Black Sesame Flan
We miss Japan so much, one of the most fascinating countries we have visited. We’ve been there three times already and we feel that we want more and more. The culture, the culinary, the landscapes, everything fascinates us in Japan and when we visit this amazing country we feel like a baby discovering the world.
The last time we visited it was right before the COVID-19, we were in the Tokyo Chocolate Salon and celebrated life together with the French Pastry Chefs and Chocolatiers who came to the salon. None of us imagined then that this would be our last trip to Japan for the next two years, at least.
One of our favorite things about trips to Japan and trips in general, is the discovery of new, or less familiar products. Of course today when the whole world is open and when under our house there is a large Japanese supermarket, one does not have to go to Japan in order to purchase Japanese products, but there is nothing like the real thing.
One of the products we discovered in Japan, which has also become one of our favorite products in recent years is black sesame. Most of us are familiar with black sesame in its simple form, black sesame seeds, the kind that are used to decorate various pastries. But the product we think is more interesting, is the black sesame paste.
After making the Black Sesame Chiffon Cake and the Black Sesame Marble Cake, this time I decided to go back to a French classic, the Flan. I’ve known this product for a long time, but after seeing it at Colorova, I decided to meet the Pastry Chef Guillaume Gil and bake with him the Black Sesame Flan. Gil gave me his recipe for this amazing Flan, I tried it at home and here it is especially for you.
This recipe consists of egg yolks, you can make this amazing Pavlova with the egg whites.
French Chocolate Flan
ring mold 20 cm in diameter, 5-6 cm high
Black Sesame Pastry Dough:
60g butter, cubed
60g confectioners sugar
25g black sesame paste
180g all-purpose flour, sifted
1.5g baking powder
Black Sesame Custard Filling:
85g black sesame paste
135g egg yolks (7 M egg yolks approx)
135g light brown sugar
45g cornflour, sifted
50g semi-salted butter, cubed
Black sesame seeds for decoration
1. Black Sesame Pastry Dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine butter and confectioners sugar, Add egg and black sesame paste, mix. Add flour and baking powder, mix until the ingredients come together into a ball of dough.
2. Remove from the mixer bowl and knead briefly on your work surface until well combined.
3. Lightly sprinkle the top and bottom of the dough ball with flour, put it between two sheets of parchment paper, and lightly flatten it into a disk (don’t roll it out completely). Transfer the dough, with the paper, to the refrigerator and chill for 2 hours.
4. Remove from the fridge, and roll out the dough to a thickness of 3 mm. Line the ring with the dough, making sure that the sides are fully filled in and straight. Using a knife, gently trim the overhanging edges. Freeze the dough-lined ring until baking.
5. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius.
6. Black Sesame Custard Filling: In a medium saucepan, heat milk and black sesame paste until simmering.
7. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk egg yolks and sugar together until they turn a creamy color. Add the cornflour and mix.
8. When the milk and black sesame reach boiling point, pour 1/3 of the hot liquid over the egg mix. Do this a little bit at a time while mixing, so that you do not cook the eggs.
9. Return the mixture to the saucepan, and bring to a boil, stirring constantly so the eggs don’t scorch on the bottom.
10. When the mixture comes to a boil and thickens, remove from the heat, add butter and stir till combined to a smooth batter.
11. Remove the dough-lined ring from the freezer, place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Pour the filling over the dough, flatten, sprinkle with black sesame seeds and place in the oven.
12. Bake for about 45-55 minutes (depends on the oven), until the filling is firm to the touch.
13. Remove from the oven, cool to room temperature and refrigerate overnight.
14. Remove from the refrigerator and slice generously. It’s recommended to remove from the refrigerator about 15 minutes before serving.