Beautiful, Glorious, Chocoflan

We love Mexican food in our house and two out of the three of us love a good dessert. I say two, because Rob, being the third, will almost always take a second portion of the dinner and have that as his dessert. Me and Judah however, will always have room for something sweet. He definitely gets that from me, and it is one of the things that make him my son, without a doubt.

I realize I have only written about starches and sugars I love, however I assure you that we don’t eat like this on a regular basis! We are actually a very healthy eating home, with most meals made from scratch and we also do a lot of juicing. It’s a great way to get all the fiber and vitamins into your kiddos as well. Whenever I make a fruit juice, I add in ‘not so kid friendly’ veggies like kale and various greens. Judah loves them and thinks they are milkshakes. So please, don’t tell him otherwise! We keep our fruit bowls on the kitchen counter big and plentiful, and it’s gone in a couple of days, tops. I know that a lot of people only care what something tastes like and not so much how it looks, but for me, I definitely eat with my eyes first, and when something is pretty, and readily available, I will eat it!

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This gorgeous dessert however is not healthy in the least bit. And Rob will always have a piece, or more, and that makes me happy. If you know me, you know I don’t like to eat desserts alone. In restaurants, I very often will order a lighter meal or appetizer so I can have a big dessert. I order it saying “we’re going to share the “Massive Chocolate Monstrocity”. And then when it comes, I make sure it is put in the center of the table with a fork in front of Rob so I don’t look so pathetic eating it all by myself. It’s the little things like this that make you feel better about what you’re doing. As though it makes it ok.

Anyway, this recipe for Chocoflan comes from Marcela Valladolid, and she’s one of my favorite Food Network chefs. I use her cookbook a lot and have made so many delicious recipes of hers.

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This recipe however is not in this book, but it is widely available online and I will write it out below.

 

Ingredients:

  • Softened butter, to coat pan
  • 1/4 cup cajeta or caramel sauce

For the cake:

  • 10 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk

For the flan:

  • One 12-ounce can evaporated milk
  • One 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

For garnish:

  • 1/4 cup cajeta or caramel sauce
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans

Directions:

Special equipment: 12-cup capacity Bundt pan

Put an oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.

Coat a Bundt pan with a little butter, then coat the bottom with 1/4 cup cajeta and put it in a large roasting pan. (The roasting pan will serve as a water bath during baking.)

For the cake: Add the butter and sugar to a bowl and using an electric hand mixer or stand mixer, beat until light and fluffy, then beat in the egg. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and cocoa in a medium bowl. Beat 1/3 of the flour mixture, and 1/2 of the buttermilk into the egg mixture. Repeat, ending with the flour mixture. Blend until well incorporated.

For the flan: In a blender, combine the evaporated milk, condensed milk, cream cheese, eggs and vanilla. Blend on high for 30 seconds.

Scoop the cake batter into the prepared Bundt pan and spreading evenly. Slowly pour the flan mixture over the cake batter. Cover with foil and add about 1-inch of hot water to the roasting pan.

Carefully slide the pan into the oven, and bake 1 hour, until the surface of the cake is firm to the touch, or an inserted toothpick comes out clean. When cake is done, remove from the water bath and cool completely to room temperature, about 1 hour.

Invert a large, rimmed serving platter over the Bundt pan, grasp tightly together, jiggle a little and flip over. Remove the pan and scrape any remaining cajeta from the pan onto the cake, garnish with chopped pecans and serve!

Cook’s Note: The batters may appear to mix when you pour them into the pan, but they completely separate while baking, with the flan ending up on the bottom when it’s inverted. I like eating it warm, but traditionally, it is chilled 24 hours before serving. Flan is a rich, creamy, cooked egg custard. It is often flavored with vanilla and baked in a water bath to retain its delicacy. Cajeta is a thick and creamy spread or paste made with caramelized sugar and milk. It is used as a desert on its own or as a topping. Also known as “dolce de leche,” it is sold in many supermarkets, Latin specialty markets or online. It can be substituted with a thick caramel sauce.

What I love about this cake is the magic that happens when you pour the two batters into the bundt pan and how it all looks like a big mess, but they absolutely do invert and will separate while baking.

The prettier the bundt pan you have, the prettier the cake will come out from the mold. And then when you drizzle on the Cajeta, well come on, it’s just beautiful. And very edible.

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(This is the one I use. It’s fairly simple, but still comes out looking beautiful)

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I always doubt my skills when baking cakes, but this one turned out perfect my first time. It’s one of those recipes that just turn out every time, so for me, it’s a winner, and that’s why I’m sharing it. It’s also one that you can take to a dinner party and look like you are a skilled baker, and have everyone say “oooohhhh!!!”. It’s a good one to consider with all of the holidays coming up. You won’t be disappointed!

 – The Homesteaders Wife

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