This is a one-stage mixture, and the amount of ingredients given will make:
An 11 inch sponge flan or
a 9 inch sponge flan plus a 6 inch sponge flan or
a 6 inch sponge flan and six 3 inch mini sponge flans.
Ingredients4 oz, margarine softened at room temperature
4 oz, caster sugar
4 oz. Self-raising flour
A little cooking oil
Appropriate tin or tins
MethodThis is equivalent to the 2 eggs and their weight in sugar, margarine and self-raising flour.
Our crimped flans have separate rings and raised "top hat" bases.
First cut a round of greaseproof paper to fit the raised centre of the base. To do this lay it on the paper, raised side downwards, tip your pencil under the rim and draw round it; cut out the round.
Brush the flan ring and the centre with cooking oil.
Put the circle of paper on the centre and grease this as well. (There is no need to line the mini flan tin centres with greaseproof paper; just brush them with cooking oil.)
Warm a mixing bowl in the oven for a few minutes, put all the ingredients into
it and mix carefully until they are combined. Then, using a wooden spoon, beat the mixture for 2 minutes until it is smooth, soft and well mixed. (If you use an electric mixer, beat for l minute only.)
Turn the mixture into the tin and spread it level with a palette knife.
Bake the flan in a moderately hot oven, just above the centre, at Gas Mark 5 or 375 degrees.
The ll inch sponge flan will take 15 to 20 minutes to cook, the 9 inch flan 15 minutes, the 6 inch flan and the mini flans 10 minutes.
Turn the flan on to a wire tray and remove first the ring, then the "top hat", then the greaseproof paper; the loose centre makes the flan very easy to turn out.
At this stage the sponge flans all freeze beautifully in polythene bags. Thaw them still in the bags to prevent them from drying-they take an hour at room temperature.
I decided on a chocolate cherry flavour, because I love cherries and they are in season, which means I could use British produce, which I prefer to do.