Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Showstopper - A Pharaohs Flanale

I'm not sure what Fanny would make of the Great British Bake Off phenomenon, but I imagine she'd be a fan of the showstopper challenge. After all, it's all about garnish and presentation, her two favourite things. I don't think we are going to be seeing a Fanny Cradock week any time soon, but as ever, ahead of her time, Fanny herself finishes the flans in this partwork with her very own showstopper - the Pyramid Flan. 

Fanny instructs me to start by making a galette from puff pastry. I am using shop bought again. Fanny notes that if I use a lot of pastry she knows a good supplier who can send me a bulk order. All I need to do is send her a SAE with the words 'Bulk puff paste address please' written on it and she'll send me the address. She does point out she has no commercial interest here, her only interest is her dear readers. Aw. I'll be fine with the supermarket I reckon. So, I cut a round and score it in a criss-cross fashion to prevent it rising too much, egg wash it and bake.

Fanny warns me that if I simply 'slap' a disc of paste on a tray and bake it I will end up with a distorted circle risen up like an ancient tumulus! I am not too sure what one of those is, but it doesn't sound great, and I'd rather have the risen but flat surface Fanny demonstrates. When it's cool, Fanny tells me to split it in half across the centre and bake some rings of puff paste cut from the leftovers.

The rest is really assembly - filling the cut galette with a trio of confectioners custard, jam and whipped double cream. I am getting quite used to making the lovely thick custard Fanny is so fond of and has used in so many of these flans. I am hoping Fanny would be proud of me, as I'd previously never been able to master this one.

And then of course, pop the cut top back on. Please note is is risen and flat.

To construct the pyramid simply pop the baked puff paste rings on top in ever decreasing circles. Fanny sticks them on with apricot glaze, but fearing I'll end up in a sticky mess - as so often happens on the Bake Off - I adopt the stacking method. Fanny's final piece of advice is to dust the Pyramid with a flurry of icing sugar at the moment of service, and not before. So, voilĂ , Mary and Paul, the Pyramid  Flan Showstopper is now on the judging table.


  1. Wow that's a pretty one! How did it taste?

    1. Thanks, it tasted light and creamy really, surprisingly light really. A bit like a millefeuille but not as classy!

  2. wowow this is really nice!