Chocoflan

By Melissa Pitts

For some reason chocoflan seems very retro to me. Maybe it’s the Bundt mold and the giggly flan resting on top covered in cajeta. Whatever it is, and however it came to be- thank God it did. This dessert is a real crowd pleaser, gooey chocolate cake and creamy flan on top, all covered in a syrupy cajeta layer. It’s a little time consuming, I’ll admit, so make sure you have time to not only bake the cake for an hour, but also have another 2 hours for it to chill and come out of the mold cleanly.

I don’t normally venture into recipes that require lots of bowls and appliances (this one requires a blender and electric beater) but I promise it comes together easily and the results are worth the effort. For the lazy folks out there, if the thought of making a homemade cake and flan make you running for the hills, go ahead and use a box of chocolate cake mix. If you are going to use boxed chocolate cake mix, follow the instructions on the flan and assemble normally (just skip ahead to pouring the chocolate mix into the pan).

This recipe is a classic version, no thrills or surprises here- enjoy!

Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes, plus 2 hours cooling time

Preparation Time: 30 minutes

Yields 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 12 cup capacity Bundt pan
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, to coat pan
  • 4 tablespoons flour, to dust the pan
  • 1/4 cup cajeta

For the cake:

  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons espresso, cooled
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s)
  • 1 1/4 cups low fat buttermilk, room temperature

For the flan:

  • 1 (12-ounce) can low fat evaporated milk
  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature (low fat is fine, but NOT non fat)
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Coat a Bundt pan with a the tablespoon butter, then sprinkle with the flour, covering all the whole pan and shake out the excess. Coat the bottom with the cajeta and put it in a larger pan the Bundt- a roasting pan works great here.
  3. For the cake: Add the butter and sugar to a bowl and using an electric stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat until light and fluffy (about 4 minutes), then beat in the egg.
  4. While the butter and sugar are mixing, in a medium bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and cocoa in a medium bowl. Mix in the espresso. Beat 1/3 of the flour mixture, and 1/2 of the buttermilk into the egg mixture. Repeat until the buttermilk and flour mixture are all in the bowl. Blend until well incorporated. Set aside.
  5. For the flan: In a blender, combine the evaporated milk, condensed milk, cream cheese, eggs and vanilla. Blend on high until well blended- or about 30 seconds.
  6. Pour the cake batter into the prepared Bundt pan and spreading evenly. Carefully pour the flan mixture over the cake batter. Add about 1-inch of hot (not boiling) water to the roasting pan (or whatever pan you are using that is bigger than the Bundt).
  7. Slide the pan into the oven, and bake 1 hour and 10 minutes (or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean). When cake is done, remove from the water bath and cool completely on a cooling rack to room temperature, about 2 hours.
  8. Invert a large, rimmed serving platter over the Bundt pan, grasp tightly together, giggle a little and flip over. Remove the pan and scrape any remaining cajeta from the pan onto the cake.

*Ojo: While the cake is in the oven the flan will sink to the bottom- don’t worry- that’s suppose to happen. When you flip the cake over you will then have a chocolate cake bottom and flan topping. I have no idea what chemistry magic makes this happen but it is wonderful. Hooray for chemistry!

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