Friday, June 27, 2014

Magic Flan Cake

Life feels a little crazy right now because in two short months the manuscript for my second cookbook is due. As you can imagine, I've been spending all my time baking, testing, and washing loads of dishes. Most mornings I can be found in a quiet place, trying to connect my head and heart so I can articulate how much these recipes mean to me. I'm eager to share all the details with you, but for now I can only tell you that all of the recipes are brand new, except for three favorites from the blog - and the only reason those are being included is because they were the inspiration for the book. Are you curious? (smile)

Between all these working days that fly by too fast, life happens. My husband had a birthday yesterday, and even though there are cookbook sweets all over the house (on every flat surface and some balanced precariously on chair arms) I was determined to make him something special.

This was my first time making Magic Flan Cake, and let me tell you this: it is special. It may not win any beauty contests, but it's the kind of cake that makes you close your eyes after you taste it. And the magic part? That takes place in the oven. The cake batter get poured into the pan first, and then the flan mixture is poured on top of the batter. During baking the two switch places- pretty neat! My favorite part is how the flan infuses the cake batter with creamy goodness, so the whole thing is a glorious custard/pudding/cake masterpiece.

There are two important things you need to know about this cake. (1. start one day ahead, the cake needs to chill in the refrigerator 8 hours or overnight, and (2. it requires a water bath. That might sound like a lot of work, but it's worth it. I repeat - It's SO worth it!

Magic Flan Cake
[click for printable version]
Yields 14 to 16 servings
Source:  adapted from Cook’s Country
Prep: 2 hours 30 minutes

1/2 cup/155g prepared caramel sauce
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons/60 g all-purpose flour
1/3 cup/46 g cocoa powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
6 tablespoons/85 g unsalted butter
1/2 cup/121 g buttermilk
1/2 cup/105 g sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
28 ounces (2 cans) sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk!)
2 1/2 cups/598 g whole milk, room temperature
6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
6 large eggs, room temperature
4 large egg yolks, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Spray a 12-cup bundt pan with flour-based baking spray (such as Baker’s Joy).  Pour the caramel sauce evenly into the bottom of the pan.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the chocolate and butter; heat at 30 second increments in the microwave, stirring between heating until smooth. Add the buttermilk, sugar, eggs, and vanilla to the melted chocolate mixture and whisk until incorporated. Add the flour mixture and stir until combined. Pour the chocolate batter evenly over the caramel in the pan.
Add all the flan ingredients to a blender pitcher and process on liquefy (high) until smooth.  Slowly pour the flan mixture over the cake batter. Place the cake pan in a large roasting pan and then place it in the oven. Carefully pour hot water into the roasting pan (I used hot water straight from the tap) until it reaches halfway up the sides of the bundt pan. Bake the cake for 80 to 90 minutes, or until a toothpick tester comes out with a few moist crumbs clinging (mine took about 1 hour 40 minutes). Gently remove the Bundt pan from the roasting pan and place it on a cooling rack. Allow it to cool completely in the pan. Refrigerate the cake in the pan for 8 hours, or overnight.

To unmold the cake, fill a large bowl (or your sink) with hot water. Place the bottom of the cake pan in the water to warm the caramel/flan portion of the cake. This will help the cake release. Turn the cake out onto a large serving platter or a cake stand that has a lip. The caramel will drizzle down over the cake as you remove the pan. Store the cake covered in plastic wrap in the refrigerator.


Cookbook Queen said...

Oh you sweet girl...there is so much heart behind your recipes. I love all of them so much and I cannot WAIT to get my hands on that book!! This cake -- I need it.

holly said...

Your bakes always sound so amazing and inspirational! You are one of the reasons why I started my own blog (but will never be as good as yours!)

Librarian Lavender said...

Wow, this flan cake looks absolutely amazing!

Faith said...

so excited about cookbook #2. and as a recent flan convert i'm looking for an excuse to make this cake.

Mir said...

As always, amazing cake! I love how it flips around in the oven! The texture looks beyond incredible. Can't wait to see the new cookbook!

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar said...

This cake is stunning!! I'm super into this idea. Flan cake all the way!!

June Baby said...

That looks amazing! And I can't wait for your new cookbook, I just got the first one and I already would love the second! :D

Sue said...

My husband pretty much closes his eyes when he bites into any cake, haha! I'm sure he would LOVE this cake! Looks so good! Can't wait for book #2! Woo hoo!

Anonymous said...

hi can you give a recipe for caramel sauce? also any process pics? having a hard time picturing...

esther @ cuteheads said...

this is GORGEOUS and looks so good! you need to make another version of tres leches... my fave.


Heather Baird said...

