Thursday 16 May 2013


I am a doubting Thomas when it comes to trying new recipes. Not that I doubt the recipe. I doubt my skills at following recipes. Sometimes though, there are recipes that I just have to try to make because they look so delicious. 

I love pouring custard rather than cream on chocolate cake so when I saw this recipe I knew this was something I'd like. Not only did it have chocolate cake and custard, it also had caramel. Just by the looks of it, I could tell how delicious it was. 

This cake is also known as Chocoflan. Basically it is a chocolate cake with a cream cheese flan on top of it. Sounds simple and it actually is simple and easy to make. It is the way it is baked that earned it its name. The chocolate cake batter gets poured in a caramel lined pan before the custard mixture is poured on top of it. Once baked, the two mixtures would have switched places. The custard settles to the bottom of the pan and the cake floats to the top. When inverted, the caramel glazed custard would be the crowning glory.

I was expecting a much richer tasting cake but was pleasantly surprised that it has a very gentle comforting flavour and texture that you could just go on eating more and more. It wasn't super sweet so serving it with more caramel sauce gave it a more complete taste. I will probably add a bit more cocoa powder next time as my son said it could probably use more. 

I chose to follow Marcella Valladolid's recipe because I know that she would be an expert on these sort of things. The recipe is straightforward and all you have to do is to believe that it will work because it actually will. There were a few things I had to change. The size specifications of the condensed milk and evaporated milk tins were a bit different from the ones we have here in the UK. I used a 410 gm. tin of evaporated milk and a 397 gm. tin of condensed milk. 
Although a 12-cup bundt tin was specified, I used a 10-cup one because that was all I had. I also used half Greek yoghurt and half milk in place of the buttermilk.

The recipe worked like a dream and I was nervous about taking it out of the mold but it came out easily and in one beautiful piece. The cake was dense but not heavy and the flan is soft, rich but not cloying. I was fascinated by how the liquid white flan mixture seeped past the thick chocolate cake batter and still came out untainted.

Celebrate World Baking Day on Sunday (May 19). If you want to impress your friends and family, make this cake, make the impossible possible. Amaze them.

Adapted from Marcella Valladolid's recipe of Chocoflan.

Ingredients for the cake batter:

10 tbsps. butter, room temperature
1 c. sugar
1 egg
1 3/4 c. plain flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/3 c. cocoa powder
1/4 tsp. fine salt
1 1/4 c. buttermilk (I used half Greek yoghurt and half milk)

To assemble the cake you will need:

butter or baking spray for greasing
1/2 c. (or more) caramel, dulce de leche, cajeta or toffee fudge sauce
whole pecans for decoration


Pre-heat the oven to 350° F/180° C. 

Grease a 12-cup bundt pan (I used a 10-cup one) with butter or baking spray. Pour 1/4 c. of caramel at the bottom of the pan. If the caramel is too thick, warm it up just so it will settle evenly on the bottom of the pan. 

Cream the butter and sugar together. Add the egg and beat until light and fluffy.

Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa powder and salt in a separate mixing bowl.

Beat 1/3 of the flour mixture and half of the buttermilk into the egg mixture. Repeat, ending with the last of the flour mixture. Blend well.

Spoon the cake batter into the pan. Carefully drag a fork on the top to even it out without disturbing the caramel at the bottom. 

Slowly pour the flan mixture into the cake batter. 

Cover with baking paper (so the top won't stick to the foil when cooked), then with foil.

Sit the bundt pan on a roasting tin and add about an inch of hot water. Bake for about an hour or until a cake tester comes out clean. The cake layer should rise to the top. If there are still wet patches of custard remaining on top, cook further.

Remove from the water bath and cool to room temperature. Gently run a rubber spatula around the edge and the center of the pan. Put an inverted rimmed plate on top of the pan, jiggle and flip over. Remove the pan and scrape any remaining caramel onto the cake. Arrange pecans on top and drizzle with more caramel. 

Slice and serve with caramel sauce.

Ingredients for the flan:

1 410 gm. can of evaporated milk 
1 397 gm. can of condensed milk
4 ounces of cream cheese, room temperature
3 eggs
1 tbsp. vanilla extract


Mix all of the ingredients together and blend in a blender or with a hand blender.

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