Matcha and vanilla swirl flan

The creamy vanilla and matcha filling, the matcha frangipane layer, the white chocolate ganache topping… basically it’s a flan that every matcha lover needs to try!

Parisian flans have got to be one of my all-time favourite French pastries. So creamy yet surprisingly light, I think I probably eat flans at least once a month!

In this recipe I wanted to combine my love of flans with my love of matcha to propose this vanilla matcha swirl flan, complete with an almond and matcha frangipane layer.

The result: a delicious mixture of creamy goodness where we can easily distinguish both the vanilla flavour and the matcha flavour in equal measure, and the matcha frangipane base and ganache just add that extra sweet flavour to a not-too-sweet flan filling. Perfect!

It’s very important here to respect the resting time for the pastry crust. Please do not skip this part due to impatience – it is literally the make or break of this tall-standing flan! The amount of times that I’ve made crusts which shrink in the oven are countless. It’s always so disappointing when you’ve spent a lot of time baking only to have your pastry crust shrivel up on you! How to counter-act this? Avoid kneading the pastry too much and allow the pastry time to rest in the fridge – overnight is ideal, if not AT LEAST 4 hours. Letting the crust harden first in the fridge effectively “locks” it in place once you pop it in the oven. Some pastry chefs even leave the crust in the freezer for a few hours before baking. Basically what I’m saying (again) is: do not skip this step!!

As you can see this is a very tall flan. I used a 16cm wide and 10cm tall circle to make this, which makes the visual element certainly more impressive!

I honestly think that this has got to be one of my new favourite flan recipes.

RECIPE (10 servings):

Sweet pastry matcha crust:
-85g butter
-70g icing sugar
-1 egg
-25g almond powder
-190g plain flour
-2 tbsps matcha powder
-2g salt
Vanilla flan filling:
-440g milk
-2 vanilla pods
-2 eggs
-70g sugar
-50g cornflour
-80g crème fraiche
-30g butter
Matcha flan filling:
-440g milk
-2 tsps matcha powder
-2 eggs
-70g sugar
-50g cornflour
-80g crème fraiche
-30g butter
Matcha & almond frangipane:
-100g softened butter, room temp
-100g sugar
-120g almond powder
-1 egg
-1 tsp matcha powder
Matcha & white chocolate ganache topping:
-100g white chocolate
-1 tsp butter
-1 tsp matcha  powder
-40g heavy whipping cream

Sweet pastry matcha crust (make 1 day ahead):
1. Cut up the butter in cubes and place it in the bowl of your electric mixer, along with the icing sugar, almond powder and salt. Mix it on low speed using the flat beater component of your mixer (not the whisk component).
2. When the mixture is well combined, add the egg and mix again.
3. Separate this mixture equally in two.
4. Divide the flour equally in two separate bowls. In one bowl, add the matcha powder and whisk until the fully incorporated and the flour is completely green. Combine this with one half of the dough from the previous mixture and mix on low speed until just combined. Set aside.
5. Combine the other half of the flour with the dough mixture in the same way. You now have matcha dough and one “plain” dough.
6. With the two dough, separate each into four separate balls (so you have eight balls in total). Stick the balls together to create one ball, being sure to mix up the colours. It should look a little bit like a globe!
7. Film the dough in plastic wrap and leave it in the fridge to harden for 30 minutes.
8. After this time, remove the dough from the fridge and roll it out between two sheets of baking paper. It needs to be rolled thin, to around 2mm thickness.
9. Grease with butter a 16cm wide, 10cm high baking circle and place it on a baking tray lined with baking paper.  Carefully place the rolled out pastry inside the circle. If it breaks, you can press broken parts back into the dough.
10. Once your pastry is in the circle, place it in the fridge to harden and set overnight.
Vanilla flan filling (make on the day):
1. Pour the milk into a medium sized pan. Scrape the grains of the vanilla pods, and stir the pods and the grains into the milk. If you have time, it would be better to do this the day before to allow the vanilla to really infuse, however, for this recipe I allowed it to infuse for 30 minutes.
2. Add half of the sugar to the milk and vanilla mixture and bring to a gentle boil.
3. During this time, whisk the eggs with the rest of the sugar. Add the cornflour and whisk again.
4. When the milk starts bubbling, pour it over the eggs/sugar/cornflour mixture and whisk it well. Pour the mixture back in to the pan (remove the vanilla pods) and cook it on high heat, whisking continuously. When the mixture starts to thicken, immediately remove it from the heat and continue to whisk for 1-2 mins.
5. Stir in the cut up butter and crème fraiche off the heat and whisk again.
6. Pour the mixture into a bowl and cover closely with plastic film, so that the film is in contact with the mixture. Let it cool down to room temp (you can leave it in the fridge to speed up this process).

Matcha flan filling:
1. Follow the same instructions as the vanilla flan filling, except here we are replacing the vanilla pods with the matcha powder and we do not need to let the matcha infuse in the milk.
Matcha & almond frangipane:
1. Dice up the softened butter in cubes, and whisk it with the sugar. Add the egg, and after the almond powder and matcha powder.

1. Take the pastry circle out of the fridge and pour the frangipane into it. Spread it evenly and place the circle back in the fridge.
2. Preheat the oven to 200C.
3. Whisk separately the vanilla and matcha preparations to soften them up and pour each filling into separate pipping bags.
4. Take the pastry circle with the hardened frangipane layer out of the fridge. Pipe a swirl of the vanilla filling on top of the frangipane, then pipe a swirl of the matcha filling on top, making sure to fill in any gaps and flatten the fillings after each swirl with the back of a spoon. Repeat this until both fillings are finished. There should be around 2cm space left between where the filling ends and the top of the pastry ends.
5. Put the circle with the fillings back in the fridge for another 10 minutes.
6. Take out the circle and place it immediately in the oven. After 10 minutes in the oven, reduce the temperature to 170C and continue to bake for 50 minutes.
7. The flan is done when it is brown on top and still wriggles slightly in the middle when you shake it. Allow the flan to cool down to room temp before placing it in the fridge to set for at least 4 hours.
Matcha & white chocolate ganache topping:
1. Place the white chocolate and butter in a medium-sized, heat-proof bowl.
2. Heat up in a small pan the cream and matcha powder until it starts simmering.
3. Pour the matcha cream over the chocolate and butter and stir until fully melted. If you find that the chocolate doesn’t melt properly, place the bowl over a pot of boiling water and stir until it melts.
4. Once the ganache is ready and still warm and runny, take the flan out of the fridge and remove it from its circle (if difficult to remove, carefully run a sharp knife around the edges).
5. Pour the ganache on top of flan, starting from the center, use the back of a spoon to quickly spread it round the sides.
6. Allow the ganache to set on the flan at room temp before eating it.
Enjoy with a warm matcha tea!

Did you try out this recipe? Any questions? Any feedback? Would love to hear from you!

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