Anonymous - you can use prepared caramel from the store, such as Smucker's brand, or, I like this recipe for homemade:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the lovely recipe!
I would like to know if I can use a regular cake pan to make this as I do not have a Bundt pan.

My Inner Chick said...

gorgeous, delectable cake. Your hubs must have devoured it.

I need to convert the recipe to American Measurements!!

Heather Baird said...

Hi Anonymous - you'll need a bundt pan or a 12 cup tube pan (angel food cake pan). It won't work well with a normal cake pan.

Becs @ Lay the table said...

Love this! I remember when I made one of those magic custard cakes that were floating around the internet last year and was thinking about it recently. Love your version more though, has more substance and cakeyness!

Medeja said...

This cake looks so good.. I wish I could have at least a little slice.. :)

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Divine! I am bookmarking your recipe.



Bonny@Clever Hen said...

This looks yummy! Love the 'magic' of it.

Los chatos Chefs said...

It´s seems so delicious!! kisses from Spain!

Rachel @ Bakerita said...

Woah, this cake looks totally magical. Love it!

Angelyn said...

I completely ADORE flan! This looks so so so delicious! YUM!!

Anonymous said...

I love this idea!

Celestine said...

OH MY that looks absolutely the "I'm not sharing kinda yummy".

jhimmel1 said...

Could you do the same thing with a pumpkin cake and a pumpkin flan recipe?

Sharon said...

WOW! It looks really amazing. Hope it tastes even better than it looks. I will definitely try it this weekend.

Gina Briley said...

Looks simply amazing.

Anonymous said...

A friend made this cake and it was, without a doubt, the best cake I have ever eaten! You must try it!

unionjgirl said...

This looks so yummy. My mom loves flan and is usually not that excited by cake (as opposed to the frosting on top), but being infused with the switcher custard, she'd probably love this.

Anonymous said...

I tried this recipe and it was wonderful. There are some things that I had wished I'd paid attention to earlier.
1. If you use an angel food cake pan, make sure the bottom is not removable, since it would not be able to sit in the water bath without leaking.
2. If you use an angel food cake pan with a removable bottom anyway, as I did, you can put it on a cooling rack laid atop a roasting pan, as long as all sides of the cake pan fall within the parameters of the water bath and steam can come up all sides. (I had previously done this with success with cheesecakes in springform pans that didn't seal tightly.) The flan mixture will seep out somewhat, since it's runny, but I didn't lose too much of it into the water bath below.
3. The volume of the liquid ingredients did not fit into my 5-cup blender. I whisked some of the milk and eggs in a separate bowl and then poured the pureed flan ingredients in and whisked some more.
4. The chocolate part has a brownie consistency. In my very warm kitchen the brownies started rising in the bowl while the flan was being blended. Next time (and there will be a next time, once I get a different pan!) I will make the flan part first, then the chocolate part, and then assemble it in the right order.
5. A knife inserted to test doneness was not a reliable predictor for my flan, probably because my water bath was unorthodox. The knife was clean but the custard part was a little floppy. It was still very good.

Anonymous said...

The name of this Arabic dessert is Kodrit Kadir.

Anonymous said...

Just undid the cake. I am thinking I left it for a bit too long in the water bath as it fell apart a bit? Do you have a recommended time allotment for that part? That said, it TASTED AH-mazing! Looking forward to having a full slice later! Ugly doesn't matter when it tastes delicious! =)

Anonymous said...

I made this for my daughters Birthday...I was EXCELLENT!! I did take a bit longer to bake for me as well. Quite simple to make. I will be making this again!

Grandmac said...

I made this cake Tuesday evening/night to serve Wednesday and it was very good. It did take me a long time to make as I had issues with the blender not being big enough also and the giant glass bowl I had to put the flan mixture in to finish mixing in everything was quite heavy and created problems when I tried to pour it slowly into the bundt pan. LOL I had quite the mess to clean up. It was well worth the effort. It was so good. I over baked it just a bit and so next time will check it sooner than the 90 minutes. My oven must run a bit hot or something. I will also try making a half a batch next time so that I can just use the blender. It will still serve quite a few that way. Just curious, how big is the blender you are using, Heather? I will be back for more recipes and thanks for this one.

Anonymous said...

The picture suggests that flan mixture is poured on the caramel before the cake mixture. Did you all make it the way recipe says or the way the picture looks?

Heather Baird said...

Hi Anonymous - this is explained in the text of the blog post just below the third picture. The recipe is correct. See below:

"And the magic part? That takes place in the oven. The cake batter gets poured into the pan first, and then the flan mixture is poured on top of the batter. During baking the two switch places- pretty neat!"

Anonymous said...

Oh wow I completely overlooked that part. Thanks.

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