Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Magic Chocolate Flan Cake

Today's sweet treat is really special: Magic Chocolate Flan Cake. Yum! The name itself is good enough to eat.

In this recipe, tender, homemade flan is perched on a scrumptious layer of rich chocolate cake drizzled with warm caramel sauce. Built in a Bundt pan, this mouthwatering dessert is not only elegant, but "magical" too. First, you coat the bottom of the pan with a thin layer of the caramel; next, you add the cake batter; last of all, you pour in the liquid flan. Then, while the dessert bakes in the oven, the cake and flan layers miraculously swap places! Some say this process is purely science, but I like to think it's my little kitchen elves hard at work. :)

I won't mislead you--this wasn't the easiest baking project I've ever done. I started mixing ingredients at 8 in the morning, and we ate our first piece around 11 PM. There's also quite a bit of patience required--not to mention dishes to be washed--but trust me, the end result is completely worth the effort. You just can't beat the "wow" factor of this marvelous cake once it's sitting on a serving tray in front of guests. Just be sure to save a slice for yourself!

Happy baking!

Layer 1: Caramel Sauce

Magic Chocolate Flan Cake
From Cook's Country magazine, January 2013 issue

1/2 C caramel sauce or topping
1/2 C plus 2 T all-purpose flour
1/3 C cocoa
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. salt
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
6 T unsalted butter
1/2 C buttermilk
Layer 2: Chocolate Cake
1/2 C sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 (14-oz) cans sweetened condensed milk (Borden Eagle Brand recommended)
2 1/2 C whole milk
6 oz. cream cheese
6 large eggs plus 4 large yolks
1 tsp. vanilla extract

FOR THE CAKE: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 12-cup nonstick Bundt pan. Microwave caramel until easily pourable, about 30 seconds. Pour into pan to coat bottom. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in bowl; set aside. Combine chocolate and butter in large bowl and microwave at 50 percent power, stirring occasionally, until melted, 2 to 4 minutes. Whisk buttermilk, sugar, eggs, and vanilla into chocolate mixture until incorporated. Stir in flour mixture until just combined. Pour batter over caramel in prepared pan.

Layer 3: Homemade Flan
FOR THE FLAN: Process all ingredients in blender until smooth, about 1 minute. Gently pour flan over cake batter in Bundt pan and place pan in large roasting pan. Place roasting pan on oven rack and pour warm water into roasting pan until it reaches half-way up side of Bundt pan. Bake until toothpick inserted in cake comes out clean and flan registers 180 degrees, 75 to 90 minutes. Transfer Bundt pan to wire rack. Let cool to room temperature, about 2 hours, then refrigerate until set, at least 8 hours. (Remove roasting pan from oven once water has cooled.)

Place bottom third of Bundt pan in bowl of hot tap water for 1 minute. Invert completely flat cake platter, place platter over top of Bundt pan, and gently turn platter and pan upside down. Slowly remove pan, allowing caramel to drizzle over top of cake. Serve.

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