Chocolate Flan

chcolate flan

The Spruce / Elaine Lemm

  • Total: 2 hrs 5 mins
  • Prep: 30 mins
  • Cook: 95 mins
  • Cool and Chill: 8 hrs

Do not be deceived by the shallow depth of this chocolate flan—what it lacks in size, it makes up for with sheer richness and decadent cocoa flavor.

There is no flour, so this is a great dessert for those who are gluten free. With no flour to stabilize the flan, it makes the dessert a little delicate to both make and to cook. But using a water bath, also known as a bain-marie, ensures long, slow cooking to carefully set the eggs and chocolate into a light, melting texture. The water bath method ensures the delicate batter does not cook too quickly or harshly by wrapping it in gentle heat and the slight moisture also helps to keep it from drying out.

The chocolate flan looks lovely as is and also makes a great base for decorating, making this a great recipe for any kind of celebration. Get creative or finish simply with a little fresh fruit, a drizzle of caramel sauce, or chocolate shavings.


Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. Preheat the oven to 250 F.

  2. Grease a 9 x 3-inch springform pan and line the bottom with greaseproof paper. Wrap a band of plastic wrap around the bottom and up the sides of the pan. This will keep any water from leaking into the flan while cooking in the water bath.

  3. To melt the chocolate, break it into small pieces and place into a metal bowl over a pan of lightly simmering water (the bottom of the bowl should not touch the water). Chop the softened butter into small pieces and add to the bowl. Let these two gently melt together and only stir when melted. Resist the temptation to do it any earlier and use a wooden spoon or silicone spatula to stir. Once melted and stirred, remove from the heat and let it stand for 2 minutes.

  4. While the chocolate is melting, put the eggs and sugar into a stand mixer and whisk on high speed until the eggs have quadrupled and turned a pale yellow. This will take about 10 to 15 minutes.

  5. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the chocolate and butter mixture. Raise the speed a little at a time and whisk until all the chocolate is combined. Note that the volume you created in the eggs will drop substantially with the addition of the chocolate.

  6. Place the prepared springform pan into a large roasting dish. Pour the batter carefully into the pan. Lift the roasting tin up a few inches, then tap it firmly onto the worktop a couple of times to release any air bubbles. Place the pan into the oven and pour boiling water into the roasting pan two-thirds up the outside of the springform.

  7. Cook for 1 1/2 hours. Check to see if the flan is cooked by very gently shaking the pan. If cooked, the flan will be firm and not wobble. If it wobbles, cook another 15 minutes and check again.

  8. Place the springform onto a cooling rack and leave the flan to cool in the tin. Once completely cool, chill in the refrigerator uncovered for at least 4 hours.

  9. When ready to eat, run a knife around the edge and remove the sides of the springform pan. If any tiny bits stick to the pan, just use a warm palette knife to smooth the cake so it is smooth and shiny. Decorate as you wish. The cake will keep for a few days in an airtight tin preferably in the refrigerator.


This chocolate flan is so heavenly all by itself, but a little restrained decoration is fun. Try the following decoration ideas or a combination.

  • Grated chocolate
  • Cocoa powder
  • Fresh fruit (blueberries and raspberries are a perfect match)
  • Gold leaf or glitter spray (for a special event)