We are fascinated by the evolution of flan into chocoflan, a gorgeous dessert that is—as its name deliciously promises—half chocolate cake, half traditional custard.
You’d think that in this recipe from one of our favorite, most experienced Mexican homecooks (and a renowned Tequila Expert™ and Catadora!), MariCarmen Ortiz Conway would make the chocolate cake part from scratch. Nope—MariCarmen calls for using a chocolate box mix. “Using a chocolate mix is the point,” grins MariCarmen. “You can use any kind of box from the store, whatever you like best. I like the devil’s chocolate flavored ones.”
To make chocoflan, there are 4 basic steps, says MariCarmen:
Step 1: Buy your favorite brand of chocolate cake mix from the store and prepare the batter.
Step 2: Pour 1 cup of store-bought caramel or 1 cup of homemade dulce de leche into a bundt cake or flan mold. Except you’ll use a taller than usual mold because you are going to have a double-size dessert: a full cake batter plus a full flan custard mix.
Step 3: Mix the flan ingredients in the blender—like normal.
Step 4: Layer them into the mold! Then bake.
Here’s how: First, pour all the cake batter on the bottom layer, over the caramel. Next, pour the entire batch of flan custard on top of the chocolate mix. Place your mold into a warm water bath in a 350° oven for 1 hour—and felicidades, you made chocoflan!
Muy importante, warns MariCarmen: Once baked, the chocoflan must cool completely before you attempt to remove it from the cake mold. “This is the secret. Never transfer it hot, or it will break apart. You must wait and it will come out perfectly.”
When she is ready to serve chocoflan, MariCarmen makes a big show of it, teasing: “I always ask everyone to pray. Then we have a moment of silence, and I flip it over in front of them,” she says. So far, it’s always turned out great, she reports.
“Chocoflan is really pretty. The caramel or dulce de leche slowly rolls down from the top, over the sides. And you have the two contrasting colors, the dark of chocolate and the pale cream of the flan. It is so beautiful.”