Or flange as we affectionately like to call it
There is absolutely no intended crude reference in naming this dessert dish flange. It is an affectionate term that me and my university friends have coined for this dish over the years – a rather sad, but bitter sweet story.
Back at university one of our housemates, wasn’t a particularly accomplished cook. However in our weekly shared cook up meals she would take pride in putting together dinner for everyone. Pudding often was flan – a ready made sponge flan from the supermarket topped with tinned peaches, gelatine glaze and… silver sugar balls which usually dissolved into the topping. Because we were a giggling group of girls the dish became affectionately know as flange.
Devastatingly just 6 months after we left university our friend was diagnosed with a brain tumour and passed away 3 weeks later. Loosing a close friend so young as 21 was a hideous experience. The rest of us girls who are now dotted all over the UK all get together religiously around her anniversary every year. As marriages, children, busy diaries and distance make more frequent catch ups a challenge this weekend is our guaranteed chance to make sure we get together and have a good old catch up. Every year flange is served for dessert and of course a toast to our absent friend.
It was my turn to host this year, and naturally me, being slightly off-centre and obsessed with re-creating favourite dishes in Paleo form baked a very different flange from scratch.
I have used the base from a recipe on The little loaf as my inspiration. Then end base result was somewhat more biscuity than sponge/flan-like and the whole dish tasted a little like cheesecake. Plus the browned butter in the base added a rather surprisingly gingery taste – especially since there is no ginger involved. This was the first thing I have baked in 2013 as I’ve been on a no-dessert-January and I loved getting my bake-on again. I also took pride in presentation by putting the cake stand my brother bought me for Christmas to its first use.
Ingredients (serves 8)
- 75g butter (preferably grass-fed such as Kerrygold)
- 175g ground almonds
- 75mls organic raw honey
- 250g CoYo (coconut milk yoghurt) – you could also use full-fat Greek yoghurt or crème frâiche
- 2 Tablespoons arrowroot (optional)
- Grated zest of 1 lime
- Punnet of raspberries
- A few mint leaves
You can make up the base a day in advance as I did to save time. The topping is best added just before eating, though the entire flan will keep in the fridge for a few days in an airtight container.
- Pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees C (fan) & grease a 9 inch flan tin with butter – Ideally one that you can pop the bottom out of. To make up the base add the butter to a saucepan and warm over a low heat until the milk solids start to froth and the butter starts to brown and smell golden and nutty. Remove from the heat and cool for around 5 mins. Next stir in the honey and the ground almonds till the mix comes together into a ball of dough.
- Dollop the dough into the flan tin, and with a spatula push the dough over the tin base and a little up the sides. The dough will be quite delicate so be gentle! Prick all over with a fork and bake in the oven for 10 mins. After 10 minutes check on the flan – as it will have puffed up slightly prick again with a fork and push it back down again with a back of a spoon. Stick it back in the oven for another 6 minutes.
- It will be ready when it is browned all over and firm. Leave to cool completely in the tin, then when you’re ready to finish it off, ease it gently out of its case and onto a plate / cake stand.
- Prepare the filling by placing the yoghurt in a bowl and combining it fully with the arrowroot and lime-zest. The arrowroot acts as a thickener and was only necessary because my yoghurt was quite runny. If you’re using a firmer cream then it won’t be needed.
- Spread the yoghurt over the base, and top with raspberries, a tad more lime zest and a smattering of torn fresh mint leaves.