Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Chocoflan {Mexican Chocolate Flan Cake} ...

I celebrated a birthday last month and on that day my neighbor brought over some of the best cake I've ever tasted. Truly. Take a look at the photo below. It's a Mexican Chocoflan. {Chocolate Flan Cake} Tasting it will ruin you for life because you will want a piece every day.

It's beautiful, isn't it? It was made by my friend's friend, who is from Mexico. That day I knew I had to learn how to make this delicious concoction. I started with an easy recipe from Betty Crocker on the internet using a cake mix. Below is the result...

Not as pretty as the original, but I was incredibly grateful that the cake came out of the pan easily and in one piece. However, the texture of my cake wasn't as dense or chocolatey as the original, so I tweaked the recipe further. First, I've always preferred Duncan Hines cake mixes over Betty Crocker, so that was an easy change. I chose Classic Duncan Hines Dark Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix. I also added 1/4 cup {natural unsweetened} cocoa, which raised the chocolatey level to my liking and made the cake less sweet. One of the things I loved about the original was that it wasn't as sweet as a typical cake in the United States. I glazed the pecans with a little sugar to add a crunch to the top of the cake, and I added more caramel to the top of the cake than they had suggested in the Betty Crocker recipe. Here's the result of those changes in the recipe...

Awesome yumminess.

I don't know if my pallet is particularly discerning, but, to me, this tasted very close to the original. It was delicious. My tweaked recipe is below. Not only is this tasty, but it's easy to make too!

Mexican Chocoflan

1 jar (12.25 oz. caramel topping
1 box Classic Duncan Hines Dark Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix
1 cup water 
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa

1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated) 
1 cup milk
4 eggs

Sugared Pecans:
1/2 to 1 cup pecans

  • Heat oven to 350 degrees (Fahrenheit).  Grease a 12 cup fluted tube cake pan with butter. Take the top off the caramel jar and put the jar in the microwave for 15 seconds to heat the caramel and make it thinner to pour. Pour 1/2 - 3/4 of the jar of caramel topping (6 oz. - 9 oz.) into the bottom of the pan. Refrigerate the remaining caramel topping. 
  • In large bowl, beat cake mix, water, oil, 3 eggs and cocoa in an electric mixer on medium speed till the cake mix is blended about one minute, scraping bowl occasionally. (Do not over-beat. You want a more dense cake, rather than light and airy.) Pour batter over caramel topping in pan.
  • In blender, place flan ingredients. Cover; blend on high speed until smooth, about 40 seconds. Slowly pour mixture over the batter in the pan. (Flan mixture will mix with the batter as you pour, but they will separate during baking, forming 1 layer of cake and 1 layer of flan.)
  • Place cake in large roasting pan in the oven. (I use a metal 9x13 pan.) Add one inch of hot water to roasting pan, so that your cake pan is sitting in a water bath.
  • Bake 1 hour 5 minutes to 1 hour 10 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove cake pan from water bath to cooling rack. Cool completely, for at least one hour. 
  • Place serving plate upside down on the cooled cake pan; turn plate and pan over. Remove pan. 
  • While the cake is baking or cooling make the sugared pecans. Make a simple syrup -- about 1/4 cup water to 1/2 cup sugar (1 part water to 2 parts sugar) in saucepan. Stir in pecans and cook until liquid is gone and the pecans are covered with sugar. Then spread the pecans on a cookie sheet and bake for a few minutes at 350 degrees. Cool. Sprinkle these on the top of the flan. You can also use fresh fruit, as in the first photo.
  • This cake can be prepared the day before, in fact, the cake is more moist and the flavors are better the second day!