Monday, 3 July 2017

Chocolate Crackle Flan

 Recipe number 2 is a personal one; one that my mum made regularly throughout my childhood. In fact, she made this so often that I didn't realise that it wasn't really a thing until fairly recently. She first made it in Domestic Science class at school, and apparently it was off the back of a Cornflake packet or something.

Straight from my mother's recipe book.

Chocolate Crackle Flan basically consists of a giant Cornflake crispy cake construction stuffed full of fake cream and underwhelming fruit. Kids love it, possibly because it's so sweet that it could rot your teeth just by being in the same room as you. My mum was under the impression that it was a brilliant way to get fruit into reluctant children back in the day. Read the recipe and you'll see that the whole thing - which serves 6 - only contains 1 apple and 1 banana, so I won't laud her as a health guru just yet. She also used to make it when we were ill because she knew we'd eat it even if we didn't fancy anything else. It is reasons like this that I am a bit fat.

On to the recipe:

Serves: About 6 people. Or a family of 4 with seconds.

Preparation time: about half an hour but you've got to add about 15 minutes for it to cool in the fridge as well.


2oz butter or margarine
2 level tablespoons golden syrup
2oz chocolate
1oz sugar
3oz crushed Cornflakes (or cheapo substitute)
1 banana
1 apple
quarter of a pint of milk
1 sachet of Dream Topping (or cream - see note)

Note: If you're being posh you can sub the milk and Dream Topping powder for a quarter of a pint of double cream with a bit of vanilla extract and sugar in it, but if you're going peak 70s you're going to want to use the Dream Topping.

Also note: The original recipe also called for raisins, but seeing as they are the devil's droppings, I will not be using them and my mum didn't either.


1. Stir the butter, golden syrup, sugar and chocolate in a pan until it is melted and combined.

2. Add the crushed cornflakes and mix well.

3. You're now going to grease a 7" (or so) cake tin and squish the mixture into it to form a sort of flan case, so the mixture will need to be pressed up the side of the tin as well as onto the bottom. Pay attention to my mum's top tip, or it can be a bitch to remove from the tin later: "You have to grease the pan then cut two wide long strips of grease proof paper and line the tin with them in a cross shape, then grease the paper too. This helps you to lever the flan out when it's ready." Judging from the amount of swearing and shrieking that used to come from the kitchen whenever she tried to get this out of the pan and the state it used to look when it came to the table sometimes, I'd say that there's at least a 50% chance of it all going tits up anyway, so I wouldn't worry too much about it.

note spectacular grease proof paper cross formation.

4. Put the base in the fridge to chill for at least 10 minutes. Meanwhile, whip up your cream or Dream Topping and thinly slice the fruit.

5. Spread a small amount of cream onto the base and layer on the fruit.

6. Pile the cream/Dream Topping on top, and spread until the fruit is covered. Stick it back into the fridge until you're ready to serve it.

7. Use the superbly constructed greaseproof paper cross formation to coax the flan out of the tin. It's more authentic if you call it a stubborn little bitch at this point. Ease it onto a plate and apply 1 metric fuck-tonne of hundreds and thousands. Because in the 70s and 80s, it just wasn't pudding unless it had a coating of multi-coloured grit.

8. Cut into slices and serve. 

"I need to have a serious think about this one," says my chief tester. "It's confused me. It's like two different puddings have merged. It's all too much."


* Grated chocolate is another acceptable decorative touch for this recipe, as are glace cherries.

** You could replace the apple and banana with more exciting fruits such as raspberries and pomegranate seeds, but to be honest you just need to get over yourself.

Got a bizarre old family recipe for me to try out? Let me know in the comments...


  1. Indian pasta is my favourite, and I still eat it now - my husband is really glad I introduced it to him. It's basically quite overcooked pasta (bow tie is best) with turmeric, ginger, garlic, mustard seeds, green chilli (sounds classy so far) and then a load of tomato ketchup and the cheapest mildest cheddar you can get your hands on. My mum cooked it for us when she couldn't be arsed. It's great and so offensive to Italians.

    1. Well, this sounds like a challenge to me...

    2. But bowtie pasta is crap because even when the rest is falling apart, the knots are always still hard

  2. Look in that recipe book of mine for barbecued spare ribs made with ketchup brown sauce syrup etc. They were gorgeous

  3. My grandmother would always serve up something very much like this when I was a child in the 80s. Except with rice krispies rather than cornflakes, no fruit, and a chocolate/mint mousse thing under the Dream Topping which I thought was Angel Delight but apparently they didn't do chocolate/mint until recently. So goodness knows what that was.

    It was my favourite thing about visiting Granny's house, because the rest of the time was spent silently watching snooker in a small front room while my Grandfather smoked.