Chocoflan

Chocoflan is the best of three worlds – dulce de leche, flan, and chocolate cake. Chocoflan is also called the impossible cake, because it truly is incredible.

Picture this – you pour caramel sauce (dulce de leche or cajeta) into a pan, then you pour chocolate cake batter over the caramel, and flan on top, and then magically in the oven the flan separates and sinks to the bottom to reunite with the caramel.

Once the dessert is baked in a water bath you invert it and the caramel and flan is back on top. Magic, right?

Let me tell you how many times I have tried this magical dessert and failed miserably. What I should have done is test a tried and true recipe instead of trying to develop my own. I tried three times (maybe four) to develop a recipe and each time they were flops. And when I say flops, they literally flopped – either under cooked, stuck to the pan, caramel disasters, or just not pretty and kinda tasteless.

I shared my latest flop on Instagram and as much as I prayed to the Chocoflan Gods my cake again did not work.

Then, Karista, a lovely blogging amiga sent me a link to this Dreamiest Chocoflan made by her sister-in-law’s mother, in Colombia.

Sure, I could have found an easier recipe online made with boxed chocolate cake mix for the cake layer, but I wanted to give it another try with a homemade recipe. The orange juice in the chocolate batter and pinch of coffee in the flan really piqued my interest in her recipe.

The trickiest part about making Chocoflan (in my opinion) is the caramel layer – you need to caramelize sugar and pour that in the bottom of the pan and swirl it around until it has coated half way up the sides and bottom of the pan.

To be honest, feel free to skip this part or purchase a squeezable dulce de leche bottle that can be drizzled in the pan instead. Or skip it entirely and once the Chocoflan is baked and inverted, pour a warm dulce de leche glaze over the cake.

Yield: 10 servings

Chocoflan (Impossible Cake)

Now you can have your cake and eat your flan, too, with a recipe that combines both! This Chocoflan is a rich chocolate cake with an orange hint topped with creamy vanilla and coffee flavored flan dripping with decadent dulce de leche and sprinkled with crushed walnuts.
Chocoflan (Impossible Cake)

Ingredients

Chocolate Cake:

  • 2 sticks of butter (or 1/2 lb)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Flan:

  • 1 can (14-ounce) sweetened condensed milk
  • In that same can (sweetened condensed milk), add whole milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of instant coffee

Dulce de Leche Glaze:

  • 1 cup dulce de leche
  • Milk (regular milk or almond milk), as needed
  • Chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)

Instructions

Chocolate Cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In an electric mixer blend the butter with the sugar until it’s light and fluffy, almost white. Whisk in the eggs, one at time until incorporated.
  3. Sift together flour and baking powder and then slowly add this to the creamed sugar. Once the flour has been added, stir in the cocoa powder.
  4. Next mix in the orange juice and vanilla. Once it’s well combined, pour the cake batter into a well-greased cake pan.

Flan:

  1. In a blender, add all the ingredients and blend well. Pour this mixture on top of the cake batter, very carefully so you don’t disturb the cake batter.

Bake:

  1. Place a larger cake pan or baking dish in the oven and fill it with about 1 inch of water. Then place the chocoflan pan in the water bath (bain-marie or bano de maria). Let the cake bake for about 75 to 90 minutes or until the cake is done.
  2. Let the cake cool for about an hour. Then when you are ready to flip the chocoflan, pour some hot water into the larger pan and set the chocoflan pan in the hot water for about 30 seconds.

Dulce de Leche Glaze:

  1. Pour dulce de leche or cajeta in a small sauce pan on low heat. Stir in milk slowly to desired constancy.

Serve:

  1. Flip the chocoflan onto a cake plate and serve. This cake holds well in the frig for several days.
  2. Drizzle with caramel (dulce de leche or cajeta) and sprinkle with nuts, if using.

Notes

Recipe by Nelly Rodriguez de Galofre

Photography by Jenna Sparks