Tasty Tuesday–Chocoflan

I made fish tacos for dinner last weekend, and I wanted to make a delicious Mexican dessert to go with it. I had a vague recollection of watching Marcela Valladolid make a chocoflan back when we had cable TV, so I looked the recipe up while I was in the grocery store (what did I ever do before I had a smartphone?). It didn’t look too complicated, so I tried it out. I’ve never made a flan before, so I wasn’t sure everyone would like it, but I was pleasantly surprised, and the whole family loved it. They’ve demanded that I add it to my “permanent collection.” Ideally, you should make this a day ahead, although we did try it the first day while it was still warm.

1/4 cup cajeta or caramel sauce
10 tablespoons butter, room temperature, plus extra to grease the pan
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

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

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

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

Coat a Bundt pan with a little butter, then coat the bottom with 1/4 cup cajeta or caramel sauce and put Bundt pan 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 spread 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 about 1 hour (mine took a little longer), 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 additional cajeta (if desired), chill 24 hours and serve!

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