I have always loved flan, and anything caramel-related. However, making an entire flan is something that is best done when company is coming over. An excellent opportunity to make this recipe arose when a close friend came to visit, and we celebrated her birthday, which had recently passed. Since she’s of Peruvian descent, I thought a Latin American dessert would be nice.
A chocoflan magically makes a two-layered dessert: flan on the top and chocolate cake on the bottom, all covered in a goats-milk caramel sauce called cajeta. I made the cajeta myself, cooking the goat’s milk from this…
until it’s nice and golden brown and caramelly, like this:
Half of what I made was used to smear along the inside of the pan so that when the flan is inverted, the caramel pours over the top of the dessert. The other half of the batch of cajeta was reserved for something extra special. (Just you wait!) It’s a pretty amazing caramel– it is not overly cloyingly sweet, and has a really smooth texture.
Layered on the inside of the pan, which already has a layer of cajeta, is a small amount of chocolate cake batter.
On top of the chocolate cake batter, I poured a flan batter, which is essentially a custard recipe.
Magically, when the custard bakes, the custard and cake switch places. Don’t ask me how it happens. I seriously think it’s magic.
The custard bakes in a water bath inside the oven, and I had a really difficult time figuring out when it was done. I stuck a toothpick in it time after time and it kept coming out with batter on it. I just finally decided it was done, after an hour and a half in the oven. This probably resulted in the over-firming of the custard. I also have a very distinct opinion as to the texture the flan should have because I have spent my childhood eating my mom’s flan. My mother’s closest friend when I was growing up was a woman from Spain, and she taught my mother how to make flan when I was a child. I thought this one was too firm, but the flavors were great together. Next time, I want to try my mom’s flan recipe with the chocolate cake recipe to see if it results in a more delicate flan layer.