It was recently brought to my attention that I never gave you the recipe for Cynthia's Flancocho. I promise, it's not because I haven't wanted to make it, but it's because I've been unexcusably lazy when it comes to making anything that I'm not craving or something that comes from a box. Reading will do that to you sometimes. But as I've been on a baking kick, and as we've been watching the debates with friends who have a TV, I've taken it upon myself to bring dessert. Last week I made Gourmet's Chocolate Dolce de Leche bars. (They were fantastic.) And this week, well, Flancocho it is.
Every time that I've had Cynthia's version, it is delicious and lovely and that much better because I didn't make it myself. (I mean, let's be honest. Who doesn't love eating something that someone else made that is also gooey and wonderful? Or just plain good? I mean, even with all the delights that I manage to find in the kitchen, I still wish sometimes that my mom would cook for me instead of me cooking for me.) But after having made this cake for myself, I would like to say that the original could definitely use some tweaking: a homemade chocolate cake, such as Amanda Hesser's Dump-It Cake, would shoot it into the realm of the divine. The boxed version just wasn't that great. Surprise! It had this odd tinny taste to it, even though the cake itself was nice and moist and lovely textured. The flan, though, no complaints. Though if I were really going to go out on a limb,I might add some spices, or some real vanilla flecks, to spruce it up. But I would probably only do that if I were making my own cake... otherwise it just wouldn't be worth it.
Flancocho, thanks to Cynthia Garcia
4 eggs, beaten in large bowl
1 can evaporated milk
1 can condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoon water
1 box chocolate cake mix, follow instructions on box
Preheat oven to 350 degrees*.
1. Caramelize the sugar in the pan. If you need instructions, see this post about caramelizing sugar, but use only the ingredients listed here. Keep a careful eye on the caramel; once it starts to turn, make it as dark (bitter) as you wish, but don't let it burn or it will be exceptionally gross and difficult to clean. Pour into a Bundt pan.
2. Pour in about 3/4 of the cake batter over the caramel.
3. Pour in your flan mix.**
4. Create a bain-marie for your pan. (A bain-marie is a pan full of water into which you put your cake pan. This is also necessary if you ever plan to make crème brûlée. You never know.) Put your bunt pan in it, and bake for one hour.
(Sorry about this slumpy photo. I didn't have time to turn out the cake before we left, and this is what we brought home. It tasted much better than it looks. Promise.)
*NB: if you have a non-stick pan, as I do, it is necessary to reduce the heat by 50 degrees. This holds true for all non-stick pans; because they are dark, they absorb more heat and will sadly burn your food.
**Yes, this is the right order for your cake/flan. It looks incredibly counterintuitive, pouring this lovely, eggy mixture into a batch of cake dough. But you know what? It WORKS. What comes out you can clearly see in the picture: a ring of flan resting atop chocolate cake. Somehow, the flan seeps through the batter, coagulates, and bakes gently in the bain-marie, and covers itself with caramel. AMAZING.