the jam onto the sponge and spread it evenly over the surface.
  13. Pipe most of the cream in a spiral, starting at the centre of the sponge, and then spread it evenly up to the rim.
  14. Pipe the remaining cream around the rim using whatever pattern your wish( or in rosettes),  and a little rosette in the middle too.
  15. Place 12 cherries, equally distanced, around the rim and place the remaining one on the centre rosette.
  16. Grate and shave as much chocolate as you wish and sprinkle it over the cream.
  17. Refrigerate until you wish to serve the flan.
Note: For a more luxuriant flan think about brushing some kirsch/cherry syrup over the sponge before add the jam.

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