Layered Chocoflan Cake

This cake is simple and elegant and different. I’ll show you how to make this Mexican classic cake with an edge.

My suggestion: do not, and I mean do not, try to make this more complicated by doing it from scratch. Buy a cake mix (I prefer Duncan Hines) and make your life easier.

What you’ll need

For the cake:

  • 1 box of Duncan Hines Swiss Chocolate Cake Mix
  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup sifted all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 Tbs vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 tsp vanilla

For the flan:

  • 1 can evaporated milk (12 oz)
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 oz)
  • 1 box (8 oz) of softened cream cheese
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup of granulated sugar (for the caramel)
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Tools:

  • 2 – 8″ cake rounds
  • 1 large cookie sheet
  • 1 – 7″ round cutter (I use Ateco brand)
  • Cake Mixer
  • Small sauce pan to warm sugar
  • Heat proof spatula

Directions:

  1. Put an oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.
  2. Turn on heat to medium high for sauce pan
  3. Pour sugar in sauce pan and DON’T stir it. Otherwise it will crystallize. Wait until it is a clear liquid and then stir with your heat proof spatula. As a warning, caramel is EXTREMELY hot so be very careful.
  4. Coat the bottom of your pans with the sugar. It will harden almost immediately and it won’t look even, that’s totally fine!
  5. For the cake: pour in your mixer all of your dry ingredients and mix on low.
  6. Pour in one by one your wet ingredients stirring slowly in between each ingredient.
  7. For the flan: In a blender, combine the evaporated milk, condensed milk, cream cheese, eggs and vanilla. Blend on high for 30 seconds.
  8. Pour your cake batter into your cake pans with equal amounts in each.
  9. Pour the flan mixture into each of the pans slowly. The mixtures will separate on their own in the oven.
  10. Put the cookie sheet in oven and pour enough water for there to be 1/2″ of water in height.
  11. Carefully place the prepared cake pans on the cookie sheet and bake 40 minutes until the surface of the cake is firm to the touch, or an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  12. Remove cakes from water bath and let cool for an hour at room temperature and then place in fridge for a day.
  13. When ready to serve, create a water bath of hot water and place the pans in the water bath for a few minutes. This will melt the caramel.
  14. Run a spatula around the rim of the the cake and then flip the first pan onto your serving plate. If your cakes came out different in size, put your thicker cake as the first cake on the serving plate.
  15. Do the same with the second cake but this time you’re going flip the cake on the first cake so they’re stacked.
  16. This is where your cake will take a right turn from the traditional bundt cake. Grab your 7″ round cutter and place it smack in the center on top of your cake. Push it down all the way until all the edges have been cut smooth.

    By cutting it with the round cutter, you give it a smoother look than the traditional bundt look.

 

The Best Decorator’s Icing (+ most stable)

As this is the first official post, I want to share with you one of my biggest AHA moments since I embarked on this adventure of cake creation:

Icings are not created equal. 

The success of your cake will be largely based on how well the icing can hold up your decorations.

When searching for the best icing I would run Google searches. I wasn’t a professional by any means and I figured the Internet knew better.

Excited that I had found the “BEST” icing, I followed the prep instructions to a T, was SUPER excited to decorate with it and more often than not – the icing held up while the cake was still indoors.

A hard lesson learned is that not all icings can withstand the test of heat and humidity.

Additionally, not all decorators’ icings are created equal. I learned this as I walked from the front door of the house to the car with an Elmo cake.  That baby wasn’t going to hold up and I cringed as the fur I had piped in the back started to drip down.

I have lived in both 100% humidity + frying-pan hot areas and I can tell you that 100% butter recipes will not cut it or even 50% butter recipes.

So if you’re looking for a recipe that CAN withstand heat + humidity, taste delicious, and hold your decorations, you’ll want to keep reading.

I keep a tub of this icing ready-made in the pantry at all times. It brings me peace of mind to know I always have a backup icing and best of all, it gets rave reviews in taste tests (scroll to the bottom as proof + the seal cake that I piped with this recipe).

Q/A: 

  • Can you freeze it?  Yes, but totally not necessary. It can be stored in your pantry for months.
  • Can it be made ahead of time? Yes!
  • Do I use it all of the time? I don’t. I like the taste of 50% butter recipes more, but I definitely use this recipe when weather will be an issue.
  • Does this recipe crust? Yes. When piping decorations, you’ll want it to.
  • Do I color it with food coloring? Yes! I use soft gel food coloring and Americolor is my favorite brand.
  • Can you add a flavor to it? Yes, but I highly recommend you use professional strength flavorings. Food extracts don’t “stick” to the shortening as well. 
  • Do I use grocery bought shortening? I don’t. High Ratio Shortening gives it the consistency I like without the greasy feeling.
  • Can I buy these ingredients at the grocery store? Grocery stores usually won’t carry the high-ratio shortening nor professional strength flavors. So it’s a bit more of a hassle but it’s totally worth the peace of mind knowing your icing isn’t about to melt off the cake.

When I know I will be making this recipe, I will usually make it a week in advance to let the flavors settle. If placed in a sealed container, this buttercream can last in your pantry for months.

Recipe:

1lb  High Ratio Shortening (~ 2 1/4 cups) – I use Sweetex bought at a cake decorator’s store

1/4 tsp Salt

2 1/2 lbs (or 10 cups) Powdered Sugar

1 1/4 cups of Powdered Coffee Creamer –  I use Coffee Mate brand but you can use any brand you like.

2 tbl Butter Vanilla Flavoring – I use Magic Brand

6.5 oz Water

In a large bowl, pour the measured out powdered sugar and coffee creamer.

In your mixing bowl, add the shortening and beat on low with the paddle attached to the mixer. When well blended, turn mixer off.

Add 1 cup of the dry mixture into the bowl. Continue beating on low.

Add the Butter Vanilla flavoring (or whichever flavoring you plan to use) with 2 ounces of water.  Continue beating on low until well blended then turn mixer off.

Add salt.

Continue alternating between dry mixture and water until fully blended. Turn the blender off when adding ingredients then return to beating on low.

Once well blended, you can add the food color, beating on low until you reach the desired shade.

 Side Fact:

Magic Line has several popular flavors in addition to Butter Vanilla: Butter, Almond, and Creme Bouquet. The Almond flavor tastes just like almond extract and its made from absolutely zero almonds. IMG_4889

 

Tahini Ice Cream

It’s not cake; but it goes delish with –

Makes about 6 servings.

I used a rock salt ice cream maker and with the cold spell we had here in Midland, Texas this past week, it took 10 minutes to churn.

 

What you’ll need:

  • 1 cup sugar (I used cane sugar)
  • 2 pasteurized eggs
  • 1/3 cup tahini paste
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream

Prep your ice cream maker ahead of time: layer the outside bowl with ice and rock salt but make sure you don’t layer to the top of the center bowl. Your ice cream will taste like salt if so.

Onto the ice cream:

  • Beat the eggs with the sugar until its a pale yellow color.
  • Mix in the rest of the ingredients (I used a whisk).
  • Pour into the ice cream maker. Turn on. Tahini Ice cream