Magic Chocolate Flan Cake – Thank you, Diane!

Flan is one of those desserts that is sophisticated and elegant like a stylish, urban dress worn with heals that I love but never get to wear because my driveway is lined with gravel and I’ll break something if I strap on heels.  Like the dress that I wish I could wear but don’t, I wish I liked flan.  But I don’t.  It tastes like sugary eggs to me and I’ve never been able to get passed that initial impression.

THIS flan, however, is not really traditional flan (because of the sweetened condensed milk and the cream cheese) and therefore, I find it fantastic.  The custard is smooth and creamy but not eggy or too sweet.

I used a Coffee Pecan Syrup I found hanging around in the back of the refrigerator rather than making my own caramel sauce.  I’m sure the caramel sauce would be just as decadent as the coffee pecan syrup was.

This recipe was given to me by a long time guest.  She only passes on the best of recipes and I so appreciate her discernment.  Thanks, Diane!

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Magic Chocolate Flan Cake
It’s worth using good-quality caramel sauce, such as Fat Toad Farm Goat’s Milk Caramel (or a Coffee Pecan Syrup that happens to be hanging out in the back of the fridge).  If your blender doesn’t hold 2 quarts, process the flan in 2 batches. The cake needs to chill for AT LEAST 8 hours before unmolding.

1/2 cup caramel sauce or topping, microwaved briefly for easier distribution
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (3 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour
1/3 cup (1 ounce) cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2, 14-ounce cans sweetened condensed milk
2 1/2 cups whole milk
6 ounces cream cheese
6 large eggs plus 4 large yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

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.

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 in oven; pour warm water into roasting pan until it reaches half way up the side of the 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.)

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

Serves 16

P.S.  E and I might have had a bite (or two or three) straight from the plate when we unmolded it.  We dare you to resist!