Archive | July, 2012

A chocoflan adventure

30 Jul

Chocoflan – My favorite Mexican dessert!

Tonight we are bringing food to our small group at church.  We usually prefer to bring authentic Mexican dishes.  Not only is it fun and delicious, Mexican food is usually gluten free.   Our small group dinners try to be mostly gluten free.  Because of this, dessert is always tricky for me.  Ice cream is a very safe dessert to bring, but how many different ways can you serve ice cream?  I once bought a gluten free cake mix, and it was disgusting.  I will never do that again!  Anyway, since I like to coordinate and match themes, if we are bringing a Mexican dish, I would prefer to bring a Mexican dessert.  I will be quite honest with you:  I am not a big fan of half of Mexican desserts.  There is flan, jericalla, pastel de tres leches, fried ice cream, and chocoflan.  Maybe there are some other ones, but this is all I can think of off the top of my head.  We already know I exhaust ice cream, so we won’t be bringing that.  I flat out don’t like jericalla, and flan only a little bit.  Tres Leches cake isn’t gluten free.  So, that leaves chocoflan as a really great option.  No, the choco part of the dessert is NOT gluten free, but that is the beauty of it.  Chocoflan is amazingly delicious (and I am not a flan fan, remember), and for those that need to eat gluten free, they can just eat the top part, without me making an entirely different dessert.  Beautiful.
I’ve made chocoflan twice before last night.  The first time was in Mexico.  All I remember is that it turned out well.  The second time was probably a year ago.  I just remember the recipe was wonderful, and it turned out looking like a masterpiece.  When I decided to make Chocoflan again, I was kicking myself for not writing down the recipe somewhere (or maybe it IS written down somewhere, but I just don’t remember where?).  So, I browsed some recipes and decided to use this one I found on the internet for inspiration.  Chocoflan is a difficult, tricky, but at the same time easy dessert to make.  I remember it being complicated the last two times, but it always turned out well.  It was complicated this time as well, but I actually had some bumpies in the road that didn’t happen last time.  I hope to avoid those by including extra tips below.

Receta para Chocoflan / Chocoflan Recipe

Here are your ingredients: (and like everything Mexican, this recipe is going to be a lot of “a dash of this” and “a dash of that” so that way you can be a true chef!

Ingredients for Chocoflan

1 box of chocolate cake mix + the ingredients used to make the cake mix (usually water, oil, and eggs)
Butter and/or cooking spray
Carmel sauce, or genuine Mexican “caramel” called Cajeta, or Dulce de Leche
1 can of sweetened condensed milk
1 can of evaporated milk
4 eggs
8 oz of Neufchâtel cheese, or cream cheese (I used the Neufchâtel), softened
Vanilla extract

Special supplies!:

Mixing bowl
Several small cake pans (I used 1 9×9 pan plus 3 small loaf pans – use what you have!)
2 9×13 pans

1. Prepare cake mix as indicated by the box. (That’s easy!)

These are the pans I used

2. Grease thoroughly the pans you plan on using for the chocoflan.  The important thing here is that when you cook the chocoflan, you have to place them in a hot water bath in the oven.  You COULD cook this in a 9×13 pan if you have an even BIGGER pan laying around your house.  However, even so, this is going to be a very TALL dessert, and MIGHT spill over in a regular 9×13 cake.  So, I just “estimated” what recipients I had that would end up equaling a 9×13 pan.  Plus, there is another reason why smaller is better… you will find out below.  SO – I would have used my square pan (I think it is 9×9, but it might be 8×8) plus my rectangular glass pan (I call it my mini-9×13), but the rectangular pan has frozen lasagna in it in my freezer.  I was quite stumped, but decided to use my 3 small loaf pans!  If I didn’t have THOSE, I would have made cupcakes!

So basically in my head I am thinking half of everything goes in to the square glass pan, and the other half gets divided equally among the 3 loaf pans.





Step 3: Caramel sauce coating the bottom of the pans

3. Immediately coat the bottom of the pans with caramel sauce.  How much did I use?  I don’t know.  I just made sure there was a nice layer covering the whole bottom.  Also, I say immediately, because when I was assembling the cake later I had forgotten to put the caramel sauce in and had to put everything back and wash my pan… it was annoying.








Step 4 – put chocolate cake mix equally in all pans

4. Put the chocolate cake mix in the greased/carameled pans.  Divide as equally as possible.  For guidance, my mini loaf pans I filled half way, and I put everything else in the 9×9 pan.









Step 5: Mixing ingredients in blender (chocolate cake mix from step 1 is on the right)



5. Place condensed milk, evaporated milk, eggs, Neufchâtel cheese, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract in a blender and blend!








Step 6: Flan concoction goes on top of the chocolate cake mix



6. Pour the contents of the blender on top of the chocolate cake mix, as evenly on all parts as you can.  This part is scary!  Here is a tip, if your blender has been sitting for a few minutes, give it a little mix before you pour it on top of everything to make sure there hasn’t been an uneven separation of ingredients.  As you can see, it looks kind of swirly.







Step 7: Pans go in a larger pan to make a hot water bath





7. Fill up your pans up with water that you will be using to make the hot water bath.  I filled them up about half way.

8. Bake at 350 degrees Farenheit.  For the small loaf pans, 1 hour was maybe JUST a tad much.  Possibly adjust to 55 minutes.  For the square pan, 1 hour was BAD.  Cook larger pans for longer!  I think 1 hour and 20 minutes for a 9×9 would be good.

9. Remove from the oven and from the hot water bath with cooking time is finished.  INVERT your cakes while hot on a nice serving dish.  This is NOT a dessert that you can serve straight from the pan you cooked it in.  Also, when you pull your pans out of the oven, you will notice that you CANNOT see the flan part anymore, and that you only see the chocolate cake mixture.  This is GOOD.  The flan sinks to the bottom.  Therefore, when you invert your pan, the flan will be on the top, where it should be.

10. Drizzle the top with caramel, present to ooing and ahhing guests, and enjoy one of the most delicious desserts EVER!